Omar Alshehri, Vic Lally


The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of Saudi students regarding the advantages of using social media tools at an emerging university in the south of Saudi Arabia to support their learning and the important role that these tools can play to facilitate the educational process. Another purpose of this study is to examine the barriers that students could face during the use of social media tools in the educational process were examined. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 5 male and 5 female students from the college of education at the emerging university to collect data for this study. The current study found that all the interviewees had very positive perceptions towards using social media as tools for e-learning and felt that these tools are extremely effective instructional tools and should be integrated into the university curricula. Another important finding was that students do not see any clear reasons that prevent lecturers to use and integrate social media tools in learning. Participants stated that lecturers should start using them as tools to aid the other learning environments. Also, it was apparent from the results of this study that the participants stated that there were some major barriers behind using these tools in learning including distraction, language and culture barriers, privacy issues and cyberbullying. More information is needed on the current use of social media tools for learning at other Saudi universities to investigate factors and barriers that might affect Saudi students’ attitudes toward using social media to support learning. This would help to establish a greater degree of accuracy on these issues.


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Saudi Arabia, social media tools, higher education, advantages of social media use, disadvantages to social media

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