The purpose of this exploratory study is to describe the use of social media platforms in a first-year accounting course at a South African university and provide evidence…
The purpose of this exploratory study is to describe the use of social media platforms in a first-year accounting course at a South African university and provide evidence on whether students found these social networking sites useful.
The study uses survey research to determine students’ usage of two social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) and their perceptions of these platforms’ usefulness in a first-year accounting course.
The study found that the time spent on the two social media platforms does not detract from the time spent on preparation for the first-year accounting course. Students’ perceptions on the usefulness of these platforms showed support by all students for using social media to provide career information, but not all students perceived the platforms to be useful for communication and teaching and learning. While no statistically significant differences were found in the students’ responses based on gender, a number of statistically significant differences were found when the results were analysed according to language. Students whose home language was not English found the two social media platforms more useful for some aspects of communication, teaching and learning and for career guidance than English-speaking students.
The questionnaire was only administered to students on one campus who had actually accessed the social media platforms. Therefore, the results are not generalisable beyond this study.
The study shows that students whose home language is not English perceived the platforms more useful for communication, some teaching and learning aspects and for career guidance in a first-year accounting course. This may be helpful to other accounting teachers faced with student disruptions, large classes or high numbers of international students whose first language is not English, and who need to communicate with all their students.
The study adds to the discourse on the usefulness of social media platforms in a tertiary education setting, and more particularly, in a first-year accounting course in South Africa.