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Students’ Perceptions of the Use of Social Media in Higher Education in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Omar Alshehri, Vic Lally


This paper examined the attitudes of using social media tools to support learning at a university in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, it investigated the students’ current usage of these tools and examined the barriers they could face during the use of social media tools in the education process. Participants in this study were 42 university students. A web-based survey was used to collect data for this study. The results indicate that all of the students were familiar with social media and had used at least one type of social media for learning. It was found out that all students had very positive attitudes towards the use of social media and welcomed using these tools as a supplementary to the curriculum. However, the results indicated that the major barriers to using these tools in learning were distraction, opposing Islamic religious teachings, privacy issues, and cyberbullying. The study recommended that this study could be replicated at other Saudi universities to investigate factors and barriers that might affect Saudi students’ attitudes toward using social media to support learning.

Keywords: Saudi Arabia, social media, benefits of social media use, barriers to social media use, higher education.

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