Social media (SM) have dramatically improved teaching, learning and research (TLR) in universities. For instance, many universities in both developed and developing countries are using social media to improve TLR. However, despite the wide diffusion, adoption, and use (DAU) of social media for TLR, we do not have a clear picture on the DAU of social media in many universities particularly in developing nations. This study used Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model as a theoretical framework to answer the following questions: What types of SM technologies faculty members (FMs) are aware of in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria? What are the perceptions of FMs on the Adoption and Use of SM for TLR? What factors facilitate the DAU of SM by the FMs in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria? How can the UTAUT be used to explain the perceptions of FMs on the DAU of SM for TLR?
Finding answers to these questions is critical to the successful adoption, use, and implementation of SM to enhance TLR in universities within the context of developing countries. A qualitative research methodology was adopted to answer the research questions raised through maximum variation sampling technique and in-depth interviews with 12 FMs who have had life experiences with using SM for TLR from various faculties in ABU, Zaria. A manual thematic analysis technique of these interviews provides perceptions of FMs on the DAU of social media in TLR. Findings from this study revealed that, the FMs were aware of everyday life SM and academic SM. Faculty members also have favourable perceptions on the adoption and use of social media for TLR in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria but unfavourable perceptions on the existing facilities. Accordingly, FMs perceived low use of SM for TLR in the University.
It was also found that being technologically savvy, SM as a tool for interactions and collaborations, FM’s exposure abroad (training), familiarity with the technology, family relations, academic colleagues, SM benefit, SM relative security, its wide acceptability and the affordability of data subscription and devices were found to be the factors that facilitate DAU of social media for TLR by the FMs. It was finally found that UTAUT provided useful explanations on the perceptions of FMs for academic use of social media in the University. The study recommended that the University management should introduce conscious programme aimed at promoting the application of social media in TLR in the University and policy guides lines on its usage should be designed for proper use and successful implementation.
Training programmes in the form of workshops, seminars and symposia on how SM is to be utilized for academic use should be organized regularly. Most of all, the University should improve on its existing power supply and network facilities for the successful take up of this media. Finally, the study has recommended that the UTAUT Social Influence construct should be expanded to include both influence from within and outside the organization and to consider influence that may come from either senior or junior colleagues, staff, students or family relations. It was concluded that the UTAUT constructs were useful tools for studying perceptions of FMs on the DAU of SM in TLR for this group of participants. This study provides methodological contributions to knowledge as it is among the pioneer research to employ UTAUT to interpret the perceptions of FMs on the adoption and use of SM for TLR in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria-Nigeria.
PERCEPTIONS OF FACULTY MEMBERS ON THE ADOPTION AND USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR TEACHING, LEARNING AND RESEARCH IN AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY, ZARIA