CHAPTER ONEINTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY1.1 IntroductionThere have been diverse reactions from a number of academicians and researchers with regard to the effects of social media on academic performance of learners. Various studies have established that the participation of students on the online social networks may have both positive and negative effects on their studies and in the long run their academic performance. This research intended to investigate effects of social media on the academic performance of the learners in selected private and public urban primary schools in Nyamira South Sub-County, Kenya. Academic performance as used in this research refers to how learners handle and cope with their studies and achieve different classroom tasks allocated to them by their instructors (Junco & Cotton, 2012).
The academic (classroom) performance is affected by the social media network sites (SNS) which are simply social network sites that emphasize on constructing online groups of persons who share and explore the interests and events of others (Walter & Riviera, 2004). This chapter presents the background information to the study, the statement of the problem, the research purpose, the general and specific research objectives, the research questions and the significance of this study. It also highlights the assumptions, the conceptual framework of the study and theoretical the delimitation and limitations of the study.
1.2 Background InformationMuch has changed in recent years when it comes to youths who are at the prime age of learning and how they use technology. Social media as one of the currently and rapidly growing technologies is simply the relations that occur among a network of persons (Walter & Riviera, 2004). In recent years the global world has transformed radically. In the United Studies the social media such as Facebook and Twitter have replaced leisure activities among the school going teens. This means that time spent by school children on social network sites is assumed to be the same time that is normally used for extra-curricular activities and therefore do not take away their valuable time for studies (Roberts & Foehr ,2008).
Gregarious media has exploded as a category of online discourse where people engender content, share it, bookmark it and network at a prodigious rate. Because of its ease of avail, speed and reach, gregarious media is expeditious transmuting the public discourse in society and setting trends and agenda in topics that range from the environment and politics to technology and the regalement industry (Asur and Huberman, 2010). In the last ten years, the online world has transmuted dramatically, thanks to the invention of convivial media, adolescent men and women now exchange conceptions, feelings, personal information, pictures and videos at an authentically astonishing rate. Seventy-three percent of wired American teens now use gregarious media websites (Oberst, 2010). Martn (2008), and Lusk, (2010) share the same concept of gregarious media. To them, convivial media is the utilization of Facebook, blogs, twitter, my space and linked in for the purport of communication, sharing photos as well as videos.
According to Junco (2010), social media are an accumulation of internet websites, services, and practices that support collaboration, community building, participation, and sharing. The growing dimension of the utilization of convivial media among the youth of today cannot be over accentuated. Many researchers such as Choney (2010), san Miguel (2009) and Enriquez (2010), studies on students’ utilization of the gregarious media sites revealed a negative effect of the utilization of convivial media sites on students’ academic performance. Nielsen media research study conducted in June 2010 verbalized that virtually 25% of students’ time in the cyber world is spent on convivial networking sites (Jacobsen and Forste 2011). The American edifying research sodality conducted a research and declared at its annual conference in San Diego California (2009) that gregarious media users study less and engender lower grade (Abaleta 2014). Gregarious media and Nigeria youth burden, (2014) stressed the negative effect of giving an extravagant amount of time and undue attention to online socialization to the detriment of academics. According to the researcher, the 21st century brought with it the advent of the incipient media with its expeditious tracking denotes of sending and receiving information via internet in our contemporary society, the incipient media has gained popularity as its been utilized for regalement, networking and academics. The study noted that, the convivial media was given a boost as a result of conceptions from youths.
With the popularity of gregarious networking websites on the rise, our convivial interaction is affected in multiple ways as we acclimate to our increasingly technological world. The way web users interact and verbalize with each other has transmuted and perpetuates to transmute. These users now socialize through the cyber world and it takes away from the person socialization that has been around for a long time. Most of the studies, Choney (2010), San Miguel (2009), Enriquez (2010), Karpinski and Duberstein (2009), Khan (2009), Kubey (2010), conducted on students’ utilization of the convivial media sites and its impact on academic performance fixated on students in the developed world.
In Sri Lanka, in the last five years the rapid growth of social media has been observed as an important aspect in the daily lives of many teens (Thuseethan, Kuhanesan, & Achchuthan, 2014). In Malaysian perspectives, the uses of social media has adversely affected learners’ reading behavior and their learning performance (Hamat et al., 2012).In Nigerian the addiction to social media sites by students has become distractive to students’ academic work majorly in higher education institutions. According to Oluwatoyin (2011) who surveyed 1,860 Facebook users from the University of Lagos, 90% of the students surveyed could not get up to a cumulative grade average above 3.50 required because they had spent a large part of their time on social media than in their homework and study time.
Sunitha and Narayan (2010) observe that social networking has become a component of the circadian life experience for an incrementing number of people. They additionally further point out that the rapid adoption of Social network sites by teenagers in the United States and in many other countries around the world raises some paramount questions. Ahn (2010) observes that while teenagers are engaged with technology they are more disengaged from another major component of their lives – school. No one denies says that youth utilize these technologies to communicate with the world, and they do so with high frequency and intensity (Lenhart et al., 2007b).
Researchers have conducted different studies to ascertain the influence of social media platforms users, for instance a study on ”impact of Facebook on undergraduates academic performance”, verbalized that convivial platforms have negative impact on students. According to the outcome, students’ academic performance is affected the more they utilize Facebook. Convivial platforms are mainly utilized by students for socializing activities rather than academic purport (Oye, 2012). In integration (Oye, 2012) verbally expressed that majority of students feel that social platforms have positive impact on academic magnification. In a different research conducted by Shana (2012) it was ascertain that students use platforms mainly for chatting and making friends. ”The consequences of internet and gregarious platforms on students’ academic growth” a study done by Young (2006) it was optically discerned that internet has spread its wings to reach teenager’s school life. It was withal observed by Young that students are more dependent on internet to access info that pertain their academic life as well as regalement. Additionally, Young verbally expressed that internet, though take an abundance of time, and have less impact on studies. It was observed by Wang (2011) that impact of gregarious platforms rest on the degree of utilization. Jeong (2005) observed that internet addiction is significantly and negatively cognate to students’ academic magnification, as well as emotional attributes. Seo (2004) attests Jeong verbalization when he opined that the negative influence of internet is only on extortionate users and not on all users. Rather (2013, p.69) avers that: the gregarious platforms which are being used today with great desire and exuberance have altered the way of utilizing internets in this modern age by defining online implements and utilities which sanction users for communication, participation and collaboration of information online. Today’s young generation, especially teens and youth are utilizing technology through innovative ways due to which they are referred to as millennial and have transmuted the way they cerebrate, work and communicate albeit they are in formative years of their life. Today’s youth because of convivial platforms have become technology addicts and are quite withdrawn.
Most learning institutions have gone a step further and blocked access to SNS through their networks but it is paramount to acknowledge that students own phones and other contrivances which they can utilize at home. It is ergo indispensable for both educators and parents to agonize the fact that there is high utilization of SNS by secondary school students and it is vital to ascertain, the effects of these online communities on students’ academic performance.
The discovery of social media has helped young generation to exchange thoughts and personal information at amazing rate (Waithaka, 2013). Further introduction of social media networking sites has facilitated communication. About three quarters of wired Kenyan schools going teenagers use social media for almost on a daily basis (Mwadime, 2015). A large percentage of teenagers in Kenya spend their time online either using smartphones or their computers and other handheld gadgets such as Ipads and tablets browsing these social networking sites. Students in all levels of education seize every opportunity they get to access social networking sites to check on status on Facebook and what is trending on Twitter. Teenagers have learnt to multitask as they switch from one SNS to another.
Further according to Mwadime (2015) social media has stimulated negative behaviour in school going teenagers such as drinking, eloping and substance abuse. Nevertheless many youths are spending many hours each day absorbed in social media sites for instance whatsapp, facebook, Instagram, imo, online games, twitter and many others. Further at present times many people are worried with the way their children behave. According to Uwem , et al, (2013) ones cultural background and the influence of the social media contributes greatly to the way teenagers behave and act in different situations.
When relinquishing 2013 KCSE results, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Education Science and Technology Professor Jacob Kaimenyi pointed out that one of the causes of poor performance in languages is electronic communication contrivances such as mobile phones and computers due to “spell checking’ and predictive text capabilities. Research has shown that convivial media is negatively associated with academic performance of students. According to Karpinski (2009), Facebook users often devoted lesser time to their studies in comparison to non-users did and subsequently had lower GPAs.
Previous studies in Kenya show that teenagers mostly college going learners use the internet extensively, not majorly for academic purpose but for other catch up activities. According to Wambilyanga (2006), most leaners make use of the internet sites as a medium for social interaction rather than for studies. Since the primary school learners are the core participants of the future generation in the society, the researcher was prompted to analyze the contribution of the social media to academic performance of primary school learners in selected private and public urban primary schools in Nyamira South Sub County, Kenya.
1.3 Statement of the ProblemCurrently, whether social media is good or bad, a good number of teenagers make use of social media every day. As the popularity of social media sites continue to increase it is certain that modern technology forms a significant share of today’s student achievement equation. A significant sum of research has been done relative to social media and the behavior of youths, particularly high school and college students at expense on how it affects performance directly in urban primary school learners who are increasingly using social media. Waithaka , (2013) found out that majority of parents are concerned about the time their teenagers take on the online social media sites especially facebook, whatsapp and yet claim that they have no enough time for studying. Leaners addictiveness to social media, learners’ frequency of exposure to social media and the influence of social media as a medium of interaction between learners has been part of a hot debate in recent times and which has affected their academic performance. Instead of students reading their books, they spend most of their time chatting and making friends on social media and this might definitely have an effect on their academic performance.
Further it is a common trend to see a student chatting in sensitive and highly organized places like in the church and other fellowship places. For that reason, this study sought to investigate the effects of the online social media on academic performance of learners in selected private and public urban primary schools in Nyamira South Sub- County, Kenya.
The utilization of technology such as internet is one of the most consequential factors that can influence inculcate performance of students positively or adversely. Many parents and guardians are apprehensive that students are spending an inordinate amount of time on Facebook and other convivial media sites and have not enough time to study. Though parents are apprehensive about students’ constant utilization of the social media sites, many students perpetuate to utilize these sites on a quotidian substructure. It is against this background that this research is being conducted to ascertain the impact of convivial media utilization on academic performance of students in both public and private schools.
1.4 The General Purpose of the StudyThe main purpose of this research was to establish the effects of social media on learners’ academic performance in selected private and public urban primary schools in Nyamira South Sub-County, Kenya.
Specific Objectives of the StudyThe specific objectives of this study were;
To investigate how social media affects learners’ attention span in their classroom performance in selected urban primary schools in Nyamira South Sub-County
To determine how social media contributes to learners’ absenteeism in selected urban primary schools in Nyamira South Sub-County.
To find out how the social media contribute to cheating in National examinations in Nyamira South Sub County.
Assess frequency of social media use and academic performance in selected urban primary schools in Nyamira South County
1.6 Research QuestionsHow does social media affect learners’ attention span on their classroom performance in selected primary schools in Nyamira South Sub-county?
How does social media contribute to learners’ absenteeism in Nyamira South Sub-County?
How does social media contribute to cheating in examinations in Nyamira South Sub County?
How does the frequency of social media use affect academic performance in
Nyamira South Sub County?
1.7 HypothesisThe null hypothesis of this research was that social media has no much effect on learners’ academic performance in selected primary schools Nyamira South Sub-County of Nyamira County, Kenya.
Significance of the Study Significance of a study refers to the relevance of the study in terms of academic contributions and practical use that might be made of the findings. It is a rationale of the study that highlights the contributions of the research to other researchers, practitioners and policy makers (Oso & Onen, 2009).This study intended to provide necessary information to be adopted by relevant authorities and stakeholders in education. It will enable them to make adequate plans on how to minimize the high level of exposure of the youths to social media which contributes to negative academic performance. This will in turn instill a positive approach to the learner on social media networks thus improving their academic performance.
It will also be a better reference point for parents and guardians who are overwhelmed by the eruption of social media usage. They will be able to make informed decisions on which gadgets their school going children needs the most. This will help to tame their social media appetite and consequently improve their performance.
This study will be of great help to school counsellors to understand how they can handle different cases related to social media. They will be able to offer advice to the social media addicted learners and change their perception to become important people, who can assist their friends to join the transformed world.
Further, stakeholders will be able to make appropriate policies that will help in improving the academic welfare of the learner. Socially and religiously, this study is intended to create a conducive environment to youthful learners so as to improve their social behavior thus encouraging the usage of the online social media for academic purposes.
Scope of the Study The scope of the study is the geographical area within which the study is done (Marylin & Goes, 2013). The research included both private and public urban primary school. It involved 250 respondents, 10 teachers, 40 parents and 200 learners. The research focused on how social media affects the performance of learners in primary schools in Nyamira South Sub County and it finally suggested possible solutions to be implemented towards eliminating or reducing the influence of the selected social media on the negative academic performance among the learners. This research adopted descriptive design which allowed the collection of both quantitative and qualitative data about the variables under study. This research design is usually employed when studying existing relationships, practices, attitudes and beliefs.
Delimitation refers to the information boundaries of the study that may affect the generalizability of the study but are within the researcher’s control (Mutai, 2001). Although there were many learners in other school who were exposed to social media, this study was limited to urban learners who are increasingly using social media devices. These devices are readily made available at homes by their parents who use them on a daily basis. The study further narrowed down to social media networks and their direct effects on academic performance. It involved only the selected private and public urban primary schools in Nyamira South Sub-County.
1.11 LimitationsAccording to Simon & Goes (2013) Limitations are possible short comings or influences that can affect the study and are not under control of the researcher. They limit the extent to which a study can go and may affect the end results of the study. The limitations to this study included; unwillingness of some learners to give valid information about their behavior while online and financial constrains as a challenge to effectively carry out the study within the Nyamira South Sub-County.
1.12 AssumptionsAssumptions are underlying ideologies that the researcher trusts or admits but that are difficult to attest in any actual way. In other words it refers to realistic expectations believed to be true and out of the control of the researcher; they are believed to be facts necessary for the relevance of the study as they provide the basis of the development and implementation of the research (Simon, 2011). The following were the assumption of this study; all respondents were co-operative, and they gave reliable and honest responses, learners in urban primary schools are active in online social media and the study was completed within the time allocated.
1.13 Theoretical FrameworkKombo and Tromp (2006), explicate that a theoretical framework is a collection of interrelated ideas based on theories. They further observe that the set of ideas or prepositions in a theoretical framework are derived and supported by data or evidence. This study reviewed several theoretical frameworks inclusive of the self –regulatory, Hypodermic Needle and uses and gratification theories which formed the basis of this study.
The Hypodermic Needle Theory also known as Magic Bullet theory was original developed by Harold Lasswell’s based on usage of Propaganda Technique in the World War I in the 1920s and 1930s. The theory accepts that the mass media can sway a large crowd of persons by feeding them with certain messages intended to prompt an anticipated reaction. According to Kwaramba (2002) this theory was credited with substantial power to shape views and beliefs, to modify habits of life and behavior in line with the willpower of those in control of the mass media. This theory can be associated with campaigns. Some politicians may use propaganda to try and win support or to undermine the opposition side.
Most researchers have seen this theory working very well with teenagers. For instance, they are constantly bombarded with ideas on the goodness of the western culture and in response they have taken this to be their culture, viewing it as superior to theirs. They are emulating the western culture depicted on social media. Based on this study the theory was used to explain how the youths have copied negative behavior from the social media which eventual affects their academic performance. One undoing of the theory as observed in this study is that interpersonal links between groups of people can also influence certain behaviour not necessarily using mass media to directly influence certain behaviour.
The second theory looked by the study is the Self-Regulatory Theory by Albert Bandura a cognitive psychologist. This theory accepts that people are generally motivated to adjust their behavior to avoid engaging in certain behavior. They also actively obtain information from their surrounding environment for instance the social media and previous experience to come up with plans and actions to handle drives that lead to negative behavior (Kwaramba, 2002).
In this study this theory was used to indicate and explain how the school going teenagers consistently control their academic performance. They aggressively use information provided by education programmes that are aimed at transforming their behavior and social standards despite being faced with the risk of engaging in negative behavior. One major inadequacy of self –regulatory theory is that some behaviour may be unconscious or automatic nature.
Uses and Gratifications Theory, additionally called needs and Gratifications Theory is a model that fixates on why people use certain media rather than on the content. Uses and Gratifications theory was propounded by Elihu Katz, Jay Blumler and Micahel Gurevitch in 1974. According to Severin and Tankard (2001), the uses and gratifications theory involves a shift of focus from the purposes of the communicator to the purposes of the receiver to determine what functions mass communication is services for audience members. One of the tenets of the utilizations and gratifications theory is that audiences are active, and they seek to ascertain the mass media that slake their gratifications. The Cyber World has enabled audience to find and withal have more options from which they are able to cull the websites and web pages that gratify their concrete needs. The Cyber World withal sanctions audiences to be in more control of the media.
Uwem (2013) asserts that while utilizing the incipient media, people are actively cumulating several motives to consummate their yearnings and aspirations, opportunely referred to as gratifications. This additionally transpires when they are utilizing gregarious networking websites. The uses and gratifications approach is ergo a good way to ascertain what other purport students use convivial networking sites for in high schools in Nyamira South Sub County . From a uses and gratifications perspective, convivial networking sites have a wide range of information material, thus those who utilize their services and resources should be able to satiate a wide array of needs (Uwem 2013).Uses and gratification approach will enable the researcher to understand what gratification the students seek and whether that gratification is obtained and what effects of the gratification obtained have on the utilizer of the media (Park 2009).
From the above three theories reviewed; the hypodermic needs theory can be used to lay a foundation for behavioral change towards using it positively to improve academic performance of learner. Further according to self –regulatory theory the information obtained by leaners aggressively from various online programmes can help them to come up with strategies and activities which can further empower them to deal with drives that can affect their academic performance as captured in the variables under this study. Additionally, the uses and gratification theory can be used to determine the impact of the received media information has to the recipient. If it is positive it will be perceived in a positive manner by the learner, and if negative will have a negative impact to the learner.
1.14 The Conceptual Framework
According to Creswell (2014), a conceptual framework is a research instrument intended to assist the research to develop awareness and understanding of the situation under scrutiny. They further contend that when clearly articulated, a conceptual framework has a potential usefulness as a tool to assist a researcher to make meaning of subsequent findings. Mugenda & Mugenda (2009) regard conceptual framework as an imagined model recognizing the concept under study and their connection. On the other hand, Ogula (2005) defines an independent variable as the presumed cause of the dependent variable while the dependent variable is the outcome of the expected outcome of the independent variable.
This study has developed the conceptual model for the effects of social media on learners academic performance where independent variables ; distraction of attention, absenteeism and cheating in examinations interact to determine academic performance of learners in Selected private and public township Primary Schools in Nyamira South Sub-County, Kenya.
As shown in this figure 1.1 below; the independent variables; distraction of attention, absenteeism and cheating in exams form the main effects of social media as a result of learner’s usage which affects their academic performance which also form the dependent based on variables captured in the objectives of the study.
85725189230Learners Academic Performance
Effects of SNS
Distraction of Attention
Cheating In Exams
Frequency of social media
00Learners Academic Performance
Effects of SNS
Distraction of Attention
Cheating In Exams
Frequency of social media
Source: (Author, 2018)
CHAPTER TWOLITERATURE REVIEW2.1 IntroductionThe review of relevant literature involved a critical review of the existing research work on the SNS and academic performance in relation to variables. The study was organized in accordance to study objectives. The researcher brought to board teachers, students and parents to be able to collect reliable data on the impact of SNS to learners performance. The study is ultimately expected to fill the knowledge gap. In recent years much has changed when it comes to youths who are at a prime age of learning and their usage of technology. The online Social media is part of the currently and rapidly growing technologies which is simply the interactions that occur among the set-ups of individuals on a daily basis (Walter & Riviera, 2004).
The online world has changed radically in the recent years. Thanks to the discovery of social media, the young generations made up of students interchange thoughts and particular information on various issues happening across the globe. Further introduction of social media sites has facilitated communication. At present time’s most parents are worried on how children behave. According to Uwem (2013) ones cultural background and the influence of the social media contributes greatly to the way teenagers behave and act in different situations. Preceding studies in Kenya show that teenagers who are mostly learners use the internet widely not for academic purpose but for other catch up events. According to Wambilyanga, (2002) most learners make use of the internet for social interactions rather than for their studies.
2.2 Review of Theories2.2.1 Time Displacement TheoryThis theory assumes that people have a limited amount of time to do a particular thing (Mutz, Roberts & Van Vuuren, 1993). According to Neuman (1991), when people spend more time engaging in social and leisure undertakings online, then time spent on learning and doing assignment will reduce. Further most researchers have indicated that extreme internet usage among learners contributes to undesirable results in the learners’ classroom performance and growth of their social skills (Caplan, 2005). As a result it is expected that primary school learners’ use of the social media will affect their academic performance. This theory is thus relevant to this research work as it was used to explain whether or not the time spent by learners on social media has any effect on their studies.
2.2.2 Hypodermic Needle TheoryThis theory suggests that the mass media can sway a large crowd of persons by feeding them with certain messages intended to prompt an anticipated reaction. According to Kwaramba (2002) this theory was credited with substantial power to shape views and beliefs, to modify habits of life and behavior in line with the willpower of those in control of the mass media. This theory can be associated with campaigns where some politicians use propaganda to try and win support or to undermine the opposition side.
Most researchers have seen this theory working very well with teenagers. For instance, they are constantly bombarded with ideas on the goodness of the western culture and in response they have taken this to be their culture viewing it as superior to theirs. They are emulating the western culture depicted on social media. Based on this study the theory was used to explain how the youths have copied negative behaviour from the social media which as eventual affected their academic performance. It further laid a foundation for behavioural change towards using it positively to improve academic performance based on variables under this study.
2.2.3 The Self-Regulatory Theory
This theory suggests that people are generally motivated to adjust their behavior to avoid engaging in certain behavior. They also actively obtain information from their surrounding environment for instance the social media and previous experience to come up with plans and actions to handle drives that lead to negative behavior (Kwaramba, 2002).
In this study this theory was used to indicate and explain how the school going teenagers consistently control their academic performance by aggressively using information provided by education programmes that are aimed at transforming their behavior and social standards despite being faced with the risk of engaging in negative behavior. This information can also help the teenagers to come up with strategies and activities which in addition can empower them to deal with drives that can affect their academic performance as captured in the variables under study.
2.3 Empirical Review of the Literature
2.3.1 Social Media and Learners’ Attention SpanIn the classroom, the teachers have been complaining about the distraction caused by usage of social media by learners. They maintain that social sites such as whatsapp, Twitter and facebook divert students’ attention away from classroom activities ultimately disrupting the learning process (Junco Reynol, 2014). A research by Ophir (2009) shows that learners will in reality be less able to sieve out inappropriate diversions from valid information even when they are not on social sites. This is because they regularly shift their attention from being attentive in classroom activities to other activities for instance writing short messages, chatting and updating status in their social network accounts.
According to Cullen, (2018) a British education psychologist, seventy percent of tutors believe that young teenagers are more preoccupied with the online social media sites. Learners, who are online most of their time, concentrate less in class and will permanently be distracted hence have shorter attention and retention spans. Most teachers have become worried at the rise in the sum of learners using short text messages on the online chats which is quickly killing the English grammar (Al-rahmi, 2013). The future of our children is at stake since their passion for social media has a direct effect on the class room performance, affecting the grades they achieve as they miss to do their assignments as required and being unable to focus in classroom activities (Mehmood, & Taswir, 2013).
Despite most schools banning the use of cell phones during school time, a majority of high school and college students in United Kingdom in secret sneak cell phones to school to use in accessing social websites while in school. Short message formats ordinarily used on social sites are finding their way in classroom work. Most teachers believe cell phones and computers are blamable for childrens’ difficulties in spelling. A good number of childrens have difficulties in writing well as they are more used in keyboards and touch pads in smartphones (Junco, Reynol 2014). A good number of leaners have been found to stay late into the night henceforth their concentration in class work reduces greatly due to the lack of proper sleep. Presently empirical research on how Social media affects attention of primary school learners in class work in Kenya is limited, although there has been some research based on high school and college students.
2.3.2 Social Media and Learners’ Absenteeism
The time spent on the online social media networks is heavily influenced by the attention span of the individual learner. Most studies indicate that the lower the time spent on the online social media the higher the learner’s attention span while attending to classroom instructions (Paul, et al., 2012). Further most students will take more of their time on SNS thus missing classes and eventually school.
According to Al-Rahmi & Othman (2013), college teenagers who allocate more of their time in watching TV reported low academic success and will spent less hours studying. Extreme usage of the online social media can develop into a habit specifically among learners which can lead to academic difficulties. Akhtar (2013), suggested that too much internet activities may lead to a reduction in time taken to study by teenagers and lack of interest in attending classes. From the findings identified above, it is clearly noted that a small percentage of studies have mentioned the relationship between SNS and absenteeism and how it affects academic performance of students especially in the primary schools both internationally as well as in Kenya.
2.3.3 Social Media Networks and Cheating In Examinations
Cheating in school examination is notably a problem that is not unique to Kenyan education system. Learners who prefer social media to studies, will like a short cut to passing examination using the online technology In 2016 the Algerian education system was hit by the same problem that got social media on fire in Kenya the same year with criticisms of the Education Cabinet Secretary’s proposed solution to curb cheating in schools. In Algeria most secondary school pupils were forced to retake their national exams after a main leakage of the examination papers online in January 2016. An estimated total of 555,177 pupils were forced to re-sit part of their examinations from June 19th to 22nd 2016. The Algerian authorities temporarily blocked major social media websites during the examination period, to prevent further cheating. The Social Media was blocked early in the morning and turned on in the evening for the entire examination period (Algerian Ministry of National Education Report on High School Examination, 2016). However critics are saying that the move to cut social media is not an easy solution. They think that better control measures like putting in place infrastructure in exam centers to restrict learners from accessing exams leakage should be used.
In 2016, the Kenyan Ministry of Education Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i banned visiting days and prayer days in term three for all boarding schools. This was part of the measures to curb exam leakage in schools. A decision which was met with wide condemnation. The ministry of education report on 2015 KCPE and KCSE report indicated that cheating was based on a sophisticated network drawn from secondary school and college students, teachers, brokers, police officers and some KNEC officials(Kenya Ministry of Education Report on KCPE and KCSE 2015 examination).Therefore there is need to find out how the SNS affects primary schools learners performance relative to the emerging speed use of SNS by majority of primary school going learners in the past three years as little empirical knowledge is available on direct linkage of cheating in examinations and SNS.
2.3.4 Frequency of Social Media Use and Academic PerformanceAccording to the American Press Institute (2015), the frequency and intensity of social media usage involves the ability of the user to self-regulate their behavior in terms of time spent on and off the social media engines. The rapidly growing use of social media especially among the teens less than 18 years old represent a significant trend that is affecting educational systems around the world in terms of the academic performance in class assignments and activities. According to Junco Reynol (2011) learners who accessed Facebook one or more times during their study period had lower marks in their subject performance. Further as time spent on social networking sites increases, the academic performance of the students is seen to deteriorate.
According to Hamat (2012) social media applications are highly utilized by students for a lot of non-educational purposes; these applications may badly affect students’ academic life and learning experiences. These new technologies are revolutionary but some of its applications are highly insecure. The social media application such as Facebook is significantly negatively associated with low academic performance (Junco, 2012). In Malaysia, the social media websites are negatively affecting leaners’ reading culture and classroom performances (Hamat 2012)
For teens in this digital generation, social media websites have become sort of a daily addiction plan. For example a teen that has a Facebook account spends hours checking new updates at expense of school work. According to Ainin, S(2015),most teens who are learners spend more time being online on social media web sites services than they spend in studying and working on school works.
2.4 Summary of the Reviewed LiteratureAn ever growing speed of SNS usage by school going teenagers’ calls for the mutual support between the parents and teachers in monitoring how learners use them and similarly drawing the attention of all researchers and experts in this field to this manifestation. Leaners usage of the online social media sites continues to produce many challenges for all stake holders and experts in learning institution. The speediness at which the new technology is being introduced has proved demanding for all experts in keeping themselves up to date with the challenges associated with the ever changing technological environment (Mekinc 2013). There is proof that post-secondary institutions of learning have taken initiatives in revealing facts concerning the online social media usage relative to the studies of their learners. Therefore, this study analysed Social media in relation to its effect on academic performance of primary school learners as largely left out by many scholars and researchers.
2.5 The Knowledge GapThe study looks at the effects of social media on academic performance of primary school learners in selected private and public urban primary schools in Nyamira South Sub-County in Kenya. Social media is part of a vital learning environment for today’s learners. The classroom instruction mode is ever-changing as time goes by. E-learning especially for primary school learners has been left out by many researchers. Many researchers have concentrated largely on college students on a global perspective and high school students as seen in the Kenyan situation from the literature review. In the recent years there has been an introduction of e-learning in primary schools and increased use of smart phones which are easily available to urban primary school leaners which makes this study vital, as it seeks to investigate the impact caused by social media on learners . Further based on the emerging issues of SNS like use of Whatsapp and Facebook in cheating in national examination in Kenya, this formed the foundation gap that was addressed by the recommendation of the findings and in the long run make good use of the Social media to strengthen students’ knowledge acquisition and improve their performance in class activities.
CHAPTER THREETHE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY3.1 Introduction
This chapter describes methodology employed by the researcher to obtain data. It also presents research design, the study location, target population, the sample size, sampling technique and procedure, data processing and analysis validity and reliability of research instruments, legal and ethical consideration.
3.2 Research Design
This research employed a descriptive design which allowed the collection of both quantitative and qualitative data about the variables under study. The research design is usually employed when studying existing relationships, practices, attitudes and beliefs. It is also used when gathering facts about individuals, views, attitudes and social issues and comparing with what is current (Orodho & Kombo, 2005).
This research study aimed at collecting data from both teachers and learners in urban primary schools in Nyamira South Sub-County on the effects of the online social media on academic performance of leaners. This design was appropriate to this study as it allowed the use of the interviews schedules and questionnaires to collect primary data. The researcher used both quantitative and qualitative data. Qualitative data enabled the researcher to get in-depth data (Mugenda & Mugenda, 2003). Quantitative data includes design, technique and measure that produce discrete numerical or quantifiable data.
3.3 Location of the Study
The research study was carried out in Nyamira South Sub-County in Nyamira County. The sample was drawn from selected urban primary schools in Nyamira South Sub-County which were selected through non probability sampling techniques.
3.4 Target Population
The study target population was drawn from selected leaners in primary schools in Nyamira South Sub-County. There are 140 primary schools in Nyamira South Sub-County. The approximate population of learners in both private and public primary schools in Nyamira South Sub-County is 26,400 leaners. Primary school learners were the key respondents in this study because they are the forgotten lot that are increasingly using social media networking sites and the main concern for this study. Therefore, the total target population was 1240, comprising of 400 parents, 700 learners and 140 teachers.
3.5 Sample SizeThis study used a sample size of 250 respondents. This sample size was arrived at after considering the time and resources available for this study. There are 140 primary schools in Nyamira South Sub-County each having an approximate population of 300 learners per school translating to an approximate total population of 26,400 leaners in Nyamira South Sub- County. Using purposive sampling 10 schools (6 day schools and 4 boarding schools) were picked and in each school 5 students from each upper primary class drawn through purposive sampling. The researcher used academic performance based on National Examination to select the schools.
Therefore each school produced 20 learners. The researcher picked two best performing learners, one average performing learner and two poor performing learners from each class in the schools sampled. Also through purposive sampling the researcher interviewed one teacher from each school selected totaling to 10 teachers. 40 Parents were also interviewed and they were also picked through purposive sampling. The parents picked were from the Parents Teachers Association, class representative and other parents.
Table 1: Population and Sample Size
-8826532067500 Target Population(N) Sample size(n) Percentage (%)
Teachers 140 10 4%
Parents 400 40 16%
Learners 700 200 80%
Total 1240 250 100%
3.6 Sampling Technique and ProcedureThis study used non-probability sampling method to pick the sample. Respondents were purposively sampled in order to get in depth data. This research was carried out in 10 primary schools picked through simple random sampling method. In each school 20 learners were chosen for this study. The learners in each school were distributed evenly in the four classes, that is; Class 5, 6, 7, and 8 therefore ensuring that there was representativeness of the population being studied.
3.6 Data Collection Measures The researcher employed two types research instruments: self –administered questionnaires and interviews to collect data. Where questionnaires were administered to respondents and enough time allowed to give well thought responses. On the other hand, interviews with predetermined questions were also used to gather appropriate data.
3.7 The Research Instruments This study used both questionnaires and interviews to collect data. The questionnaires were administered to respondents who duly filled them on their own to provide the required data for the study. Questionnaires were used to collect data in this study because they have the ability to collect a large amount of information in a reasonably quick period of time as noted by (Kothari, 2009).The researcher also conducted structured interviews. According to Kothari (2009), structured interviews involve the use of a set of predetermined questions which are standardized for the purpose of collecting data. This technique is the best for descriptive studies such as this one and also because it is economical and provides a safe basis for generalization.
3.8 Piloting of Research Instruments Creswell (2012) observed that it is vital for a researcher to test tools before using them to ensure their validity, reliability and practicability. In this regard, piloting was done in order to prove the credibility of the tools by testing clarity of language, time taken to respond, process of administering, length and layout of tools. The pilot study involved a small percentage of the respondents drawn from the targeted population to ensure similarity to the actual study. The major goal of the pilot study was to enhance validity and reliability of the data collection instruments (Creswell, 2014; Mugenda & Mugenda, 2003).
3.9 Validity of the Instruments Validity refers to the correctness, meaningfulness of inferences and soundness of outcomes of conclusion, which are based on the research findings (Kothari, 2008; Mugenda & Mugenda, 2003). A pilot study was undertaken on a small percentage of the sample population. The aim was to determine the accuracy, clarity and suitability of the instrument (Mugenda & Mugenda, 2003). The research instruments were administered to qualify the context of the study in the similar way as to the actual study. The questionnaire was availed to two supervisors together with panelists constituted by experienced researchers of Africa Nazarene University to review the instruments. All comments obtained from them were used to develop and improve the research instruments before commencing data collection. The researcher was required to identify the ambiguous and difficult questions. The researcher also recorded the duration taken to fill the responses in the research instruments in order to decide if it was reasonable. This assisted in eliminating difficult and ambiguous questions and also helped in assessing whether every research question gave sufficient range of responses. Further piloting assisted in re-scaling and re-wording any research questions that was not be responded as expected.
3.11 Reliability of the InstrumentsThe researcher employed the test – retest reliability method to assess the reliability of data. The instruments were administered twice after a period of three weeks. Reliability was increased by including a number of similar items on a measure and by using uniform testing procedures on different samples. This was considered during the process of preparing the research instruments. According to Kothari (2009), a reliable instrument yields the same results for the same individuals regardless of when it is administered and who is administering. A correlation coefficient of 0.748 was obtained using Karl Pearson co-efficient of correlation for learners’ questionnaire. According to (Orodho & Kombo, 2005) a correlation coefficient of about 0.75 should be considered high enough to judge the reliability of the instrument. The researcher therefore considered the instruments to be reliable for the study.
3.12 Ethical Considerations
All work referred to was cited to avoid plagiarism and only data collected was analysed to avoid fraud, which is false presentation of research methodology and results (Orodho, 2003) .The researcher explained fully the purpose of the research in the introduction part of the questionnaire that was used in the study. The research specified how the data collected was used in advance to the subjects involved in order to gain informed consent of the participants and while ensuring their privacy.
In addition, the permission was sought from the Africa Nazarene University, National Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) and the Ministry of Education (MOE) before data was collected. Since the research was carried in Nyamira County, it was mandatory to obtain permission from the County Commissioner and County Director education respectively.
3.7 Data Processing and Analysis Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) ascertains data analysis as the processing of data to make meaningful information. After collecting questionnaires and interviews schedules from the research respondents, the researcher systematically inspected and edited the collected data to check on completeness and internal consistency of the recorded data. The research items were then organized and grouped according to specific research questions (Mugenda & Mugenda, 2003).
The data received from the questionnaires and interview schedules sheets was organized, tabulated and analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative statistics methods where it was applicable. The researcher then employed a computer programme -Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS-17.0) to analyze and process the final data. The analyzed data was thematically presented in narrative form and by the use of frequency tables, pie charts, percentages and graphs as shown in chapter four. The pilot study was reliable in terms of feasibility of the study, time, cost and anticipating adverse events. This helped the researcher to carry on research within allocated time and budget. The findings that were obtained were used to make inferences about the sample population view in regard to the factors that affect learners’ performance.