Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Awareness, accessibility and challenges of social media as experienced by postgraduate information studies students, University of KwaZulu-Natal during the COVID-19 pandemics lockdown
Students who receive literacy training tied to real-life assignments show greater improvement in literacy scores. The significance of this study revolves around the prominent role accorded social media in academic community for research, teaching and learning. In spite of the benefits associated with the use of social media for academic purposes, it is observed that many students, teachers/lecturers have not been fully exploring these advantages to improve their academic performance. The study investigated the awareness, access and social media challenges encountered by postgraduate students of Information Studies, UKZN during the lockdown caused by COVID-19 pandemics. The study employed a quantitative research design in form of an online questionnaire, using Google Forms. Fifty-five post-graduate students were sampled, of which 51 participated, giving a response rate of 93%. The findings revealed (Facebook, Instagram, Zoom, Twitter and WhatsApp) as major (100%) types of social media available for post graduate students for their academic purpose. The findings further revealed smartphone as a major tool for accessing social media by the respondents (96%), and the major challenges restraining students from effectively utilising social media for academic activities. The study underscores the importance of social media in an academic environment and offers some recommendations that could lead to more informed and effective use of social media for academic purposes.