Learning in the Digital Era: Science Education Students’ Perception on the SNSs Use in the Context of English for Specific Course

Syaiful Syaiful, Amirul Mukminin, Akhmad Habibi, Lenny Marzulina, Annisa Astrid, Friscilla Wulan Tersta


Social Networking Services (SNSs) have influenced many aspects of life, including education and English as Foreign Language (EFL) teaching. Many studies have shown various kinds of SNSs applied in foreign language pedagogy. However, the research on the integration of SNSs in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) is limited. We collaborated with three lecturers of ESP who used Facebook, WhatsApp, and Youtube when they taught 8 classes of a science education program in one higher education institution in Indonesia. This mix-method study, survey and interview, explored the use of SNSs for both educational purposes, especially English for specific purposes. There were 311 respondents for the survey and 8 participants for the interview. The findings of this research showed that most participants were familiar with various kinds. This study also informed the high Mean (M) of positive statements regarding the use of SNSs in ESP course for science education students. There were more benefits than problems informed in the interview sessions reflecting that SNSs have potential impacts to improve higher education especially in foreign language classes. Some implications for instructors, policy makers, and researchers are recommended.


English for specific purposes; science education students; social networking services

Full Text:



Akçayır, G., & Akçayır, M. (2016). Research trends in social network sites’ educational use: a review of publications in all SSCI journals to 2015. Review of Education, 4(3), 293–319. doi:10.1002/rev3.3075

Akçayır, M. (2017). What do students think about SNSs in education? University students’ perceptions, expectations, and concerns regarding educational uses of SNSs. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 33(5), 91-106. https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.3097

Arnó–macià, E. (2012). The role of technology in teaching languages for specific purposes courses. The Modern Language Journal, 96, 89-104.

Belcher, D. (2006). “English for Specific Purposes: Teaching to perceived needs and imagined futures in worlds of work, study, and everyday life”. TESOL Quarterly, 40,(1), 133-156.

Borrego, M., Douglas, E. P., & Amelink, C. T. (2009). Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research methods in engineering education. Journal of Engineering Education, 98(1), 53–66. doi:10.1002/j.2168-830.2009.tb01005.x

Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2008). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 13, 210–230. doi:10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00393.x

Brady, K., Holcomb, L., & Smith, B. (2010). The use of alternative social networking sites in higher education settings: A case study of the e-learning benefits of Ning in education. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 9(2), 151-170.

Callaghan, N., & Bower, M. (2012). Learning through social networking sites–the critical role of the teacher. Educational Media International, 49(1), 1–17. doi:10.1080/09523987.2012.662621

Chik, A., & Breidbach, S. (2011). Online language learning histories exchange: Hong Kong and German perspectives. TESOL Quarterly, 45(3), 553-564. DOI: 10.5054/tq.2011.256795.

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Creswell, J. W., & Clark, V. L. P. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Davis, F. D., Bagozzi, R. P., & Warshaw, P. R. (1992). Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation to use computers in the workplace. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 22, 1111–1132.

Duddley-Evans T., & St John M.J. (2009). Developments in English for Specific purposes:

A multi-disciplinary approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook "friends:" Social capital and college students' use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 12, 1143-1168. doi: 10.1111/j.1083101.2007.00367.x

Eren, A. (2012). Prospective teacher's interest in teaching professional plans about teaching and career choice satisfaction. Australian Journal of Education 56(3), 303-318.

Ernst & Young. (2012). University of the future: A thousand year old industry on the cusp of profound change. Retrieved from http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/University_of_the_future/$FILE/University_of_the_futu


Fewell, N. (2014). Social networking and language learning with Twitter. Research Papers in Language Teaching and Learning, 5(1), 223-234.

Fox, B., & Varadarajan, R. (2011). Technology in pharmacy education: Use of Twitter to encourage interaction in a multi-campus pharmacy management course. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 75(5), 1–9. doi:10.5688/ajpe75588

Fraenkel, J., & Wallen, N. (2009). How to design and evaluate research in education. New York, NY:McGraw-Hill.

Habibi, A., Mukminin, A., Riyanto, Y., Prasojo, L.D., Sulistiyo, U., Saudagar, F., & Sofwan, M. (2018). Building an online community: Student teachers’ perceptions on the advantages of using social networking services in a teacher education program. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 19 (1), 46-61.

Habibi, A., Mukminin, A., Sofwan, M., & Sulistiyo, U. (2017). Implementation of classroom management by English teachers at high schools in Jambi, Indonesia. Studies in English Language and Education, 4(2), 172-189.

Hesel, R. A., & Williams, R. C. (2009). Social networking sites and college-bound students. Student POLL, 7(2). Retrieved from http://professionals.collegeboard.com/data-reports-research/trends/studentpoll/socialnetworking.

Johnson, R. B., & Christensen, L. B. (2008). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Jones, C., Ramanau, R., Cross, S. & Healing, G. (2010). Net Generation or Digital Natives: Is There a Distinct New Generation Entering University?. Computers & Education, 54(3), 722-732. Retrieved January 31, 2018 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/67144/.

Junco, R., Heiberger, G., & Loken, E. (2011). The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27(2), 119–132. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2010.00387.x

Kabilan, M. K., Ahmad, N. & Abidin, M. J. Z. (2010). Facebook: An online environment for learning of English in institutions of higher education. Internet and Higher Education, 13(4), 179-187.

Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business horizons, 53(1), 59-68.

Kavaliauskienė, G. (2011). ESP writing: Weblogs or wikis. English for Specific Purposes

World, 30 (9), 1-5.

Kessler, S. (2010). The case for social media in the schools. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2010/09/29/social-media-in-school.

Khan, M. L., Wohn, D. Y., & Ellison, N. B. (2014). Actual friends matter: An internet skills perspective on teens’ informal academic collaboration on Facebook. Computers & Education, 79, 138–147. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2014.08.001

Lesiak-Bielawska, E. D. (2013). Exploring the impact of two differing blended learning procedures on teaching English for Specific Purposes. In E. Smyrnova-Trybulska (ed.) E-learning and Lifelong Learning (pp. 263-272). Katowice-Cieszyn: University of Silesia.

Lim, J., & Richardson, J. C. (2016). Exploring the effects of students' social networking experience on social presence and perceptions of using SNSs for educational purposes. The Internet and Higher Education, 29, 31–39. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2015.12.001

Lincoln, S. Y., & Guba, G. E. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. New York, NY: SAGE Publications.

Madge, C., Meek, J., Wellens, J., & Hooley, T. (2009). Facebook, social integration and informal learning at university: ‘It is more for socializing and talking to friends about work than for actually doing work’. Learning, Media and Technology, 34(2), 141–155. doi:10.1080/17439880902923606

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

Manca, S., & Ranieri, M. (2016). “Yes for sharing, no for teaching!”: Social media in academic practices. The Internet and Higher Education, 29, 63–74. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2015.12.004

Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook. San Francisco, CA: Sage.

Mondahl, M., & Razmerita, L. (2014). Social media, Collaboration and Social Learning–a Case-study of Foreign Language Learning. Electronic Journal of E-Learning, 12(4), 339-352.

Mukminin, A., Rohayati, T., Putra, H. A., Habibi, A., & Aina, M. (2017). The Long Walk to

Quality Teacher Education in Indonesia: Student Teachers’ Motives to become a Teacher and Policy Implications. Elementary Education Online, 16(1), 35-59.

Patton, E., & Appelbaum, S. H. (2003). The case for case studies in management research. Management Research News, 26(5), 60-71.

Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods. London: Sage.

Pérez-Sabater, C., & Montero-Fleta, B. (2015). ESP vocabulary and social networking: The case of Twitter. Ibérica, 29, 129-154.

Pervaiz, S. (2016). The advantages and risks of using social networking in higher education in Pakistan. In T. Issa, P. Isaias & P. Kommers (Eds.), Social networking and education: Global perspectives (pp.83–97). Cham: Springer.

Peters, P., & Fernández, T (2013). The lexical needs of ESP students in a professional field. English for Specific Purposes, 32 (4), 236-247.

Pfeil, U., Arjan, R., & Zaphiris, P. (2009). Age differences in online social networking: A study of user profiles and the social capital divide among teenagers and older users in MySpace. Computers in Human Behavior, 25, 643–654.

Prasojo, L. D., Habibi, A., Mukminin, A., Muhaimin, Ikhsan, Taridi & Saudagar, F. (2017).

Managing Digital Learning Environments: Student Teachers’ Perception on the Social Networking Services Use in Writing Courses in Teacher Education. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 16 (4), 42-55.

Ranginwala, S., & Towbin, A.J. (2018). Use of social media in radiology education. Journal of the American College of Radiology, 15, 190-200. http://doi:10.1016/j.jacr.2017.09.010

Razak, N. A., Saeed, M., & Ahmad, Z. (2013). Adopting Social Networking Sites (SNSs) as interactive communities among English Foreign Language (EFL) learners in writing: Opportunities and challenges. English Language Teaching, 6(11), 187. http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/elt.v6n11p187.

Robbins, S. P., & Singer, J. B. (2014). From the editor – The medium is the message: Integrating social media and social work education. Journal of Social Work Education, 50(3), 387–390. doi:10.1080/10437797.2014.916957

Rooyen, A.V. (2015). Distance education accounting students’ perceptions of social media integration. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 176, 444 – 450.

Ross, S. M. (2017). Introductory statistics. Academic Press.

Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2007). Research Methods for Business Students, (6th ed.) London: Pearson.

Seppanen, S., and W. Gualtieri. 2012. The millennial generation research review. Washington, DC: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Social Networking Site (SNS). (2016). In Techopedia. Retrieved from https://www.techopedia.com/definition/4956/social-networking-site-sns

Stake, Robert E. (1995). The Art of case study research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Tapscott, D. (2008). Grown up digital: How the next generation is changing your world. New York: McGraw-Hill

Tess, P.A. (2013) The Role of Social Media in Higher Education Classes (Real and Virtual)—A Literature Review. Computers in Human Behavior, 29, A60-A68. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2012.12.032.

Wang, Q., Woo, H. L., Quek, C. L., Yang, Y., & Liu, M. (2012). Using the Facebook group as a learning management system: An exploratory study. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(3), 428–438. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2011.01195.x

Zorko, V. (2009). Factors affecting the way students collaborate in a wiki for English language learning. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 25(5), (pp. 645-66). doi:https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.111.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

 ISSN: 1305-3515