social networking applications, Web 2.0 applications, technology-enhanced learning, e-learning, computer-based education, higher education, academic members


Computer and Systems Architecture | Computer Engineering | Electrical and Computer Engineering | Engineering Education


Social networking applications (SNAs), as technologies that rely on internet infrastructure, are widely used as platforms for user interaction, content creation and social communication. However, in recent years, SNAs have been used in the context of teaching and learning, and this aspect, as well as others, has attracted research attention. Limited research has investigated the motivations and barriers to teaching with SNAs in higher education, and so this study sought to examine the purposes, motivations and barriers associated with SNA use in education among academic members at Albaha University, Saudi Arabia. A quantitative research design involving a sample of academic members from various faculties at Albaha University (n=105) was implemented to illuminate current SNA usage patterns, usage purposes and perceptions of SNAs in education. The results indicated that 86.7 per cent of the academic members had used SNAs for educational purposes. Academic members were positively influenced by the use of these platforms in teaching and learning; they suggested that these emerging technologies play a vital role in student outcomes. The main motivating factor for SNA usage related to the opportunities they afford for seamless and rapid communication with students, while the principal barrier to SNA usage was the possibility of dissemination of unreliable information via SNAs.

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