Social Networking Sites, E Learning & Students Perceptions
Abstract: The role of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) is coming under increased scrutiny as their online prowess grows. The objective of this research work is to investigate the students’ perception of this reality and try to understand their understanding of the SNSs potential for learning. The theory of Social Presence provides the academic impetus as the main conceptual framework for the study. Students of the Virtual University, Pakistan, were interviewed to understand their sense making of the SNSs role as platforms for learning in a virtual setting. The results highlight the importance of social presence dependent on myriad other factors, significant in their own right but extremely potent when they act together and thus influence the role of SNSs as virtual online conduits. It also indicates that our understanding of these networks, in the context of online learning especially in a developing country environment is still in its infancy and the numerous external environmental factors equally play a significant impact on the students’ perception of the role of these SNSs.
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