Evaluating the influence of social media usage on academic performance of university students: a case study of School of Statistics and Planning
Babirye, Martha Robinah
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The main objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of social media usage on the academic performance of Makerere University students using School of Statistics and Planning as a case study. Specifically, the study analyzed: the various social media platforms used by students at school of statistics and planning; the amount of time spent on social media among students; differences between social media usage and academic performance among students and the correlation between the time spent on social media and academic performance among students at school of statistics and planning. To operationalize these objectives, the researcher employed cross-sectional survey design across participants over a short period of time since does not necessitate the researcher to make follow-ups of the participants. The study utilized stratified random sampling where the target population was divided into strata to pick up respondents because the target population was heterogeneous in nature in which they were randomly selected from the three strata (years of the study) and each respondent selected issued a questionnaire. The data collected from students was analyzed using both univariate and bivariate analysis. Univariate analysis involved frequency counts and percentages used in analyzing demographic variables and research questions while the bivariate analysis of ANOVA table was also used to test the stated hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. Although the results indicated that an overwhelming majority of the students (85.1%) do not use the social media sites for academic work, WhatsApp was found to be the most frequently used social media platform followed by Facebook as per the analysis owing to the fact that the students buy social bundle of less two hundred shillings to aid them in communication with the rest of the class members making students to spend between half an hour and a full day on social media site. The study further revealed that the students with internet facilities and social media installed on their phones had lower CGPA relative to those that did not have active social sites on their phones. Furthermore, the study revealed that the use of social media had affected academic performance of the respondents negatively and further confirmed that there was a strong negative relationship between the use of social media and academic performance. It is recommended that students be advised during university orientation and warned against the dangers of addiction to social networking sites and be encouraged to install sites that can add value to their academic work and research.