Original Research

The use of social networking sites for knowledge and information exchange by postgraduates in Tanzania

Msafiri J. Ponera, Patrick Ngulube
South African Journal of Information Management | Vol 26, No 1 | a1656 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v26i1.1656 | © 2024 Msafiri J. Ponera, Patrick Ngulube | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 February 2023 | Published: 12 March 2024

About the author(s)

Msafiri J. Ponera, Department of Information Science, School of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Patrick Ngulube, Department of Information Science, School of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: The use of social networking sites (SNS) has increased knowledge sharing among students leading to improved academic performance. Despite the benefits that SNSs provide in education, their use for knowledge sharing and exchange among postgraduate students in some Tanzanian tertiary institutions (TIs) faces challenges.

Objectives: To examine the benefits of using SNSs for sharing knowledge and information among postgraduate students and propose possible solutions to the identified challenges.

Method: This study was conducted using mixed-methods research, employing a convergent research design. Parallel mixed-methods sampling was used in the study to collect quantitative data from 171 postgraduates and 30 members of academic staff responsible for teaching and supervising postgraduates. Qualitative data were gathered from eight heads of academic departments who were purposively selected.

Results: The findings established that the use of SNSs for knowledge and information sharing in the TIs selected for the study had expanded postgraduate students’ knowledge bases and enhanced academic performance. The study indicated that postgraduate students lack reliable Internet connectivity and a stand-alone policy.

Conclusion: The study recommends that TIs in Tanzania ensure the availability of funds to make knowledge sharing practices sustainable.

Contribution: The contribution is to the literature for a better understanding of the use of SNSs in particular and to help decision-makers appreciate how they can prepare provisions for the use of SNSs.


Keywords

information sharing; knowledge sharing; mixed-methods research; postgraduate students; social networking sites; social networks; Tanzania; tertiary institutions

JEL Codes

A23: Graduate; D83: Search • Learning • Information and Knowledge • Communication • Belief • Unawareness; H75: State and Local Government: Health • Education • Welfare • Public Pensions

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education

Metrics

Total abstract views: 500
Total article views: 425


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.