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1. .

USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS AND ITS EFFECTS ON STUDENTS OF


UNIVERSITY OF VOCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY A thesis submitted to
The University of Vocational Technology In partial
fulfillment of The requirements for the degree of
Bachelor of Technology (Multimedia and Web Technology) by
Group – 03 (Multimedia and Web Technology) Approved by
Mrs. B.M.T.D. Jayasekara February 2015
2. 2. 2 DECLARATION We certify that this thesis does not, to
the best of our knowledge and belief: (i) Incorporate
without acknowledgment any material previously submitted
for a degree or diploma in any institution of higher
education; (ii) Contain any material previously published
or written by another person except where due reference
is made in the text; or (iii) Contain any defamatory
material. We also grant permission for the Library at
University of Vocational Technology to make duplicate
copies of our thesis as required. • D.C. Ranaweera
MMW/13/B1/22 • K.K.M. Kodituwakku MMW/13/B1/14 •
R.R.Sampath MMW/13/B1/24 • A.B.B.S. Kumari MMW/13/B1/15 •
M.G.S.J. Perera MMW/13/B1/21 • B.P.P.Kusalasiri
MMW/13/B1/17 Date:
3. 3. 3 TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements Abstract Chapter
1: Introduction Chapter 2: Conceptual Framework Chapter
3: Review of Related Literature Chapter 4: Research
Design, Methodology Chapter 5: Data Presentation and
Analysis Chapter 6: Research Finding Chapter 7:
Suggestion and Recommendation Chapter 8: Summary Chapter
9: Limitations Chapter 10: References Appendixes Appendix
A: Questionnaire
4. 4. 4 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS In the first place we would like to
gratefully acknowledge the encouragement and supervision
of Mrs. B.M.T.D. Jayasekara, as Principal Supervisor of
this study. Her belief in and support of this project has
made this very long and arduous work a tremendously
rewarding experience. Thank you for your advice and
guidance from the very early stage of this research as
well as giving us extraordinary experiences throughout
the work. Thank you for the gift of learning. We would
also like to acknowledge various personnel who have
guided and supported us toward the completion of this
task.
5. 5. 5 ABSTRACT As social media sites continue to grow in
popularity, it is our premise that technology is a vital
part in today’s student success equation. This study
examined the usage and implications of social networking
sites(SNS) among Univotec students. A survey was
administered to a random sample of 50 students on SNS
use, perceptions of SNS communications, and awareness of
the impacts of SNS in academic performance and personal
development. Data were collected from a random sample of
students at University of Vocational Technology in
Rathmalana, during the second semester of 2014. This
descriptive, exploratory research study drew a random
sample of males and females (N=50), covering all subject
streams, who were administered a student perception
questionnaire on how social media affects UNIVOTEC
students. Thirty-Two percent of the participants were
following Multimedia and Web Technology. Twenty-Five
percent of participants were following Network Technology
and another Twenty-Five percent of participants were
following Software Technology. Ten percent of
participants were following Mechatronic and Manufacturing
Technology wile Eight percent of participants were
following Building Construction Services. Results
revealed that female students spent more time on SNSs
than male students. In general, for both males and
females, the time spent on SNS decreased as the age of
the respondent increased. The results of the survey
questionnaire indicate that 45% of the sample admitted
that they spent 6-8 hours per day checking social media
sites, while 23% spent more than 8 hours; 20% spent 2-4
hours and only 12% spent less than 2 hours on this task.
Results indicate while most college students use social
media and spend many hours checking social media sites,
there was a negative aspect to college students’ use of
social media. As for respondents’ perception of the
influence of SNS usage on their academic performance,
significant differences were found in terms of age. A
greater number of younger students reported negative
perception of the effect of SNSs on their academic
performance. Results also revealed that there were
significant relationships between users’ class rank and
field of study, and the influence of SNS. Data also
revealed that students’ perceptions of the influence of
SNS were consistent with the actual effects as revealed
by the findings.
6. 6. 6 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION University students are a
unique population. Occupying a middle ground between
childhood and adulthood, between work and leisure,
university students have been at the forefront of social
change since the end of World War II. They were among the
first to use the Internet for communication, recreation
and file sharing, and the first to have regular broadband
Internet access. Internet use first became widespread on
universities in the 1990s, and in many ways the Internet
is a direct outcome of university-based research. Yahoo!,
Napster, Facebook and many other Internet tools were
created by university students, and, while the vast
majority of college students are simply Internet users,
as a group they can be considered pioneers. New
developments in the technological world have made the
internet an innovative way for individuals and families
to communicate. Social media networks have created a
phenomenon on the internet that has gained popularity
over the last decade. People use social media sites such
as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace to create and sustain
relationships with others (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). These
social media sites let those who use them create personal
profiles, while connecting with other users of the sites.
Users can upload photographs, post what they are doing at
any given time, and send personal or public messages to
whomever they choose. In this “information age,” social
media sites seem to be growing in popularity rapidly,
especially among young adults (Pempek, Yermolayeva, &
Calvert, 2008). Lenhart, Purcell, Smith, and Zickuhr
(2010) found that 72% of all college students have a
social media profile with 45% of college students using a
social media site at least once a day. Many of these
young adults use social media networks to communicate
with family, friends, and even strangers. Social media
sites have created new and non-personal ways for people
to interact with others and young adults have taken
advantage of this technological trend. The purpose of
this study was to examine the negative and positive
impact of social media on a university student.
7. 7. 7 Significance of Study This field of study is
important because sociability is an underlying theme in
using forms of social media. Since this social media
phenomenon is continuing to grow at a fast pace, it is
important to understand the effects it has on personal
communication. Social media networks offer a
straightforward way to converse with peers and get peer
feedback, as well, which may influence a young adult’s
self- esteem. For example, Facebook is used primarily by
students to maintain relationships with individuals they
are acquainted with who live near and far. Facebook makes
it simpler to communicate with multiple people at one
time. Social media may also make it easier for users to
monitor activities of people they have not seen in a
while as well as reconnecting with new and old friends.
Research Questions 1. What is the extent of usage of
social media among UNIVOTEC students? 2. Is there a
relationship between extent of usage of social media and
Education? 3. The effect of social media on UNVOTEC
students. The goal of this study was to learn about the
Internet’s impact on college students’ daily lives, and
to determine the impact of that use on their academic and
social routines. To meet those goals, the researchers
distributed a Questionnaire to a random sample of
UNIVOTEC students. Objectives The objectives of the paper
is to determine following in order to assist to derive
outcome of the research problem. a. To find the students
awareness of social networks. b. To find for what
purposes the students are using social networks. c. To
find effects of social networks on studies of the
students. d. To find Student’s ideas on how social
networks can be used positively for education purposes.
e. To find average time spent on social networks by
UNIVOTEC students f. To find average expenditure spend by
students on sustenance in social network
8. 8. 8 CHAPTER 2: CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK The basic Conceptual
framework which was followed throughout the project is
drawn below. Social media has changed lots of former
procedures in this modern era like expanding the capacity
to the area of teaching and learning. This research work
seeks to identify the ideas of university of vocational
technology on how advantageous social media is to them,
their awareness on social media, effects of social
networks on studies of the students and their usage
patterns. The research findings and recommendations could
be adopted and implemented to benefit the area of
teaching and learning in the University. Study of three
previous works done in this area is briefly discussed
below with the proposed frameworks.
9. 9. 9 CHAPTER 3: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE Firstly,
Hwee (n.d.) proposed a framework generalizing his
findings found as results of studying only one secondary
school in the whole of Singapore and generalize the
finding. The author identified key factors of trust,
comfort level, command of language, attitude towards work
and image, as additional factors that would influence the
adoption of Social Networks. The school which the
research was based on is the first primary future school
that was set up under the FutureSchools@Singapore program
in 2008. The school's core mission is to seek innovative
teaching approaches that leverage on technologies to
better engage the new generation of young learners. The
engaged the students in a key pedagogical approach used
by the school for the learning of languages and media
literacy skills. The completed student
projects,activities were published in the school network
and the Internet, via blog sites, so that peers and
parents could view and also provide their comments and
words of encouragement. Teachers facilitated students to
learn with ICT - production and collaboration. All
students from the Primary 4 level classes participated in
an online questionnaire survey on their frequency of
usage for: (1) ICT, (2) learning management system, (3)
blogs, (4) online games and applets, and (5) online
social networking tools (e.g., chats, MSN and forum) in
school for the learning of English and mathematics. The
frequency of use is based on a Likert-scale of 1 to 7 as
stated below.
10. 10. 10 Venkatesh et al. (2003) combined eight
technology acceptance models to propose a framework known
as the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology
(UTAUT). This model encompasses the factors performance
expectancy, expectancy effort, social influence,
facilitating conditions and behavioural intention and
gender, age, voluntaries, experience were used to measure
the influences on the factors. It identified the lack of
key contextual factors when it comes to the use and
implementation of social networks. However Indicators
such as policy and culture and financial support were not
discussed in the work of Venkatesh et al. (2003). The
work presented by Monguatosha et al.(2011) discusses
budgeting and accountability in addition to the existing
factors on the upper mentioned UTAUT model. The
Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was used in the
proposition made by Monguatosha et al.(2011). But the
researchers didn’t expand their research on
implementation and maintenance of ICT infrastructures,
cultural influences, policies on the adoption of
technology and social network usage on education. Stella
Wen Tian of the University of Science & Technology of
China (Suzhou Campus) and Angela Yan Yu, Douglas Vogel
and Ron Chi-Wai Kwok of City University of Hong Kong
suggested that Online social networking sites, such as
Facebook, can help students become academically and
socially integrated as well as improving learning
outcomes. The researchers explain that Facebook usage is
around 90% across campuses and many educational
institutions. Students reported that it could enhance and
maintain friendships, build social networks/establish
virtual relationships , diminish barriers to making
friends, follow peer trends, share photos, for fun and
leisure and to keep in touch with family. In terms of
learning, students reported that Facebook allowed them to
connect with the faculty and other students in term of
friendship/social relationship, provide comments to
peers/share knowledge, share feelings with peers, join
Groups established for subjects, collaboration:
notification, discussion, course schedule, project
management calendar and to use educational applications
for organizing learning activities.
11. 11. 11 The following figure indicates statistics
regarding social media usage based on a research that
carried in USA using adult internet users as the
population.
12. 12. 12 CHAPTER 4: RESEARCH DESIGN, METHODOLOGY
Population: It was selected the Year 1 ,2 ,3
undergraduates from the university of vocational
technology as the population. This population has 240
students. So we selected 40 students as the sample by
applying random sampling method. This sample covered all
the faculties selecting a similar number of students.
Data Collection Methods: Observation and interviews is
the best method to get the most accurate data for our
research. But practically it was difficult. So it was
decided to distribute a questionnaire to gather the data.
Before the distribution of the printed question forms, we
explained the objectives of the research and the
importance of accurate data. We assumed that there may be
an 80% accuracy in the data that collected.
13. 13. 13 CHAPTER 5: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS For
the analysis we used the data in 40 questionnaires. It
was used some tables to summarize the data (tabulating
method). Later we used a computer based spreadsheets to
sort and filter the data what it was in the tables. These
computer based tables were used to display the analysis
results as graphs and charts for further verifications.
To measure the central tendency it was used the Mean as
one of the measuring tool. Based on the mean value it was
calculated some percentage values of the findings.
Furthermore it was used the Mode of data to get the
conclusions. The most occurred answers lead to fixed the
research objectives in a well-balanced platform.
Sometimes it was the Median that formed the answer for
some of our curios. As this wasn’t very mathematical we
did not use the normal curve approach methodologies to
finalize our findings. Other than that most of the
central tendency measuring tools was used in our research
analysis phase. How Social Media is Used in UNIVOTEC
Following graph represents the social media usage of the
students in UNIVOTEC. The data was gathered from
questionnaires using a sample of 40 participants out of
240 population representing all the full time degree
programs.
14. 14. 14 Based on the results we can assure that
multimedia students use social media other due to fact
that they are much more exposed to the computer and
internet and they are interactively participating for
social media events. Least users are building services
technology students, since their work does not relate
with social media. Considering the following question we
asked in our questionnaire, we can assure that most
students have a personal computer, laptop or smart phone
to surf net. Based on the sample it is 92.5 Do you have
personal Computer or Laptop Frequenc y Percent Valid
Percent Cumulative Percent Valid Yes 37 92.5 92.5 92.5 No
3 7.5 7.5 100.0 Total 40 100.0 100.0 About 72.5% from the
sample uses more than one social network. Only 22.5% use
just Facebook. What social media you use Frequency
Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent Valid Facebook 9
22.5 22.5 22.5 ALL 2 5.0 5.0 27.5 More than one 29 72.5
72.5 100.0 Total 40 100.0 100.0
15. 15. 15 According to the research sample more than
75% use social media less than or equal 3 hours.50% of
students use less than 1 hour. Most of Students use
social networks during 8.00pm to 12.00am. Because this
time period happens to be the free time of the day and
also most service providers allow low cost data bundle
allocated for this time slot. At what time period
Frequenc y Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent Valid
8.00 am to 12.00 pm 5 12.5 12.5 12.5 12.00 pm to 4.00 pm
3 7.5 7.5 20.0 4.00pm to 8.00 pm 9 22.5 22.5 42.5 8.00pm
to 12.00 am 21 52.5 52.5 95.0 More than one 2 5.0 5.0
100.0 Total 40 100.0 100.0
16. 16. 16 Most of Students use social networks not only
the for the education purposes. Majority use for more
than one purposes. For what purposes do you use social
media? Frequenc y Percent Valid Percent Cumulative
Percent Valid Chat with friend 3 7.5 7.5 7.5 Educational
purpose 7 17.5 17.5 25.0 More than one 30 75.0 75.0 100.0
Total 40 100.0 100.0 For the question that we asked “Do
you believe that you’re addicted to social media”, 45% of
students gave positive answers which indicate that they
believe that they are addicted to social media.
17. 17. 17 Do you believe you are addicted to social
media Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Yes 18 45.0 45.0 45.0 No 21 52.5 52.5 97.5 No idea
1 2.5 2.5 100.0 Total 40 100.0 100.0 Statistics shows
52.5% believe that social media can be used efficiently
and effectively for teaching and learning purposes. Do
you think studies are affected by your use of social
media? Frequen cy Percent Valid Percent Cumulati ve
Percent Valid Yes 21 52.5 52.5 52.5 No 10 25.0 25.0 77.5
Not sure 9 22.5 22.5 100.0 Total 40 100.0 100.0 Therefore
we can emphasize that majority of the students use social
media productively and they are furnished with positive
attitudes. Finally we can say other students also can be
motivated to use social media on a productive manner.
18. 18. 18 CHAPTER 6: RESEARCH FINDING Social media
usage categorized by the degree course In the data
analysis it was evident that undergraduates of ICT based
degrees such as Multimedia & web Technology, Software
Technology and Network Technology use Social media in a
higher percentage than other undergraduates of Building
services, manufacturing or mechatronics degrees. Because
of their course structure ICT undergraduates work with
Social media and online tools more than others. Social
networks usage through personal computer, laptop or smart
phone Students who use their own personal computer,
laptop ,tablets or smart phones to access social media is
92.5%.This indicates that the majority of the students
have their own technology facilities to access internet
and social media. This indicator depicts that many
students are exposed to internet and social media through
technology. Most used social media network Since
determining how social media can be of effective use in
education it is important to identify what is the most
used social media by students so with that information it
is possible to create an effective learning method where
majority of students can participate. The research shows
that the majority of students use Facebook as a social
media.22.5% of students only use Facebook while 27.5% of
students use all the social networks which we considered
(Facebook, Twitter,Linkedin) in the research. Time of
social media usage According to the research sample more
than 75% use social media less than or equal 3 hours.50%
of students use less than 1 hour.This factor depicts that
the majority of students use considerably time on social
networks.This time can be converted to an valuable
learning experience through the help of social media.
19. 19. 19 Most of Students use social networks during
8.00pm to 12.00am because this time slot happened to be
their free time of day schedule. This factor is important
when planning real time learning experiences. Addiction
to social media 45% of students gave positive answers
which indicate that they believe that they are addicted
to social media. Student purposes for using social media
In generally social media usage can be categorized in two
as social, entertainment purposes and educational
purposes. Tertiary education students use information
technology tools for several purposes such as connecting
to friends, family, reading news, event notification,
entertainment, etc. As a matter of fact it was clear
through the research that undergraduate students use
social media for both upper mentioned purposes. Even
though Some educators feel that social networking is
innately disruptive to the education process the research
depicts that majority of students already use social
media for educational purposes.52.5% students believe
that their studies are affected by the use of social
media in a positive way. Majority of students believe
that the social media networks can be used for
educational purposes and it will be a success. Upon data
collection from the University students of Vocational
Technology the study came up that, factors such as
financial status of students, exposure to technology,
popularity of social media among students, freedom to use
social media networks and attitudes regarding the social
media were influencing the adoption of social networking
for teaching.
20. 20. 20 CHAPTER 7: SUGGESTION AND RECOMMENDATION
Development and Improvement of usage of Social media
networks for educational purposes within university
Primary recommendation is usage of Social media networks
for educational purposes should be improved within the
university. There can be various methodological
approaches which can be used. Study groups, Communities,
forums take priority. If real time learning experience
such as online discussions is proposed the ideal time
would be the evening to night because many students are
free to use social media at that time slot. Learning and
teaching activities should be encouraged since most of
the university students have access to internet through
their own computers, laptops or smart phones. It is
evident that Facebook is the most used and popular social
network among students so it is a suggestion that the
activities based on Facebook social media me be highly
successful with better student participation. Students
and academic staff need to be trained on how to use
Social network Technologies effectively on studies. The
University authority should therefore, organize seminars
and workshops that will enhance the knowledge base on how
to use social media for teaching and learning. A
committee or responsible authority should be designated
to measure the progress of the use of the technology.
Materials can be shared through social media, expressing
ideas, exchanging knowledge, participate in discussions
will be a highly valued learning experience Improvement
of ICT Infrastructure within University Other suggestions
are the speed of the internet should be enhanced, with a
better network infrastructure so that the students get
more exposed to social network technologies in general.
Enhancing ICT infrastructure will influence students and
lecturers to use more social media based learning
activities’ highly technical, modern learning activities
may increase student positive attitudes towards learning.
It will be an interesting opportunity for student as well
as lecturers to be more exposed to social network
technologies. Hotspots should be created on campus where
students can cluster around and use.
21. 21. 21 Since most students prefer their own laptops
or smart phones to access internet University authorities
need to consider an effective mechanism on how to make
laptops available for all of their students. When
students have laptops to use, it will encourage them to
have a strong affiliation with the technology.
22. 22. 22 CHAPTER 8: SUMMARY This study examined the
usage and implications of social networking sites among
UNIVOTEC students. Results found that female college
students spent more time on SNSs than male students. In
general, for both males and females, the time spent on
SNS decreased as the age of the respondent increased. As
for respondents’ perception of the influence of SNS usage
on their academic performance, significant differences
were found in terms of age. A greater number of younger
students reported negative perception of the effect of
SNSs on their academic performance. Results also revealed
that there were significant relationships between users’
class rank and field of study, and the influence of SNS.
Data also revealed that students’ perceptions of the
influence of SNS were consistent with the actual effects
as revealed by the findings. This research was based on a
random sample and thereby limiting the ability to
generalize the results to the larger population. Future
research with a random sample could focus on additional
dimensions of SNS usage and students’ extracurricular
activities, work schedules, and their interrelationships.
This research has explored the issue of social networks
and its implications in terms of only a few variables.
Future research could focus on a much wider spectrum of
dimensions relating SNS usage and its implications for
the lives of all demographics. In today digital social
media networks highly effect for the human behaviors and
activities. According to a new eMarketer report, in 2013,
nearly one in four people worldwide use social networks.
The number of social network users around the world will
rise from 1.47 billion in 2012 to 1.73 billion this year,
an 18% increase. By 2017, the global social network
audience will total 2.55 billion. The findings of this
study suggested that almost all UNIVOTEC students were
using some form of social networking website. This is
significant since Lenhart et al. (2010) found that 71% of
young adults have a Facebook account. The current study
indicated that Facebook and e-mail were the social
network websites of choice, with 99% of college students
using Facebook and 90% using e-mail. These findings
concurred with research by Lenhart et al. (2010) which
found that Facebook is the most popular form of social
media.
23. 23. 23 Participants in this study indicated that the
websites they update the most was Facebook and Twitter.
As found in research done by Sheldon (2008) and Quan-
Haase and Young (2010), majority of college students
visited their social networking sites several times a
day, and this shows that the extent of usage of social
media sites is frequent. Several reasons were given as to
why college students were using social networking
websites. The most important reason given was to
communicate with family and friends. Entertainment and
boredom were also prominent reasons for use social
networking sites. These findings are supported by Sheldon
(2008) who found that students use Facebook and other
websites to pass time, be entertained, and maintain
existing relationships with others. It seemed that
college students were using social media sites to
communicate with others as well as to occupy free time
when they were bored. Communicating with friends and
family on social media sites was very common among
students in the current study. However, with friends and
family living all over the world and having busy lives,
communicating via a computer was a more convenient
option. Students used a variety of ways to communicate
with friends and family on social networking sites. Wall
posts and status updates were the most common ways to
communicate, but students sent private messages and
posted photographs as well. Probably, posting wall posts
and status updates was easier and faster to communicate
than sending private messages or posting photographs.
Participants in this study reported communicating with
friends and family on social media websites several times
in a week. Data also revealed that some students are
addicted to social media sites, but they are not aware of
the fact. They accept it as usual behavior of students. E
– Learning and M-learning are used for present distance
learning activities. Use for those learning and teaching
methods through social media can be an effective way of
using with a low cost method. Addiction can become useful
if used for those reasons. Research also revealed that
the students access the social media most of the time
during lecture time, while they are in class. This may
have affected their studies even though they do not
believe so. It was found that social media can be used
constructively to upgrade the education of students from
this research.
24. 24. 24 CHAPTER 9: LIMITATIONS  Use of Random
Sampling  Relied on self-reporting  Sample size  Use
of one institute  Time
25. 25. 25 CHAPTER 10: REFERENCES  Facebook. (2011).
Facebook.com Statistics. Retrieved from
http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics 
Foregger, S. K. (2008). Uses and gratifications of
facebook.com Doctoral dissertation,Michigan State
University  Gerlich, R. N., Browning, L., & Westermann,
L. (2010, November). The social media affinity scale:
implications for education. Contemporary Issues in
Education Research, 3(11), 35-41. Retrieved November 28,
2011  http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-
networking-fact-sheet/  http://www.edudemic.com/social-
media-in-education/ 
www.scientificjournals.org/Journals2011/articles/1508.pdf
 www.unh.edu/news/.../UNHsocialmedia.pdf 
www.canberra.edu.au/.../Feeling-Better-Connecte. 
mds.marshall.edu  www.webology.org/2010/v7n2/a79.html 
www.aabri.com/manuscripts/  scholarsarchive.jwu.edu
26. 26. 26
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