DOI: 10.5176/2301-3710_JMComm16.36

Authors: Fahd Alsolamy

Abstract: Growing use of SNSs has motivated academics and researchers to study social networks and their connection to other fields of study. Several studies have examined integration of SNSs in education [1] [2]. However, a review of previous research in this domain has revealed that further research is required – as Chen and Bryer note, “the use of SNSs in higher education teaching is an emergent area for study” [3]. Therefore, the key objective of this study is to investigate and understand motivating factors that encourage faculty members to integrate social media in education, particularly in the gender-segregated educational setting of Saudi Arabian universities. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 32 faculty members at King Abdul-Aziz University and King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. Interviews were transcribed, coded and thematically analysed. The study findings reveal that there are essential motivations that have prompted participants to employ SNSs in academia. These motivations included: to expand peer support and collaborative learning method, generate and improve content by students, enhance students’ communication skills, develop a more critical and reflective thinking, and most importantly, to overcome social restrictions in the context of Saudi Arabia.

Keywords: component; social media; motivating factors; social restrictions.

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