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Title: The use of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) to promote personal learning by Saudi Arabian university students
Author: Alqirnas, Hind Rasheed S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 328X
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2018
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In recent years, there have been increasing demands for the use of digital technology, especially social networking sites, in higher education around the world to enhance students’ learning at university. This study was carried out to explore the use of SNSs by female Hail University students in Saudi Arabia to promote personal learning. It investigated the factors that influence their use of these sites to promote their personal learning. Self-directed learning theory, affordance theory, identity and agency concepts were adopted to understand the issue under investigation. The study was conducted under the umbrella of the interpretive philosophical stance in order to investigate the issue in depth. Case study was adopted as the research methodology using the Self-Directed Learning (SDL) closed-ended questionnaire (522 participants), semi-structured interviews (27 participants) and text diaries (10 participants) to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. The sample of the three instruments consisted of students from both scientific and social sciences colleges. The study revealed several important findings related to the use of SNSs among Saudi university students for personal learning. Four significant outcomes were highlighted. The first was that the students’ sense of agency and what the students thought about their own, as against their lecturers', responsibilities in their learning played a major role in their personal learning and in their relationship with their lecturers in the learning context. Secondly, the students’ recognition of the technical and educational affordances of these social networks was another important element that formed their relationship with this technology and the way they used it for personal learning. Thirdly, the skills of using social networks and the strategy they followed in order to perform personal learning was an important element that influenced their use of these sites for personal learning. As this study focused on Saudi Arabian female students, who are part of a unique conservative community, the importance of cultural aspects in influencing the students' perceptions and performance of personal learning through social networks was the fourth significant outcome highlighted.
Supervisor: Kleine Staarman, Judith Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available