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Factors Affecting Use of Social Media by University Students: a Study at Wuhan University of China

Author:

A. W. V. Athukorala

Sripalee Campus, University of Colombo, LK
About A. W. V.
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Abstract

Social media platforms are very common in modern education system everywhere, especially in Chinese universities. The purpose of this paper was to identify the behavior of use of social media by students at Wuhan University in China. In order to investigate the concerns of students in using social media in relation to personal context, the study was carried out. Major concerns of students in using social media can be categorized into two types of phenomena; socio-economic factors and demographic factors. Accordingly, the research focused on eight socio-economic and political factors related to the use of social media and factors are affecting international students’ and   local students’ cognition of social media. Random sampling methods was utilized for selecting the participants. The questionnaires were distributed among international and local students and 425 responses were received. The 216 international students and 209 Chinese students responded with an effective recovery rate of 86.4% and 83.6%, respectively from each group. The results of the current study endorse a number of previous studies which examine different influencing factors in the use of social media. The research found that there is a huge impact of affecting factors on the use of social media by local as well as international students. Although, all factors mentioned; legal risk etc. seem to have affected both groups of students very effectively. Some factors seemed prominent among local students and some others seemed prominent among international students. On the whole, it was proved by the result that there was a significant influence of all factors on the use of social media. The main concerns in using social media are privacy and convenience. On the contrary, copyright and legal issues are often ignored by both international and local students. The level of concern is affected by the number of years of living abroad, local language proficiency, study level and experience. Among the variables, social media experience obviously inflecting the levels of all related influencing factors. As international students and local students depend heavily on social media for their learning, research needs as well as their daily life in today's digital environment, it is important for university administrators to integrate media literacy education into academic training and professional development programs for both international students and faculty.

How to Cite: Athukorala, A.W.V., 2018. Factors Affecting Use of Social Media by University Students: a Study at Wuhan University of China. Journal of the University Librarians Association of Sri Lanka, 21(2), pp.44–72. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jula.v21i2.7917
Published on 31 Jul 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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