n Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa - Information ethics and use of social media in higher education : faculty members' perspectives




Issues on information ethics have assumed an important role in higher education as different types of information and communications technologies (ICTs) permeate the learning environment. An understanding of such issues by faculty members would enhance learning strategies and processes that use ICTs. To this effect, this study was conducted to establish factors that influence faculty members when applying information ethics to the use of social media for academic work. The population was faculty members in departments that offered information-related programmes. The study was conducted at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in two phases, based on an exploratory-descriptive design. The preliminary phase sought to establish how faculty members used social media tools in academic practice and the ethical frameworks that influenced their use of the tools. Respondents were identified through convenience sampling. The ethical frameworks that emerged in the preliminary phase: the rights, the common good and virtue perspectives, were factored into a Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) in the second phase. Every faculty member in the departments that were studied was a respondent during the second phase. The main findings were that faculty members were influenced mostly by control beliefs, followed by ethical predispositions and lastly, by normative beliefs when applying information ethics in the use of social media in academic practice.


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