THE EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON STUDENT ENGAGEMENT AND COLLABORATION: THE USE OF FACEBOOK AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BOTSWANA
In the context of today’s electronic media, social networking sites have come to mean individuals, using the internet and web application to communicate in previously impossible ways. This study sought to explore the effects of social media on collaboration and engagement among students in the University of Botswana particularly the use of Facebook. The study adopted the descriptive survey research design which was employed to derive responses from sample size of 100 undergraduate in the Bachelor of Social Work programme; who were selected via random sampling techniques. Data was collected from this population using questionnaire. The participants completed and returned the questionnaire correctly representing 100% response rate. The result of the study reveals that all the participants were using social networking sites in interacting with friends, connecting to their classmates for online study and for discussions on issues of national interest. Drawn from the findings, 98% reported to have an active Facebook account. Furthermore, the survey established that there are laudable benefits of using social networking sites and dangers associated with social networking, as 70% of participants disclosed that they use social media whilst studying although it is distractive at the same time. In addition, future research directions and useful suggestions are discussed.