Social media is an invaluable technological tool that facilitates the delivery of instruction in
the 21st century higher education landscape. It caters for learners’ individual differences,
enriches learning environments, encourages knowledge construction and permits learners to
individualise their own learning making them independent learners. This thesis investigated
the integration of Social Media (SM) platforms into higher education pedagogy in Ghana. It
drew on two main theories: Diffusion of Innovation Theory and the Technological
Pedagogical Content Knowledge, to understand how technology is integrated into
pedagogical activities in Ghanaian higher education.
The study employed a concurrent mixed methods approach using both quantitative and
qualitative data. The quantitative aspect used survey and the sample size was three hundred
and eighty students and two hundred and fifty instructors from the University of Education,
Winneba (UEW) and Ghana Technology University College (GTUC). Inferential and
descriptive statistics – such as means, standard deviation (SD), t-tests, Chi-square, intercorrelation matrix, ANOVA, hierarchical multiple regression, and MANOVA – were used to
analyse the data. For the qualitative data, a total of eighty students and twelve instructors from
both institutions were purposively selected. Semi-structured one-on-one interviews and focus
group discussions were conducted for the instructors and students, respectively. Observation
of various social media platforms that were used by instructors for teaching were also carried
out. Qualitative data were analysed manually using content analysis.
This study revealed that students and instructors used SM for teaching and learning. It was
found that students used social media mostly to communicate academic issues with their
colleagues and instructors, search for information that were related to their academic work
and undertake group discussions that were related to their studies. Instructors also used SM
platforms to teach various courses and send announcements. The findings revealed that
gender of both students and instructors, age of both students and instructors, programme
taught by instructors, years of teaching by instructors, years of using digital media (smart
phone) by both students and instructors, had no significant influence on their usage of SM.
However, the type of students’ programme of study and instructors’ professional rank had an
influence on their usage of SM for teaching and learning. Other factors included, functionality
of the SM platforms, ease of communication and access to information and opportunities and
challenges that existed as students and instructors used SM for teaching and learning.
The study also showed how students and instructors integrated SM into group discussions
when assignments were given, how they performed assessment activities, conducted research
and embarked on further reading for various teaching and learning purposes. It also showed
how instructors interacted with students and attended to individual student needs. The
findings revealed that for students and instructors, SM provided opportunities for them. For
instance, SM helped them to satisfy their quest for new knowledge, search for relevant
information from varied sources for their studies, both formally and informally, offered them
in-depth understanding of content, bridged the geographical distance. Some of the challenges
that were found in the use of SM for pedagogy included, SM focused more on social
interaction than academic work, reduced personal contact, caused distraction; discouraged
creativity and created false alarm.
The study revealed that students and instructors integrated various Social Media platforms
into higher education pedagogy in Ghana with opportunities and challenges. For the
integration to be effective therefore, it is necessary to organise capacity building workshops
for students and instructors in the appropriate use of Social Media for teaching and learning
in higher education. There is the need for institutional involvement in the integration of Social
Media. There should also be the provision of robust Internet connectivity, provision of
computer laboratories as well as the development of policies that would guide the integration
of SM into higher education pedagogy in Ghana.
Since there is no clear-cut formalisation of Social Media use in higher education in Ghana,
which is due to lack of policies, there is the need for future studies on:
• Policy implications of Social Media integration into Ghanaian higher education
• Perspectives of higher education management in Ghana on the integration of Social
Media in Ghana. This will ensure a clearer picture of how effective integration is to
be implemented so that they can endorse it.
• Usage of Social Media in pre-tertiary institutions, where the students are more tech
savvy than tertiary institution students. This is because the impact will last longer.
Edu, F (2021). Integrating Social Media Platforms To Higher Education Pedagogy in Ghana. Afribary.com: Retrieved April 16, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/integrating-social-media-platforms-to-higher-education-pedagogy-in-ghana
Frontiers, Edu. "Integrating Social Media Platforms To Higher Education Pedagogy in Ghana" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 08 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/integrating-social-media-platforms-to-higher-education-pedagogy-in-ghana . Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.
Frontiers, Edu. "Integrating Social Media Platforms To Higher Education Pedagogy in Ghana". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 08 Apr. 2021. Web. 16 Apr. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/integrating-social-media-platforms-to-higher-education-pedagogy-in-ghana >.
Frontiers, Edu. "Integrating Social Media Platforms To Higher Education Pedagogy in Ghana" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed April 16, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/integrating-social-media-platforms-to-higher-education-pedagogy-in-ghana