Effects of Online Socail Networking.

Topics: Facebook, University, Social network service Pages: 11 (3689 words) Published: March 7, 2013
The Effect of Online Social Networking on Facilitating Sense of Belonging among University Students Living Off Campus Kine Dorum Craig Bartle Martin Pennington University of Leicester, UK kd41@leicester.ac.uk

Abstract: The study examines how the use of online social networking sites can help social and academic integration among students who are living off campus. Research has shown that students who live off campus during the academic year experience greater difficulty with social integration, particularly in their first year. A survey was distributed among a cohort of 370 first year undergraduate students, measuring their sense of belonging to the institution and their attitudes towards student life. Students who lived on campus and who used social networking sites reported stronger sense of belonging than students living off campus. A significant interaction effect indicated that using social networking sites reduced the difference in sense of belonging between students living on and off campus. Scores on the attitude scale were significantly related to sense of belonging. The results suggest the use of online networking can aid social integration among students who do not have the advantage of the face-to-face interaction that takes place in residential life on campus.

Going to university is for most students both an exciting and daunting experience. Students face many new challenges such as meeting new people, making friends, living away from home, and taking on academic responsibilities. It is also an important part of the transition to adulthood for an increasing number of young people. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) the number of students accepted on to courses at British universities passed 500.000 in 2009. During this transition stage, the degree to which students feel they belong to the institution at which they are enrolled can have a significant impact on their overall experience of university life, satisfaction, and academic attainment. Many educational researchers are in agreement that the sense of belonging, or the cohesion a student has with a particular institution, is one of the most important requirements to ensure individuals‟ proper functioning within a learning environment (Deci & Ryan, 1985; Connell & Wellborn, 1991; Goodenow, 1993; Finn, 1989; Osterman, 2000). Social integration is consistently found to impact student persistence, and developing valued relationships is an important part of that integration (Astin 1984; Tinto 1998). Studies show that attrition often occurs among first year students who have not been integrated into the campus community (Christie & Dinham 1991). The present study is part of a larger project funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) investigating antecedents and effects of sense of belonging among students at the University of Leicester, UK. Sense of Belonging Undergraduate student persistence is a broadly studied topic within the field of higher education studies. Key in this work is the research of Tinto (1975, 1988, 1997). Focusing on institutional structural factors, Tinto‟s theory posits that early withdrawal is impacted by a variety of factors. As students come into an institution, they do so with a variety of backgrounds, intents, and commitments. On arrival, two key concepts affect persistence: academic and social integration. If students are not well integrated into the university or college environment, they are at increased risk of withdrawing.

Sense of belonging as a concept is often used interchangeably with social integration. However, Hurtado and Carter (1997) argued for sense of belonging as a measure empirically distinct from integration. Sense of belonging is a psychological factor focusing on students‟ subjective feelings of connectedness or cohesion to the institution. In a longitudinal study, Hurtado and Carter explored a set of factors...

References: Astin, A. (1984). Student involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25(3), 297-308. Christie, N. G. & Dinham, S. M. (1991). Institutional and External Influences on Social Integration in the Freshman Year. Journal of Higher Education, 62(4), 412-36. Connell, J. P., & Wellborn, J. G. (1991). Competence, autonomy, and relatedness: A motivational analysis of self-system processes. In M. R. Gunnar & L. A. Sroufe (Eds.), Minnesota Symposium on Child Psychology, Vol. 23 (pp. 43-77). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Deci, E. L.. & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behaviour. New York: Plenum. Finn J. D. (1989). Withdrawing from school. Review of Educational Research, 59, 117–142. Goodenow, C. (1993). The psychological sense of school membership among adolescents: Scale development and educational correlates. Psychology in the Schools, 30, 79-90. Hoffman, M., Richmond, J., Morrow, J., & Salomone, K. (2002). Investigating sense of belonging in first year college students. Journal of College Student Retention, 4(3), 227-56. Hurtado, S., Carter., D.F. (1997). Effects of college transition and perceptions of the campus racial cliamte on Latino college students‟ sense of belonging. Sociology of Education, 70, 324-345. Kember, D., & Leung, D. Y. P. (2004). Relationship between the employment of coping mechanisms and a sense of belonging for part-time students. Educational Psychology, 24(3), 345-357. Lau, L. (2003). Institutional Factors Affection Student Retention. Education, 124, 126(11).
Lee, R. M., & Davis, C., III. (2000). Cultural orientation, past multicultural experience and a sense of belonging on campus for Asian American college students. Journal of College Student Development, 41(1), 110-115. Maestas, R., Vaquera, G. S., & Munoz Zehr, L. (2007). Factors impacting sense of belonging at a Hispanic-serving institution. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 6, 237-256. Madge, C., Meek,J., Wellens, J. & Hooley, T. (2009). Facebook, social integration and informal learning at university: 'It is more for socialising and talking to friends about work than for actually doing work '. Learning, Media and Technology, 34(2), 141 – 155. Osterman, K.F. (2000). Students‟ need for belonging in the school community. Review of Educational Research, 70, 323367. Round, A. (2006). Where did it all go right? Study habits, attitudes and expectations among students who stay. D. Young (Ed.), The First Year Experience in Continuing Education (pp. 6-11). University of Stirling, UK. Tinto, V. (1975). Dropout from higher education: A theoretical synthesis of recent research. Review of Educational Research, 45(1), 89–125. Tinto, V. (1988). Stages of student departure: Reflections on the longitudinal character of student leaving. Journal of Higher Education, 59(4), 438–455. Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving College: Rethinking the Causes and Cures of Student Attrition (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Tinto, V. (1997). Colleges as communities: Exploring the educational character of student persistence. Journal of Higher Education, 68(6). Tinto, V. (1998). Colleges as communities: Taking research on student persistence seriously. The Review of Higher Education 21(2), 167–177. University of Leicester (2010). Accommodation Services. Retrieved March 30, 2010, from http://www.le.ac.uk/accommodation/
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Socail Networking Essay
  • Negative Effects of Online Social Networking Essay
  • Facebook: Online Social Networking Essay
  • Essay on Is Online Social Networking Driving
  • Utilizing Online Social Networking Essay
  • The Social Networking Effect on Teenagers Essay
  • Students and the Effects of Social Networking Essay
  • Social Networking and its effects. Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free