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Social Networking Websites Usage Towards Academic Performance Education Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 3971 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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This chapter covers about the literature review on the Social Networking Sites (SNS) usage towards academic performance. The resources used in this chapter such as books and articles are from e-book available in the Internet and Perpustakaan Tun Abdul Razak (PTAR) collections. The collections used are primary and secondary sources which were obtained from the interviews, printed and online version of books and articles. The articles used are available in PTAR library databases such as Science Direct, Emerald Management Extra, H.W. Wilson, ProQuest and others. The journal titles that were referred to are Computers in Human Behavior, Computers & Education, Computers and Composition and many more. The keywords used during the searching process such as Social Networking Sites (SNS), Facebook, Computer and Internet use, SNS and student performance. This chapter will cover five sections which are computer and Internet use, social networking use, SNS and academic performance, factors of using SNS and also usefulness of SNS towards student performance.

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2.1 Academic performance

In educational institutions, students usually being analyses and evaluate based on their performance in their academic. It refers to how students deal with their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers. Besides that, academic performance also can be analysed in term of the ability of the students to study and remember facts and the ability to communicate their knowledge verbally or in written form.

Azizi Hj. Yahaya (2004) stated that there are four factors that influence students’ academic performance which are roles of teachers or schools, peers, parents and the students themselves. He stated that the roles of students covered the aspects of the nature of the learning process, the goals of the learning process, construction of knowledge, strategic thinking and finally on thinking about thinking. He then explained that the successful student should be an active, goal-directed, self-regulating, and assume personal responsibility for contributing to their own learning. It can be concluded that the academic performance was reflects by the factors that influence the outcomes of successful students during their learning process. However, the students themselves should determine their goals and lead their selves so that they can achieve successful results in their academic performance.

Kirschner and Karpinski (2010) revealed that it is difficult to measure the academic performance especially in term of defining the academic performance itself. There are many ways to measure the academic performance either using the GPA or the grade such as A, B, C, D, and F). Other than that, the researcher should relate the academic performance with the amount of time spent studying such as daily, weekly or monthly. Based on Karpinski (2009), academic performance is conceptualized differently between schools, states and countries. Therefore, he stated that there is no accurate definition on the way to measure academic performance.

2.2 Computer and Internet use

In the Information Age, Information Technology (IT) and Internet skills are becoming increasingly important, and those without these skills are at a disadvantage economically and educationally. Schumacher and Morahan-Martin (2001) in their research found that the students had more exposure to computers than to the Internet. The study found that males were more experienced and reported higher skill levels with the Internet than females, with the exception of e-mail. The students used email in order to have efficiently exchange digital information with classmates. Almost one third of the first-grade students do not have their own e-mail address at home yet. The research also identified that more than half of the first-grade students report that they use their computers at least once a week to look for information on the Internet while one third of them used e-mail or chat from home almost every day. The findings also shows that a quarter of the students used the computer for this purpose every week and more than half use the computer every day for games or music.

A research done by Tsai and Tsai (2010) found that there is no significant gender difference in students’ total Internet Self-Efficacy Scale (ISES) scores. However, a significant difference was found in the communicative Internet Self-Efficacy (ISE) scores between genders while further subscale. The female students had significantly higher scores than did the male students in the communication subscale. It can be concluded that the girls held significantly more confidence than the boys regarding Internet communication.

The study also shows that Internet use experience both genders had a medium level of Internet using experience in average. Therefore, there is no significant gender difference found in students’ Internet using experience. However, a significant gender difference was found in students’ weekly time spent where it identified that boys spent significant more time on using the Internet than did the girls every week.

The study also found that there was a different purpose of using Internet among the genders where most of the girls used the Internet for searching, mailing, music listening, homework and talking while the boys mostly accessed the Internet for game playing, searching and music listening. This result suggested that boys and girls might have different interests or motivations in utilizing the Internet.

McCarthy (2000) stated in his article that in the early 2000s, schools at all levels in many countries began to prepare all students’ for Internet literacy and to promote Internet-based learning for life-long learning. The result from Tsai and Lin’s (2004) research done in Taiwan showed that the girls had significantly higher Internet self-efficacy than the boys while high school male students still had better Internet attitudes in some aspects.

According to Hille (2009), the article mentioned that adolescent students may immersed in online gaming, chatting or other online entertainment, and even become addicted if there is no effective management and supervision from their parents and teachers. The students may also expose to pornographic and violent contents flooding the Internet.

Wainer et al. (2008) found that from seven social economic classes, it shows that there is a decrease in test performance among the younger and the poorer students and their computer use is higher than other. Other than that, it also identified that there is a significant decrease in the grades of those who use computers more frequently when compared with those who never use computers for assignments. While the poorest socioeconomic class shows that there is a 15% reduction in test scores.

The research done by Yang and Tung (2008) showed that 236 subjects from a total of 1708 were identified as addicts using the eight-item Internet addiction using Internet addiction Diagnostic Questionnaire (DQ) developed by Young (1996b) to distinguish addicts from non-addicts . The findings showed that there are significant different levels of influence of the Internet between the Internet addicts and non-addicts in five aspects of life other than peer relations. The Internet addicts believed that the Internet negatively influenced their school learning, daily routines, health, and parental relations as well as teacher relations while the Internet positively influenced all six aspects of the lives of non-addicts. In previous studies, high school students displayed problematic consequences of Internet dependence, for instance, skipping meals, losing sleep and study time, increasing financial costs for on-line activity, and rearranging daily routines or even neglecting studies to spend more time online (Brenner, 1996; Egger & Rauterberg, 1996; Young, 1996b) as cited in Yang and Tung (2008).

Based on Young’s study (1998) cited in Yang and Tung (2008), it was found that Internet dependents gradually reduced the time spent with family and friends while increasing time in front of their computers. This phenomenon may apply for some Taiwanese Internet users, but the data in this study demonstrated a negative influence on parents but no disruption of peer relationships for either addicts or non-addict. The findings of this study confirmed those of Kandell (1998), Lin and Tsai (2002) and Chou and Hsiao (2000) as quoted in Yang and Tung (2008), that both the addict and non-addict groups saw the Internet as positively influencing their relationships with friends and schoolmates. Statistical results pointed that Internet addicts spent approximately 21.2 hours per week on the Internet, while non-addicts spent around 12.1 hours per week.

This study assumes that most college students, living away from parental monitoring and with fewer classes than high school students, have extensive freedom to explore risky activities that might lead to Internet addiction. This study finds a level of reported Internet usage among high school Internet addicts that is comparable to that for addicted college students.

Uçak’s (2007) study revealed that most of the students of the Department of Information Management in Hacettepe University, Ankara uses the Internet every day. Based on the results, the majority access the Internet from their department’s computers followed by accessing from their home. However, the rate of access from Internet cafes and the library is low. The results show that a vast purposes of using the Internet such as for their courses, homework assignments followed by using the Internet for personal interest and for e-mails. Some of them used the Internet to listen for music, games, and entertainment option while chat comes in the last place.


The experiences and opinions of the social network influence contraceptive decisions

in this population of young, minority women. The social network, including friends, family members,

and media sources, is a key source of contraceptive information for many women. Comprehensive

contraception counseling should explore the experiences and opinions of the patient’s social network

to the extent possible. Lynn Yee, M.D., M.P.H.a, and Melissa Simon, M.D., M.P.H(2009)

Results indicated that students use

Facebook approximately 30 min throughout the day as part of their daily routine. Students

communicated on Facebook using a one-to-many style, in which they were the creators

disseminating content to their friends. Even so, they spent more time observing content on

Facebook than actually posting content. Facebook was used most often for social interaction,

primarily with friends with whom the students had a pre-established relationship offline. In

addition to classic identity markers of emerging adulthood, such as religion, political ideology,

and work, young adults also used media preferences to express their identity. Implications of

social networking site use for the development of identity and peer relationships are discussed.Tiffany A. Pempek, Yevdokiya A. Yermolayeva, Sandra L. Calvert(2008)

An individual’s success in society depends on the shape and size of his/her social network

and ability to network and form connections with other social groups. Organisations which can

harness this innate human ability to manage knowledge will be able to lower transactions costs and

become more profitable. Anria Sophia van Zyl (2008)

Regression analyses conducted on

results from a survey of undergraduate students (N = 286) suggest a strong association

between use of Facebook and the three types of social capital, with the strongest relationship

being to bridging social capital. In addition, Facebook usage was found to

interact with measures of psychological well-being, suggesting that it might provide

greater benefits for users experiencing low self-esteem and low life satisfaction. Nicole B. Ellison

Charles Steinfield

Cliff Lampe(2007)

2.3 SNS use and academic performance

According to Boyd & Ellison (2008), Social-networking sites (hereafter SNS) are the latest online communication tool that allows users to create a public or private profile to interact with people in their networks. They then defined SNS as web-based services that allow individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection and view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system

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There are few studies that had been done in findings the significant of SNS with academic performance. Kirschner and Karpinski (2010) had conducted a research on the Facebook (FB) and academic performance. FB is a part of the examples of SNS that was recently being used by many people including the students. Barratt, Hendrickson, Stephens and Torres (2005) stated that the increased of FB’s popularity has raises questions about its impact on college student life. The FB was firstly introduced by Mark Zuckerberg in 2005 to help residential college and university students identify students in other residence halls. The usage of FB than has been expanded to individuals outside the college and university system. It has been identified that the usage of FB covers all group of age with mostly the age between 25 to 34 year-olds (Lipsman, 2007). However, even though there was an increase growth in older age groups, FB remains primarily a college- age and emerging adult phenomenon.

From the statistics collected by the FB administrative that showed in the website, http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics, it recorded that there are 500 million of active users registered and half of them log in any given day while 55 million updates post each day with more than 8 billion minutes spent on the website worldwide each. The statistic also identified that more than 2.5 billion photos uploaded each month, more than 14 million videos uploaded each month, more than 30 billion pieces of content, for instance web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos shared each week, more than 3.5 million events created each month, and more than 45 million active user groups existing. It can be concluded that Facebook is a popular time-consuming activity that undoubtedly has some impact on college student life.

Based on study done by Espinosa, Laffey, Whittaker, and Sheng (2006), they investigated the role of technology in early childhood development using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. From the findings, it indicated that access contributed to the learning potential of the students, but the researchers concerned that parents should encourage the educational use of technology to improve academic achievement. Apart from that, according to Lei and Zhao (2005), it was explored that the specifics of access, acknowledging that quantity is not as important as quality when it comes to technology use and student achievement. Specifically, when the quality of technology use is not closely monitored or ensured, computer use may do more harm than good to student achievement in school.

Hunley et al. (2005) identified that there is no relationship found between time spent on the computer at home and GPA in a sample of adolescents. Technology was found to have a positive impact on academic achievement, or technology with educational value. However, Kubey, Lavin and Barrows (2001), mentioned that other researchers have found that recreational Internet use is strongly correlated with impaired academic performance. The results showed that approximately 10-15% of study participants reported feeling not being in complete control of their Internet use, and that it has hurt their schoolwork. Furthermore, they also identified that students who reported Internet caused schoolwork problems were found to have spent five times more hours online than those who did not, and they were also significantly more likely to report that their Internet use caused them to stay up late, get less sleep, and miss classes.

The researchers conclude that it is not so much the Internet that causes these problems as the new social opportunities of the Internet. Students who reported academic problems were more likely to use the Internet for real-time social activities such as IM and chat rooms which lead to them to sleep late at night. Karpinski and Duberstein (2009) on their exploratory survey study identified that there is a negative relationship between FB use and academic achievement as measured by self-reported GPA and hours spent studying per week. Hargittai (2009) stated that there is no evidence found to prove the relationship of Facebook usage with low academic performance. Banquil et al. (2009) in their research found that social networking sites do not indicate negative effects on a student’s performance in school.

2.4 Factors of using the social networking sites among the students

Yang and Tung (2008) stated the Internet addicts usually used the websites and SNS because of lower self-esteem than non-addicts. They are more confident to communicate or socialize through the Internet rather than face to face with people.

Yap (2008) identified that, the main factor of using the SNS is because the users need not pay any fees due to the free membership. Furthermore, it is easy to use the SNS whereby the users only need to sign up by filling the form and active the link sent via their email.

The students and users also can post advertisements there in order to other members of an event that they are hosting. It is also an opportunity for them to make new friends, use them every day to chat, play games and connect with friends, family and strangers.

2.5 Usefulness of the social networking sites towards student performance

The SNS function as a communication tools using the technology connection between people from different locations, for instance the existing of Facebook is to help residential college and university students identify students in other residence halls which also function as an online directory that connects people through social networks at colleges and universities before it is largely used worldwide.

According to Pineda (2010), the students and SNS users used it to keep in touch by maintaining a profile on these sites, their loved ones, friends and distant relatives which they do not have to call the users every time just to stay in touch with one another. Besides that, the students can take advantage to post their resume and credentials to the companies that advertise vacancy in the SNS.

Dalsgaard (n.d.) discussed how the social networking may be utilized within university education by students sharing information and resources that are originally developed for themselves but made available to others such as using bookmarks, references, links, and notes. He stated that social networking sites are not the new Learning Management Systems. He mentioned that the SNs can be used as a discussion forums and other tools for direct communication and collaboration focus on direct sharing, social networking can support students’ indirect sharing of resources, thoughts, ideas, productions, writings, notes and others. It will provide the students with an increased consciousness and awareness of the activities of other students.

Brady, Holcomb and Smith (2010) identified that education-based SNSs can be used most effectively in distance education courses as a technological tool to improve online communications among students in higher distance education courses. According to Barab and Duffy (2000) and DeSchryver, Mishra, Koehler and Francis (2009), they found that distance education courses are often more successful when they develop communities of practice while Anderson (2005) later added that it is also encourage high levels of online social presence among students.

Brady, Holcomb and Smith (2010) stated that since the SNS facilitate the sharing of information, the technologies used in SNSs aid discussion and create intimacy among online students, as they have their ability to connect and build community in a socially and educationally constructed network. Besides, the article also stated that SNS created specifically for an educational audience provides a unique opportunity for educators to facilitate a strong sense of community among students and encourage personal interactions that can lead to the creation of new knowledge and collective intelligence.

Smith (2009) as cited in Brady, Holcomb and Smith (2010) stated that, course management systems (CMS) such as Blackboard and Moodle, tend to be much focused and lack the personal touch and networking capacity that SNSs offer. For instance, instructors using CMS may create a question in an online discussion board and each student posts a response. However, these student posts are really not interactions at all, but merely question and answer sessions. Using an SNS that is user centered compared to CMS, it has the potential to increase student engagement. SNSs can actively encourage online community building, extending learning beyond the boundaries of the classroom.

Bai (2003), indicated that social presence leads to reduced feelings of loneliness and impassiveness while simultaneously encouraging student interaction and participation in online courses.

2.6 Conceptual Framework

Ease of use

Student performance

SNS usage


Moderating Variable

Dependent Variable

Independent Variables

Figure 1: Conceptual Framework

Figure 1 shows the relationship on the effect of using the social networking sites (SNS) towards students’ performance. This conceptual framework is developed by the researcher herself based on the literature review done and gathered from previous studies. The figure shows that there are two factors that lead to the usage of the SNS which are the ease of use of the SNS itself and the usefulness the SNS bring to the SNS users. The first factor which is ease of use refers to several elements such as in them of the time response of the SNS, the simple rules and regulation apply and may be because of the attractive and simple design of the SNS itself. While, the usefulness can be defined as the benefits or advantages the users obtain in using the SNS. In this study it focuses more in the usefulness of SNS in the students’ performance.

Besides that, it shows the relationship between the usage of the SNS with the students’ performance. The study wants to identify and determine whether there is any significant relationship on the usage of the SNS in the students’ performance.

2.7 Conclusion

This literature review provides the brief ideas and information regarding the issues on whether there is any relationship between the usages of the SNS towards students’ performance. It provides findings done by the previous researchers on the similar topic and all the supports has been included and further revise in this chapter 2. The next chapter will discuss on the methodology that will be used in the study. The detailed information regarding the methodology will be further discussed in the Chapter 3.


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