The Perceptions of Social Media in Libya
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THE ROLE AND USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN LIBYAABSTRACTBy Nadia Nsir, Ph.D.Washington State UniversityNovember 2014Chair: Joy L. EgbertThis dissertation consists of two manuscripts to investigate the use of social media in Libya since the uprising in 2011. The first paper is an exploratory study that explores perceptions of Libyans on the role of social media in the 2011 Libyan uprising. The study investigates data from two sources: (a) a questionnaire addressed to 10 Libyan participants, and (b) a document analysis, for the main social media pages mentioned in the questionnaire responses of the participants, to provide supplementary insights in support of the findings. The document analysis involved coding some of the posts and the comments on this page. The results from this small sample suggest that participants perceive that social media in general were essential in spreading the news of the uprising, enhancing their political awareness, literacy and spreading the news for the Libyans who were outside the country and desperate for information about the country's events. Furthermore, participants perceived that social media facilitated the start of the uprising in Libya and the connection between the activists and the people who follow them on social media. Understanding the perceptions of Libyans may provide a better perspective on the effectiveness and the use of social media in this significant, trans-societal effort. The paper suggested implications for the change targeted in many sectors in Libya, including literacy, and students and teachers' education alike.The second paper also utilizes qualitative research methods to explore Libyan English language (EL) teachers' perspectives on the use of social media tools for learning and professional development. The study is based on theories of inquiry-based learning and teacher knowledge acquisition through online professional social communities in an attempt to address the experience of Libyan EL teachers in using social media for learning and developmental purposes. The study reports the results of data collected from 50 Libyan teachers of English as a second language (ESL) who participated in the questionnaire and interview. The methods of data collection also involved document analysis of one Facebook page that is used by some of the participants for professional development and interaction with other teachers. The results of the study show that Libyan ESL teachers are interested in the use of social media for personal and professional educational education. Social media might also provide Libyan ESL teachers with learning collaboration and interaction with each other and within the online communities of practice. The teachers have positive perspectives of becoming members of online communities to obtain continuous sustained resources for their professional development.