Graduate students’ use of social media tools for thesis/dissertation research

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2015
Duman, Murat
In this sequential mixed methods study, factors affecting graduate students’ use of social media tools for thesis/dissertation research purposes were explored. First, in the quantitative part of the study, a survey was administered to 507 graduate students in the Middle East Technical University to describe their use of social media tools for thesis/dissertation research purposes. The results of the survey indicated that the graduate students highly utilized academic social networks, wikis, collaborative writing tools, file and video services. Moreover, online library catalog and academic database services were the most used social media tools. A multiple regression analysis was executed to predict their use of social media tools for thesis/dissertation purposes. Six predictors were found statistically significant. ICT use, microenvironment, weekly SMT use for thesis/dissertation, social media attitude in general, RS impact, and degree of completion variables together explained 30% of total variance. The second phase of the study was built on the results of the quantitative phase and examined factors affecting graduate students’ use of social media tools for thesis/dissertation research. Interviews were conducted with 17 participants. The findings indicated that the graduate students used social media tools mostly for keeping themselves up-to-date, literature search, discussion, and storage purposes. Moreover, social media tools enabled and facilitated the accessibility, communication, collaboration and sharing of resources and people. However, information quality issues such as information pollution, restrictions, and distractions were the biggest barriers for the adoption of these tools in the academic settings.

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Citation Formats
M. Duman, “Graduate students’ use of social media tools for thesis/dissertation research,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.