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Tumisang Tsholetso
Langtone Maunganidze
Gabriel Faimau


The growing interest in Internet-based Social Network Sites (SNS) and the increased form of social interactions taking place via globalised digital networks has not spared educational institutions. The adoption of SNS by university students has attracted attention of both scholars and practitioners, triggering interest in studies that explore their impact on academic performance. The study on which this paper is based sought to establish the relationship between online social networking and academic performance of undergraduate students at the University of Botswana (UB). It followed a quantitative research approach and adopted a cross-sectional survey design supported by closed-ended questionnaires. Data were collected from 390 students (N=390) enrolled in the 2013/14 academic year and selected by Simple Random Sampling strategy. The study established that majority of the SNSs users spent more time on these sites than they actually devoted to their studies. This impacted significantly on their academic performance in semester examinations. Furthermore, although students belonged to various online SNS, the results identified Facebook as the most popular networking site among UB students. The study findings would help students appreciate the consequences of extensive SNS usage and thus better manage their online behaviours as well as attitudes towards academic performance. We therefore recommend that the university, without infringing on the freedom of individuals, put in place a policy relating to the use of internet and access to online social networking sites considering that most students now access SNS directly from their smart phones. 

Keywords: Academic performance, Grade Point Average, Internet, Online Social Network sites

Article Details

Author Biographies

Tumisang Tsholetso, University of Botswana

Department of Sociology

Langtone Maunganidze, University of Botswana

Department of Sociology

Gabriel Faimau, University of Botswana

Department of Sociology