Scholar

Social Media, Distracting or Engaging?

By: Nathalie Wesseling  

I investigate the factors of student success and the influence of the use of social media for first year students in higher education. For this I use the insights provided by the highly influential and leading integration theory of Tinto and diminished the amount of variables by only using the best predictive ones. Hereby, avoiding the capitalization of chance and establishing a more easy to use model for teachers and management. Furthermore, I enriched the model with the use of social media, in particular Facebook, to better suit students’ contemporary society in the developed world. Principal component analysis on Facebook usage provided different integration/engagement components, which I coined peer-engagement and knowledge engagement. Both consisted of various purposes of Facebook use (information, education, social and leisure) and the use of different pages amongst students. To uncover if these latent variables play a significant role in student success or if Facebook is a multi-distracting platform, two models were compared using structural equation modeling with SPSS AMOS; one with and one without the peer-, and knowledge engagement variables. The fit of both models are compared using the normed fit index (NFI), the comparative fit index (CFI), the Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI) and the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA). In addition, the direct influence and indirect influence of all variables are compared to provide a better insight into what kind of influence social media can have upon student success.

Social Media, Engagement
Media Technologies
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session



Nathalie Wesseling

-, -, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands
North-Holland, Netherlands

After completing her Masters Degree in Social Sciences, Mrs. Nathalie Wesseling embarked upon a variety of different assignments, including Project Manager of an international film, Manager at a marketing- and advertisement agency, and Head of PR and Production for a dance festival, before finally entering the field of education where she’s remained for more than a decade. Since 2006, Nathalie has worked as a senior lecturer in the department of Media, Communication and Information at the Amsterdam University of Applied Science, and is additionally responsible for the coordination of a number of comprehensive projects involving up to 960 students and 40 teachers. This article forms part of her PhD research into the correlation between social media usage and student success in higher education.