Adaptation and effects of social media in teaching and learning at the second cycle institution level in Ghana

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AUGUST, 2016
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The proliferation of social media platforms freely accessible online using cell mobile devices, PCs and the immense interest of this generation of students in such platforms to the detriment of their studies has cause for concern. As it is almost impossible to block students from engaging on these platforms, it therefore becomes imperative to find a way to make them use the social media for useful purposes. The primary reason for this study is to determine the feasibility of adapting the use of social media in teaching and learning; and to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of these media for instructional engagement by instructors and learners at the second cycle institution level in Ghana. In the course of the study, Facebook© and WhatsApp© were used to supplement traditional classroom instruction and the impacts on students' motivation, learning experience and performance were assessed. Qualitative Case Study research method was used for this study. Interviews conducted were transcribed and composed into three phases of sorting out subjective information as suggested by Strauss and Corbin (1998). The results of the study demonstrate positive results in the use of the social media (Facebook and WhatsApp) to augment classroom teaching and learning with respect to students’ motivation, learning experience and performance suggesting effectiveness and efficiency of the instructional blend. Implication of the results is that the findings can be utilized as a reference for educators and curriculum designers to find meaningful use of social media for teaching and learning in second cycle institutions in Ghana. The study however reveals some challenges such as affordance, access to mobiles devices and irregular power supply that need to be addressed in order not exacerbate the problem of digital divide.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Computer Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements Master of Science degree in Information Technology.