EDU 508 Research paper 3

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Research Paper 3

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Research Paper 3

Research Participants/target Population

The purpose of this study is to find out why students use social networking sites in general and Facebook in particular and the impact that Facebook has had on their academic, personal lifestyles and psychology.

Target population/ participants

The target population refers to a group defined by a researcher’s specific interests or the entire set of individuals who are accessible and have the characteristics required by the researcher (Baker, & Lund, 1982). The participants or rather the target population in this study are college students at various levels of their studies. This is because I wanted to get as much information as possible on the use of Facebook to draw an informed conclusion about its effects on them

Research instruments

The commonly used instruments in quantitative research include tests and questionnaires. According to Borg and Gall (1983) a questionnaire is a set of questions and other prompts that are used to gather information. I used questionnaires for this study because they can reach many people, consumes less time compared to interviews and observations, questionnaires are also economical and are easy to analyze (Baker & Lund, 1982). Both open ended and closed ended questions were used for clarity and to ensure that the results obtained are valid. Questionnaires were used because they are the most appropriate instrument that suited our objectives and also the time available for the research required the use of questionnaires.

The study sought the answer to the following questions from participants

Between 10 and 15 hours…….

  1. Do you have a registered profile on any social networking sites
    • Yes……………….
    • No ……………
  2. What do you particularly like about Facebook………………….anything else………..
  3. On average how many hours do you spend in a week on Facebook
    • Less than 5 hours…………
    • Between 5 and 10 hours……….

    20 hours or more……….

    Validity and reliability of research instruments

    1. In your view how does Facebook affect your academic performance ………….
      • Tell me why you use social media generally and Facebook specifically and the various aspects of social media that are relevant to you
      • Social networking
    2. Self-expression
    3. Information sharing
      • What your experience of using Facebook and its impact on you
      • Socially………
    4. Psychologically ………
    5. This is the degree at which the results obtained from the analysis of the data actually represents the phenomenon under study. That is the degree to which an instrument measure what it ought to measure while reliability is the consistency of a measuring device over a period of time (Gay, 1986). The study employed content, construct and criteria validity for the purpose of obtaining meaningful instrumental measures.

      Data collection procedures

      Data analysis, presentation and interpretation

      1. Primary data
        • This is raw data that is collected in the field by way of respondents answering a detailed questionnaire, interviews, and focus group discussions by way of observation by the researcher or research assistants (Gay &Diehl, 1996).the main data (primary) for this study was majorly collected by use of questionnaires administered to college students.
        • Secondary data
      2. Comprises of information that has been collected and compiled by other researchers this information may be found in books, journals, periodicals and online databases. Literature in this study was obtained from what other researchers have done on effects on social media on different aspects of life of college students. For instance, ‘Facebook and academic performance: reconciling a media sensation with data’. A study written by Josh Pasek, Eian more, and Eszter Hargittai. In which the researchers found out that there is no relationship between the use of Facebook and grade point average (GPA).Another important source that provided secondary data is, ‘Feeling bad on Facebook: depression disclosures by college students on a social networking site.’ This is written by Moreno, etal. The research found that college students are likely to reveal and share symptoms that are consistent with depression if they are encouraged by others. Infact, 25% of the respondents displayed some of depression through their Facebook status updates.
      3. Another article that was vital, ‘just talk to me: communicating with college students about depression disclosures on Facebook.’ Written by Whitehill JM1, Brockman LN, Moreno MA. The purpose was to find an acceptable and friendlier communication model that can be used to detect mental health problems among college students. It is important to note that mental health problems such as depression have become increasingly common among young people including those in colleges and this is often discussed on social media
      4. This was carried out on the collected raw data to help uncover underlying structures, extract important variables, detect any errors and test any underlying assumption(s), if any.

        Descriptive statistics was used to analyze the raw data to be collected. MS Excel, a computer-based statistical package was therefore used to generate descriptive statistics comprising of frequency tables and cross tabulations. MS Excel is advantageous because it is an effective tool in analysis of large data groups and is efficient in analysis of variance and correlation coefficients.

        Background information of respondents

        The background information of respondents comprised of data on age, sex and level of study at the college

        Gender of the respondents.

        Table 1.1 shows the distribution of respondents by sex

        This information was to establish the composition in terms of gender, It was established that (21) 42.0% of students sampled are female and (29) 58.0% of employees are male shown in the table.

        Table 4.1 Gender of Respondents

        GENDER FREQUENCY PERCENTAGE
        Male 29 58
        Female 21 42
        Total 50 100

        Source; Primary data

        Table 1.1 illustrates that out of the total of 50 respondents, the male students had the highest representation of about 58% and the female had 42%. Actually, in the college, male staff slightly outnumbers the female students. Therefore, highest number of male respondents would not necessarily mean that there might have been some form of bias in the selection of respondents by the researcher or the men were more cooperative.

        Chart 1.2 shows the distribution of respondents according to age

        Chart 1.2 age of Respondents

        AGE FREQUENCY PERCENTAGE CUMULATIVE PERCENTAGE
        17-20 7 14 14
        21-24 17 34 48
        25-28 12 24 72
        Over 29 14 28 100
        Total 50 100  

        Source; Primary data

        Chart 1.2 illustrates that the highest percentage of respondents, 34% were aged between 21–24 years. Over 50% of the respondents were aged above 25, clearly showing that the college has older students, since the sampling was random. The least number of respondents 14% happened to be in the 17-20 age gap, while 24% of the respondents were between 25-28.

        Respondents by academic qualification

        Table 1.3 Level of education of employees

        Educational level Frequency Percentage
        1st year 2 4
        2nd year 10 20
        3rd year 26 52
        4th year and above 12 24
        Total 50 100

        Source; Primary data

        The researcher considered the respondents educational level so as to ascertain whether the level of education is related to the use of Facebook, and how it impacts on college students academically and psychologically. The findings indicates that the majority of respondents were in their 3rd year 26 (52%). 4th year student were 12(24%), respondents in their 2nd year were 10 (20%) and 2 students were in their 1st year, representing 4% of the respondents.

        Limitations of the study

        As is the case with every method of data collection and research paper this method used to develop this paper, quantitative research, has its drawbacks. One of the most cost commonly cited is the interviewer effect .Because most of this questions are administered by the interviewer there is a possibility of respondents being influenced and this kills the authenticity of the responses received. Another limitation is that findings in the study may be too general, abstract and not representative to be applied in the local situation and context

        The use of structured questionnaires like it is done in most surveys has a tendency to alienate respondents because there is no personal touch. It may appear like it is something someone wants to do get out way and the danger with that is that due diligence and care may not be taken into account when answering this questions. There is also the issue of consistency that is much needed when doing quantitative research or when using quantitative data and that is not always guaranteed when working with human beings. Research methods used are inflexible or rigid, once a study has begun it becomes very difficult to modify instruments of research of research. It may also be very hard to obtain some kind of information because of their nature using structured research instruments such psychological impact of social media on college students and finally Information filled in by students in questionnaires may be inaccurate or incorrect. There is no guarantee that what has been presented is truthful.

        References

        Baker, P., & Lund, D. (1982). Study guide to accompany Methods of social research, second

        Edition, Kenneth D. Bailey. New York: Free Press ;.

        Borg, W., & Gall, M. (1983). Educational research: An introduction (4th ed.). New York:

        Longman.

        Gay, L., & Diehl, P. (1996). Research methods for business and management (International ed.).

        Singapore: Prentice Hall.




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