Background to the Study

Imo state university teaches around 24,000 students undertaking degrees, Masters, research, professional programmes and short courses making IMSU one of the top 15 most popular universities in Nigeria. Since its foundation in 1984, the University is very much associated with courses that are taught face to face which has become clear that within the context academic staff is finding it very difficult to determine the best ways to make use a model of teaching where the teacher controls and is at the centre of the process in order to reduce falling standard of education.  The predicament on the falling standard of education in Nigeria had always been a matter of concern to the participants in the education industry. The missions of formal education is to broaden one’s mental horizons, develop the child’s talent, physical and mental intellectual skills, help to acquire vocational training and then develop healthy attitude and sense of belonging and to participate actively in family and community affairs (Duru 2011), but environment in which that mission exists is changing dramatically, because the world is today celebrating the improvements in communication technology which has broadened the scope of communication through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Modern Technology in communication no doubt has turned the entire world into a “Global village’’. Social networking tools are rapidly changing the communications landscape. Social networking   helps people to be better informed, enlightened, and keeping abreast with world developments. In today higher education settings, instructors, students, and others collaborate make use of social networks. The influence of social networking on learning and teaching environments is growing more each year. Social networking applications can reinforce class material and positively influence discussions, and collaborative work. Social network technologies offer the capability to both receive and create content with the hope that a collective intelligence emerges.

Today’s students and educators live in the world of social networks like  wapas, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube: Twitter, Yahoo Messenger, Facebook Messenger, Blackberry Messenger (BBM), Whatsapp messenger, 2go messenger, Skype, Google talk, Google Messenger, iPhone and Androids.. These and many other social networking applications are part of the so-called Social Web, best characterized by the notions of social interaction, content sharing, and collective intelligence. In addition, today’s students, often referred to as digital natives (Pren-sky, 2001), have spent most of their time on computers, game consoles, digital music players, video cameras, cell phones, as well as the Web itself. Being used to constant engagement and multitasking in their day-to-day activities, students need a high level of social and creative engagement in learning. Traditional teaching approaches are no longer applicable and have to be substituted, or at least complemented, with highly interactive learning processes.

Hence, the importance of use of social networking to promote quality instruction led to the background of this research topic on use of social networking to promote quality instruction in government among undergraduate students-teachers in Imo State University (IMSU) in Imo state. The researcher was interested in ascertaining whether the students are aware and whether they use social networking to promote quality instructions on their academic performance and to ascertain the gender difference in the usage of social media. What are the efforts the lecturers are making to improve their performance in teaching in order to encourage the students in learning the subject and finally what are the effects militating against the usage of social networking for effective teaching and learning of government in the IMSU?  The role of social media may offer a new construct to enhance the learning experience, and that’s why Griesemer (2001) suggests that since social networking has become an everyday communication method for individuals and organizations, it’s logical to incorporate its use into instructional approaches

Oblinger and Hagner (2005) observe that Digital Age students express a need for more varied forms of communication and report being easily bored with traditional learning methods. Glenn (2000) notes that students need self-directed learning opportunities, interactive environments, multiple forms of feedback, and assignment choices that use different resources to create personally meaningful learning experiences, while Hay (2000) finds that students want more hands-on, inquiry-based approaches to learning and are less willing simply to absorb what is put before them. What explains these shifts in learning styles? Tapscott (1998) argues that this more independent learning style has grown out of the ingrained habits of seeking and retrieving information from the Internet, which marks a striking contrast to previous generations of students, who tended to acquire information more passively from authority figures. Other educators, however, object to the pressure to reshape higher education to meet student’s expectations.

A direct relationship exists between Social network usage and the academic performance of students in universities. However the darker side within technological evolution has resulted in dilemmas such as the setback of real values of life especially among students who form the majority of users interacting through the use of social networking sites. Online social networking sites focus on building and reflecting social associations among people who share interests and or activities. With so many social networking sites displayed on the internet, students are tempted to abandon their homework and reading times in preference for chatting online with friends. Many students are now addicted to the online rave of the moment, with Facebook, Twitter etc.

Today most youths and students possess social media accounts. The reason most of them perform badly in school might not be far- fetched. While many minds might be quick to blame the poor quality of teachers, they might have to think even harder, if they have not heard of the Facebook frenzy (Oche & Aminu .2010). Olubiyi (2012) noted that these days’ students are so engrossed in the social network that they are almost 24 hours online. Even in classrooms and lecture theatres, it has been observed that some students are always busy pinging, 2going or Facebooking, while lectures are on. Times that ought be channeled towards learning, academic research and innovating have been crushed by the passion for meeting new friends online, and most times busy discussing trivial issues. Hence most students’ academics suffer setback as a result of distraction from the social networking. In (Obi, Bulus, Adamu & Sala’at 2012), it was observed that the use of these sites also affects students’ use of English and grammar. The students are used to short forms of writing words in their chat rooms; they forget and use the same in the classrooms. They use things like 4 in place of for, U in place of You, D in place of The etc. and this could affect their class assessment. Social networking sites although has been recognized as an important resource for education today. Studies however shows that students use social networking sites such as Facebook for fun, to kill time, to meet existing friends or to make new ones (Ellison, Steinfield, and Lampe 2007). Although it has been put forward that students spends much time on participating in social networking activities, with many students blaming the various social networking sites for their steady decrease in grade point averages (Kimberly, Jeong and Lee, 2009), it also shows that only few students are aware of the academic and professional networking opportunities the sites offered.

According to Kuppuswamy and Shankar (2010), social network websites grab attention of the students and then diverts it towards non-educational and inappropriate actions including useless chatting. Whereas on the other hand, (Liccardi, Ounnas, Massey, Kinnunen, Midy,& Sakar. 2007) reviewed that the students are socially connected with each other for sharing their daily learning experiences and do conversation on several topics. Tinto (1997) argued that extracurricular activities and academic activities are not enough to satisfy some student those who are suffered by social networking isolation. This shows that social networks are beneficial for the students as it contributes in their learning experiences as well as in their academic life. Trusov, Bucklin, & Pauwels (2009) noted that the Internet is no doubt evolution of technology but specifically social networks are extremely unsafe for teenagers, social networks become hugely common and well-known in past few years. According to Cain (2009) social network websites provide ease of connecting people to one another; free of cost and after connecting one can post news, informative material and other things including videos and pictures etc. Wiley and Sisson (2006) argued that the previous studies have found that more than 90% of tertiary school students use social networks. In the same way Ellison et al (2007) stated that the students use social networking websites approximately 30 minutes throughout the day as a part of their daily routine life. This statement shows the importance of social networking websites in students’ life. Lenhart and Madden (2007) revealed through a survey that students strongly recommend social networking websites to stay in touch with friends to keep informed and aware.

Statement of Problem

The world today is a global market in which the internet is the most important sort of information. Since the advent of social network sites in the 1990s, it is assumed in some quarters that the teaching and learning is facing a lot of neglect and challenges. The educational system in Nigeria is faced with so many challenges which have certainly brought about a rapidly decline in the quality of education. There is a deviation, distraction and divided attention between social networking activities and their academic work. It is observed that students devote more attention to social network than they do to their studies.

Government as one of the important course in the faculty of education in higher institutions has a problem in promoting effective teaching and learning. Student’s lacks of interest for study of government have been attempted by various curriculum planning, developers and evaluators. Most of these educators failed to achieve the goals for which they are created. The failure of these goals could be attributed to the design and implementation of different methodology of teaching and learning government. Therefore lack of strategies in the designing and implementation remains the basic problem to tackle for a good result oriented.

Students’ usage and their exposure to social network, the effect of social network as a medium of interaction between students has been part of discussion in recent times .Instead of student studying their books, they spend their time chatting and making friends via the social media and this might definitely have influence on their academic performance, because when you do not read, there is no way you can perform well academically. It is a common sight to see a student chatting in sensitive and highly organized places like church, mosque and lecture venues. Some are so carried away that even as they are walking along the high way, they keep chatting.

The manufacturing and distribution of equally sophisticated cellular phones has complicated the situation, as students no longer need to visit a cybercafé before they send and receive messages. Attention has been shifted from visible to invisible friends, while important ventures like study and writing might be affected in the process. This phenomenon has become a source of worry to many who believe in knowledge and skill acquisition. In recent times, social networking  have been a major stay in the minds of students and the world at large thereby causing a lot of drastic measure by students, teacher and even educational administrators at large. It is therefore of great importance to incorporate the use of social networking to promote learning and learning in higher institutions. Students at all levels of learning now have divided attention to studies, as a result of available opportunities to be harnessed from social media. Whether these opportunities promote studies is a question that needs to be answered. Thus, this study investigates the use of social media networks on the promotion of teaching and learning in higher institutions. However, this study addresses the issues of

  1. To identify the level of awareness of existence of social network services by student-teachers in promoting instruction of government in IMSU?
  2. The purposes of using social network sites by student-teacher in promoting instruction of government in IMSU?
  3. To Identify the gender difference in students’ usage of social media network in promoting instruction of government in IMSU?
  4. To indicate the use of social media promotes the academic performance of the students in IMSU
  5. To identify the benefits of the use of social network sites on student?
  6. To identify the harmful effects of the use of social network sites on students?

Purpose of this study

The purpose of this study generally is to examine the influence of Social networking on the Academic Performance of students in higher institutions. Specifically, the study seeks;

  1. To examine the level of students-teacher awareness to social media in promoting instruction of government in IMSU.
  2. To determine the purposes of using social network by the students in promoting instruction of government in IMSU.
  3. To ascertain the gender difference in students’ usage of social networking in promoting instruction of government in IMSU..
  4. To ascertain the use of social media promotes the academic performance of the government students in IMSU
  5. To ascertain the benefits of the use of social network sites on the students in IMSU
  6. To ascertain the harmful effects of the use of social network sites on the students in IMSU

Scope of the study

The scope is limited to only higher institutions in Imo state, it therefore include college of education.

Significance of the study

This study is significant to the teachers, parents and students. This study will help the lecturers of the school to know the influence that social media has on their students, so as to assist them to enlighten and create awareness to the students on the possible influence it has on them. The finding of this study is of significant to parents in the sense that they will know the possible effects these social media usage has on their children, so as to serve as watch-dog to their children on the usage of the social networking site. The study will enable the students of the senior level so that they will be aware that, apart from the social benefits of this social networking site, using the sites more than necessary will pose possible dangers to their health. It will be relevant in assisting students in understanding the diversity of social media. It will provide relevance material for students and other researchers undertaking similar research. The findings of this study will also enable educational planners to be aware of effects on the usage of social media in higher institutions. Finally this study will help researchers with more information on the Influence of social media on student’s academic performance.

Research Questions

The following research questions were raised to guide the study;

  1. What is the level of student-teachers awareness on the use social network sites towards promotion of instruction of government in IMSU?
  2. What are the purposes of using social network sites by the students-teacher in IMSU?
  3. To what extent does gender difference in the student’s usage of social network sites promotes the instruction of government in IMSU?
  4. To what extent does the use of social media influence the academic performance of the government students in IMSU?
  5. What benefits do student-teacher derives from the use social network sites in promoting the instruction of government in IMSU?
  6. What harmful effects do the use of social network sites have on student-teacher in promoting the instruction of government in IMSU






Research Hypotheses

The following null-hypotheses are generated by the researcher and were tested in this study:

  1. There is no significant difference between the mean score of the government Students-teacher level of’ awareness and non-awareness of social media in promotions of instructions in IMSU.
  2. The purposes Student’s use social media network has no significant influence on students’ academic performance
  3. There is no significant difference between male and female student usage of social network sites.
  4. There is no significant difference between the use of social media and lecture method in promoting teaching and learning government in IMSU
  5. The benefits on the use of social media have no significant difference on the students in the promotion of instruction of government in IMSU.
  6. The harmful effects on the use of social media have no significant difference on the students in the promotion of instruction of government in IMSU