Saudi Arabian University Students’ Perceptions and Usage of Social Media as an Educational Tool

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Taking into account the importance of modern technological tools and applications in learning, university students are increasingly using social media platforms as educational tools. This study investigated Saudi Arabian higher education students’ perceptions and usage of social media for learning. The objective was to determine how students perceived social media platforms in terms of ease of use, usefulness, positive relationship, peer interaction, and collaborative learning and perceptions toward the use of social media for learning activities. A quantitative method was employed as the methodology to guide the primary research. Data were collected using a survey questionnaire administered to 333 students from one university. ANOVA, multiple regression analysis, and t-tests were used to analyze the data obtained through surveys. The data analyzed revealed interesting findings. Concerning the students' perceptions of actual usage of social media, the results show a high level of actual usage of social media as a learning tool. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the four independent variables (i.e., ease of use, usefulness, positive relationship, and collaborative learning) had a positive significant influence on the students' actual usage of social media in Saudi Arabia universities. The findings reveal that there are no statistically significant variances between students' perceptions in regards to social media’s perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, positive relationship, peer interaction, as well as collaborative learning and actual usage of social media, related to students' ages, genders, and degree programs. However, significant variances were reported in relation to social media type.