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n South African Computer Journal - Factors for successful use of social networking sites in Higher Education

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Abstract

Social networking sites are extremely popular online destinations that offer users easy ways to build and maintain relationships with each other, and to disseminate information in an activity referred to as social networking. Students, lecturers, teachers, parents and businesses, in increasing numbers, use tools available on social networking sites to communicate with each other in a fast and cost-effective manner. The use of social networking sites to support educational initiatives has received much attention. However, the full potential of social network sites has yet to be achieved as users continue to strive for optimal ways of using these sites, as well as battle to overcome the negative characteristics (for example, privacy, security, governance, user behaviour, information quality) of these sites. This paper proposes factors for successful use of social networking sites in higher educational institutions. These success factors need to be adopted by users in order to develop the positive aspects of social networking, while at the same time mitigating the negative characteristics. An initial set of factors for successful use of social networking sites, as well as measures to test successful use of social networking sites were derived from the literature. These factors were tested by means of an online survey of students at a university, the results of which informed the final factors for successful use of social networking sites. The factors enable users to overcome the negative characteristics associated with social networking sites. If used successfully, social networking sites can offer lecturers and students a useful tool with which to develop their relationship and contribute to their learning experience.

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/content/comp/49/1/EJC128715
2012-09-01
2016-12-04
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