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Doctoral defence of Vasileios Paliktzoglou, MSc, 30.8.2022: Higher education students' perceptions of acceptance, engagement, and experience with social media as a collaborative learning tool

The doctoral dissertation in the field of Computer Science will be examined at the Faculty of Science and forestry online.  

What is the topic of your doctoral research? Why is it important to study the topic?

In light of the growing demand toward the integration of social media in higher education, this dissertation investigates the benefits, limitations, and factors that affect the integration of social media as a collaborative learning tool in higher education. The proposed SMCLT integration structural model provides additional knowledge into how emerging technologies can be more effectively used and incorporated into the higher education domain.

What are the key findings or observations of your doctoral research?

This research investigates students’ perceptions about acceptance, engagement, and experience with social media, such as Wiki, Edmodo, Facebook, and Google educational applications (Google apps) in Cyprus, Finland, Bahrain, and Nigeria at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The findings suggested that the developed model, based on the three factors of acceptance, engagement, and experience, has the psychometric properties for measuring the integration of social media as a collaborative learning tool in higher education. Moreover, the results indicated that students’ perceptions of the integration of social media as a collaboratively learning tool can predict their intentions to recommend social media as a collaboratively learning tool in other courses. The findings revealed that students embraced innovation and social media as a collaborative learning tool which therefore have the potential to be integrated into different learning levels in higher education through adopting the proposed SMCLT integration structural model.

How can the results of your doctoral research be utilised in practice?

The proposed SMCLT integration structural model provides additional knowledge into how emerging technologies can be more effectively used and incorporated into the higher education domain. It is hoped that this research and the proposed SMCLT integration structural model will compel additional research into how emerging technologies can be more effectively used and incorporated into the higher education domain.

What are the key research methods and materials used in your doctoral research?

The research comprised of six published dissertation articles that used a mixed-methods approach, bridging quantitative and qualitative research techniques. In addition, a case study approach was selected for this dissertation as an appropriate method for descriptive and exploratory focused research. A systematic literature review approach was adopted to identify existing knowledge in the field. Furthermore, a meta-analysis study was performed to combine and re-analyze the data collected from the six dissertation articles, including the descriptive analysis and multivariate analysis stages. Descriptive statistics were conducted to explore the students’ levels of acceptance, engagement, and experience with social media as a collaborative learning tool in higher education. Specifically, the findings indicated a positive reception of acceptance, engagement, and experience with social media as a collaborative learning tool by students. Multivariate analysis, including exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and structural equation modelling (SEM), was performed to offer a complete examination of the data.