The use of social media as a means of improving the quantity and quality of the pass rate in computer programming at FET colleges in the
Dzvapatsva, Godwin Pedzisai
MetadataShow full item record
The aim of this research was to investigate the use of social media (SM) in improving the quantity and quality of passes in computer programming in South Africa’s Further Education and Training (FET) colleges. The study addresses the high learner failure rates in computer programming at National Certificate (Vocational) (NCV) level 3. A preliminary investigation identified that increased lecturer contact time with the students could positively affect the quantity and quality of passes in computer programming. The social medium of Facebook (FB) was studied to assess whether it could enhance contact time with students. In investigating factors affecting computer programming passes at the College of Cape Town, the study identified how SM technologies can assist in increasing contact time for students outside normal college time. Four groups on FB were created to allow learners to ask questions, interact with the lecturer and peers on the subject. A mixed approach was employed using qualitative and quantitative data. Test scores for previous years (2011) were compared to current (2012) test scores for the NCV 3 learners. Statistical functions calculated the average passes and total number of passes. Furthermore, a total of thirty questionnaires were used to check the learners’ perceptions toward the use of SM outside the class to enhance performance.. More lecturer contact time on FB for one student group scored better in terms of the quantity and quality of passes. The groups using FB (with more practice time or more technical contact time) produced results which were far better than in previous years (2010 and 2011). The fourth group using FB for more peer interaction also did fairly well with an increase at the end of the year (2012) of 35% pass in programming at level 3 - up from 30% in 2011. It is the researcher’s view that, once internet access is evenly spread, it has the potential to increase performance in subjects like computer programming. A further look at the certification of level 4 learners for programming subjects indicated an improvement could be possible by the introduction of SM at level 3 - where much of the bottleneck lies. As this research was limited to a single FET college it cannot be generalised. Further research spread across various FET colleges countrywide will serve to confirm these findings and determine new insights into the whole process of using SM to improve passes in computer programming at NCV level 3.. The practical recommendation is that FB should be used for this stated purpose. In respect of academic recommendations, the researcher intends to implement the same study with learners at level two and level four.