The Use of Social Media as a Tool for Learning: Perspectives of Masters in Educational Technologies students at Bisha University, Saudi Arabia

Keywords: Saudi Arabia, social media in education, Attitudes, Benefits of social media use, Barriers to social media use.


The current research examines the attitudes towards the use of social media sites to support the learning process among Master's in Educational Technologies students at the University of Bisha in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including perceptions of educational benefits as well as disadvantages and barriers. Forty two students participated in this study and completed a web-based survey. The findings revealed a largely positive attitude toward the usage of social media sites in the classroom, attributing to it many advantages, such as increasing the quality and efficiency of communication between students and teachers, greater access to information, as well as stronger social connections and ease of collaboration among classmates. However, the participants also mentioned cyberbullying, privacy issues and distractions as some difficulties associated with using these tools.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Omar Abdullah Alshehri, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia.

Assistant Professor of E-Learning in the Department of Educational Technologies, College of Education. University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia.


Al-Khalifa, H. S., & Garcia, R. A. (2013). The state of social media in Saudi Arabia’s higher education. International Journal of Technology and Educational Marketing, 3(1), 65-76. DOI: 10.4018/ijtem.2013010105

Alshehri, O. and Lally, V. (2019). Students’ perceptions of the use of social media in higher education in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Educational and Pedagogical Sciences, 13(1), 28–31.

Alshehri, O.A. (2020). The perceptions of female students at a new university in Saudi Arabia to use social media as e-learning tools to support learning. International Journal of Research -GRANTHAALAYAH, 8(10),77–83. DOI:

Alshehri, O.A. (2019). Usage and perceptions of social media tools among higher education instructors," International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 9 (7), 493-497. DOI: 10.18178/ijiet.2019.9.7.1252

Alsolamy, F. (2017). Social networking in Higher Education: Academics' attitudes, uses motivations and concerns (Doctoral dissertation), Sheffield Hallam University, England.

Alsurehi, H. A., & Youbi, A. A. A. (2014). Towards applying social networking in higher education: Case study of Saudi universities. International Journal of Academic Research, 6(5), 221-229.‏

Alyoussef, I. Y., Alamri, M. M., & Al-Rahmi, W. M. (2019). Social media use (SMU) for teaching and learning in Saudi Arabia. Int. J. Recent Technol. Eng, 8, 942-946.‏

Barrot, J. S. (2021). Social media as a language learning environment: a systematic review of the literature (2008-2019). Computer Assisted Language Learning, 1-29. DOI: 10.1080/09588221.2021.1883673

Basu, B. (2017). Analyzing the perception of social networking sites as a learning tool among university students: Case study of a business school in India. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology: International Journal of Educational and Pedagogical Sciences 11(7), 1697–1703. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1131399

Bergmann, J. & Sams, A. (2008). Remixing chemistry class: Two Colorado Teachers Make Vodcasts of Their Lectures to Free Up Class Time for Hands-On Activities. Learning & Leading with Technology, 36(4), 22-27.

Bista, K. (2015). Is Twitter a pedagogical tool in higher education? Perspectives of education graduate students. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 15(2), 83-102. DOI: 10.14434/josotl.v15i2.12825

Blankenship, M. (2011). How social media can and should impact higher education. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, 76(7), 39-42.

Bolkan, S. (2015). Intellectually stimulating students' intrinsic motivation: The mediating influence of affective learning and student engagement. Communication Reports, 28(2), 80-91.

Chen, I. H., Pakpour, A. H., Leung, H., Potenza, M. N., Su, J. A., Lin, C. Y., & Grifths, M. D. (2020). Comparing generalized and specific problematic smartphone/internet use: Longitudinal relationships between smartphone application-based addiction and social media addiction and psychological distress. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 9(2), 410–419. DOI: 10.1556/ 2006.2020.00023

Chew, R.S.Y. (2015). Perceptions of online learning in an Australian university: Malaysian students’ perspective – support for learning. International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 5(8), 587–92. DOI: 10.7763/IJIET.2015.V5.573

Collins, A. & Halverson, R. (2018). Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America. New York: Teachers College Press.

Data Reportal. (2021). Digital 2021: Saudi Arabia. Retrieved from (

Data Reportal. (2020). Digital 2020: Saudi Arabia. Retrieved from (

Dickie, V.A. & Meier, H. (2015). The Facebook tutor: Networking education. Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, 8(2), 1–12. DOI: 10.18848/1835-9795/CGP/v08i02/40400

Gao, F., Luo, T. & Zhang, K. (2012). Tweeting for learning: A critical analysis of research on microblogging in education published in 2008-2011. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(5), 783–801. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2012.01357.x

Gruzd, A., Haythornthwaite, C., Paulin, D., Gilbert, S. and del Valle, M.E. (2018). Uses and gratifications factors for social media use in teaching: Instructors’ perspectives. New Media & Society, 20(2), 475–94. DOI: 10.1177/1461444816662933

Guraya, S.Y., Almaramhy, H. Al-Qahtani, M.F., Guraya, S.S, Bouhaimed, M. & Bilal, B. (2018). Measuring the extent and nature of use of social networking sites in medical education (SNSME) by University Students: Results of a Multi-Center Study.” Medical Education Online, 23(1), 1505400. DOI: 10.1080/10872981.2018.1505400

Haand, R., & Shuwang, Z. (2020). The relationship between social media addiction and depression: A quantitative study among university students in Khost, Afghanistan. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 25(1), 780–786. DOI: 10.1080/02673843.2020.1741407

Hashim, K., Al-Sharqi, L., & Kutbi, I. (2019). Perceptions of Social media impact on the social behavior of students: A comparison between students and faculty. In Multigenerational Online Behavior and Media Use: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Sites (pp. 92-103). IGI Global. DOI: 10.29333/ojcmt/2574

Henderson, M., Selwyn, N. and Aston, R. (2017). What Works and Why? Student Perceptions of ‘Useful’ Digital Technology in University Teaching and Learning. Studies in Higher Education, 42(8), 1567–79. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2015.1007946

Imlawi, J., Gregg, D. & Karimi, J. (2015). Student engagement in course-based social networks: The impact of instructor credibility and use of communication. Computers & Education, 88(1), 84–96. DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2015.04.015c

Jukes, I., McCain, T. & Watanabe-Crockett, L. (2010). Understanding the Digital Generation: Teaching and Learning in the New Digital Landscape (The 21st Century Fluency Series). Corwin Press.

Jogezai, N. A., Baloch, F. A., Jaffar, M., Shah, T., Khilji, G. K., & Bashir, S. (2021). Teachers' attitudes towards social media (SM) use in online learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic: the effects of SM use by teachers and religious scholars during physical distancing. Heliyon, 7(4), e06781. DOI. 10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06781

Jones, H., and Soltren, J. (2005). Facebook: Threats to Privacy. Project MAC: MIT Project on Mathematics and Computing, 1(1)

Kaplan, A.M., and Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the World, Unite! The Challenges and Opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, 53(1), 59–68. DOI: 10.1016/j.bushor.2009.09.003

Lederer, K. (2012). Pros and cons of social media in the classroom. Campus Technology, 25(5), 1-2.‏

Lin, K.-C., Lee, I.C, Cheng, C.-F. & Hung, H-C. (2020). The effects of adopting tablets and Facebook for learning badminton skills: A portfolio-based WISER model in Physical Education. Educational Technology & Society, 23(4), 89–105. DOI: 10.2307/26981746

MacFarland, T. W., & Yates, J. M. (2016). Mann–whitney u test. In Introduction to nonparametric statistics for the biological sciences using R (pp. 103-132). Springer.‏

Manca, S., & Ranieri, M. (2013). Is it a tool suitable for learning? A critical review of the literature on Facebook as a technology-enhanced learning environment.” Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 29(6), 487–504. DOI: 10.1111/jcal.12007

Misman, J., Gafar, S. Z., Atan, M. A., & Nordin, N. A. (2019). Integrating Social Media Platforms in the 21st Century Classrooms: Recommendations for English Educators. International Journal of Language Education and Applied Linguistics, 15-25.

Naguib, G. H., Alyamani, I. Alnowaiser, A. M. & Hamed, M. T. (2018). Social media usage and self perception among dental students at King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia. Journal of Medical Education, 17(2), e105614. DOI: 10.22037/jme.v17i2.21416‏

Odom, S., Jarvis, H., Sandlin, M., & Peek, C. (2013). Social media tools in the leadership classroom: Students’ perceptions of use.” Journal of Leadership Education, 12(1). DOI: 10.12806/V12/I1/R3

Prescott, J. (2014). Teaching style and attitudes towards Facebook as an educational tool. Active Learning in Higher Education, 15(2), 117-128.

Rajeh, M. T., Sembawa, S. N., Nassar, A. A., Al Hebshi, S. A., Aboalshamat, K. T., & Badri, M. K. (2021). Social media as a learning tool: Dental students’ perspectives. Journal of Dental Education, 85(4), 513-520.‏ DOI: 10.1002/jdd.12478

Rashid, H. A. (2017). Social media and its relationship to aggressive behavior among secondary school students in Al-Ardah Governorate, Jazan Region. Arab Studies in Education and Psychology, 88 (88), 269-291. DOI:

Roopchund, R., Ramesh, V., & Jaunky, V. (2019). Use of social media for improving student engagement at Université des Mascareignes (UDM). In Information Systems Design and Intelligent Applications (pp. 11-20). Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-981-13-3338-5_2

Saha, N. & Karpinski, A.C. (2018). The influence of social media on international students’ global life satisfaction and academic performance. In Student Engagement and Participation (Pp. 1255–75). IGI Global.

Saini, M. C., & Abraham, J. (2015). Using Social media for educational purposes: Approaches and Challenges. In International Education Conference 2015 on Learning Technologies in Education.

van Dijck, J. (2013). The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.7146/mediekultur.v30i56.16314

Wingo, N. P., Ivankova, N.V. & Moss, J. A. (2017). Faculty perceptions about teaching online: Exploring the literature using the technology acceptance model as an organizing framework. Online Learning, 21(1). DOI: 10.10.24059/olj.v21i1.761

Yee, R. Ch. S. (2015). “Perceptions of Online Learning in an Australian University: Malaysian Students’ Perspective – Support for Learning.” International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 5(8), 587–92.

Zgheib, G. (2014). Social media use in higher education: An exploratory multiple-case study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 112(483), 211–12.
How to Cite
Alshehri, O. A. (2022). The Use of Social Media as a Tool for Learning: Perspectives of Masters in Educational Technologies students at Bisha University, Saudi Arabia. Amazonia Investiga, 11(51), 113-128.