THE NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
Volume 10, No. 1, (2012)
Short Messaging Services and Educational Information sharing by Students in Selected Public Universities in Nigeria
Williams E. Nwagwu
Africa Regional Centre for Information Science University of Ibadan, Nigeria and Research Fellow,
Department of Information Science, University of South Africa
Questionnaire was used to collect data from 1676 undergraduate and postgraduate students randomly selected from three large public universities in Nigeria to determine how the students use text messaging or short messaging services (SMS) to exchange educational information. Uses and gratification theory, which emphasises that individuals are usually goal-directed in information search and use, and would often prefer media that would give them control of content choices, guided the study. Sixty-five percent and 63% of the respondents reported using the technology for contacting peers and lecturers respectively for educational matters, while less than 40% used the technology to contact others. Generally, closeness to mothers and education of parents influence use of the technology for educational contact. The instrumental gratifications of SMS capability to enable students escape face to face communication as well as its convenience explain use of SMS to make educational contacts. However, SMS use is mainly constrained by the difficulty to decipher the intention of the messages and by the confusion that often arises due to unclear acronyms often used by texters.
Keywords: short messaging services, mobile communication, media gratification, SMS constraints, Nigeria