Perceptions of Saudi Male and Female Postgraduate Students Regarding the Impact of Social Networking Sites and Apps on their Academic Life: A Study of Umm Al-Qura University – Makkah

Abdulelah A. Alghamdi, Margaret Plunkett

Abstract


This paper outlines a study exploring the perceptions of Saudi male and female postgraduate students regarding the impact of using Social Networking Sites and Apps (SNSAs) on their academic engagement and academic relationships. While research on SNSA use within the higher education environment does exist, mixed gender research has often presented challenges in Saudi Arabia, due to the educational segregation. A mixed methods approach was used to collect data through surveys, individual interviews and focus groups involving 313 male and 293 female postgraduate students at Umm Al-Qura University (UQU) in Makkah. Findings illustrated that both males and females engaged with SNSAs at a moderate level of use for academic purposes, and they perceived more positive than negative impacts associated with the academic use of SNSAs. Correlational analysis demonstrated a large positive correlation between academic engagement and academic relationships. Gender differences were not extensive however, the quantitative analysis highlighted more prominent involvement with SNSAs by females which is interesting, in light of social restrictions experienced by females in Saudi society.

Keywords


social networking sites and apps; academic engagement; academic relationships; postgraduate.

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Copyright (c) 2018 Abdulelah A. Alghamdi, Margaret Plunkett


International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning. ISSN: 1863-0383
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