Effect of social media on academic performance of university students: a case study of School of Statistics and Planning Makerere University
Mukimba, Winfred Kimono
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Evidence has revealed that the academic performance of students is highly affected by the increased exposure to the social media platforms. Therefore, the present study assessed the effect of social media on academic performance of university students at School of Statistics and Planning, Makerere University. The study employed a cross-sectional research design where a sample of 100 third year students participated in the study. Data analysis was done using SPSS at univariate and bivariate levels. Results showed that majority of the respondents were males (55%), aged between 23 to 24 years (60%) and residing in hostel and university hall (70%). In regard to academic performance, majority (56%) were having second class lower degrees. On the aspect of social media usage, over 95% of the respondents often used social media whereby WhatsApp (97%), Twitter (66%) and then Instagram (65%) were the mostly used platforms. Over 90% of the respondents reported using the above social media platforms on a daily basis where on average 80% spent 1 to 9 hours on social media a day and majority (73%) reported having been using social media for 5 to 9 years. Over 97% used social media to communicate with their friends, class mates and family members, 83% used social media to get information and current news and 76% used social media for academic research and connecting with class mates. Study results further showed that respondents were moderately exposed to social media and social media moderately affected students` academic performance. At bivariate analysis, chi-square results showed that age of the respondents was significantly related to their social media usage where over 33% of the students that were aged 22 and below spent 10 or more hours on social media as compared to only 14% and 19% of the respondent that were aged 23 to 24 years and 25 and above respectively. The study recommends university students to effectively use social media platforms especially young ones in academic related activities in order to improve their academic performance and their personal growth and there is need for further study on influence of peers on social media usage among university students.