The upsurge in the incidence and prevalence of examination malpractice especially with the advent and popular use of the social media has become worrisome to educational managers and the society at large. This paper essentially examined the relationship between examination malpractice and the use of social media. The qualitative and quantitative methods were used to gather data and with the aid of simple percentage and content analysis the data were interpreted. The study revealed that the incidence of exam misconduct has soared as a result of the use of whatsapp and other social networking sites. There is therefore the need for government and educational managers to ensure the non use of mobile phones in and around examination venues.


Background to the Study

Evidence abound of increasing incidence of examination malpractice by university undergraduates which conflicts with the core purpose of education – the training of the mind and character for the acquisition of practical and theoretical skills, knowledge and functional ideas for development; and the search for truth and knowledge and the creation and communication of ideas (Aaron, 1992, Nanna, 1997).

Examination malpractice is an illegal or unethical behaviour exhibited by students/candidates in the process of being tested on their ability or knowledge of a subject matter(s) (Ikupa, 1997). This is not a new phenomenon in Nigeria as the first incident was reported in 1914 during the senior Cambridge local examinations were the question papers leaked before the due date of the examination. It has however assumed an alarming rate of increase as the students have devised various means of evading the eagle eyes of the invigilators.

The advent and full embrace of social media, particularly whatsapp and facebook by all and sundry but more particularly by the youths who are students have further increased the sophistication and diversification of the means by which examination malpractice are carried out. Social media refers to web and mobile-based technologies which are used to turn communication into interactive dialogue among individuals, organization and communities. They are internet-mediated human communication systems that are based on the framework of web. 2.0. Web 2.0 is the software that accounts for all social interactions and exchange between and among individuals, organization and communities via the Web or internet, (Dominick 2009). The concept of social media therefore finds meaning in the ability of users to generate, interpret, restructure and disseminate content. The idea enables users to create and share experiences, information or ideas based on the pervasive technology of the internet and the World Wide Web (www).

Social media combine technologies and features (both past and evolving), to create online global environments for interaction and exchange and they have given rise to a new way of life and to essentially new voices through interpersonal communication channels. These new voices which began as innocuous interpersonal communication channels have, following increased access to the internet and other computer devices that support social networking, grown into global sites for news dissemination. Indeed, social networking sites such as facebook, twitter, you tube, and other handheld mobile applications, such as blackberry, whatsapp etc, are some of the popular web-based social media that are giving vent to previously voiceless individuals and groups who have today become strong new voices. The most popular users of these social networking platforms are the university undergraduates. This of course accounts for the use of the social networking platforms in the perpetuation and carrying out examination malpractice and vices.

Statement of the Problem


The prevalence and incidence of examination malpractice in Nigeria has grown astronomically and this has become a problem not just to the sociologists, school counselors, administrators of educational institutions, but also parents and the society at large. More worrisome today is the fact that, undergraduates in Nigerian universities have devised various means to perpetuate this social menace while avoiding being caught.

The wide reception and acceptance of the use of social media by the society are university undergraduates inclusive have further compounded the fight against examination malpractice. Ordinarily, the social media or networking was supposed to aid the study habits and academic performance of students but it would appear that besides this manifest function of social media, it has latent and unintended social consequences.

Students‟ academic performance takes important place in teaching and learning process. Social media utilization is supposed to enhance the students study habits and help to attain greater height in their academic pursuits. De Escobar (2009) observed that students need to be familiar with the relationship between good study habits and academic achievement to accomplish great success in any level of education.

There has been increased concern on the negative use of media among the students which has affected the study habits and performance. Oji (2007) noted that the growing incidence of students using the internet not necessarily for academic purposes but for anti-social activities is at an astonishing rate. They use websites for pornography, fraud and for other social vices in the society. Schill (2011) asserted that the social media

sites encourage negative behaviour among students such as catching up with unknown friends and so on.

Wang, Chen and Liang (2011) findings on effect of social media on college students, showed that social media use is negatively associated with academic performance. They noted that two thirds of the students are found using social media while in class studying or doing homework. This multitasking increase distraction and becomes detrimental to students‟ performance and study habits and reading habit. Osarumwense (2015) noted that the increase in examination malpractice is due to the use of whatsapp. He added that students now snap the questions in the examination hall and send the answer back through whatsapp while others simply google the answers. It is therefore worthwhile to investigate the perception of social media as a predictor for the incidence of examination malpractice amongst university undergraduates


Objectives of the Study

The Main Objectives Of The Study Is To Investigation Of Examination Malpractices Through Social Media In Kaduna North Local Government Area Or Ife Central Local Government Area Osun State

This study is designed specifically:

  1. to investigate whether social media is used in the commission of examination malpractice amongst students in UTME/SSCE coaching centre
  2. to examine whether social media is used in enhancing academic performance amongst students in UTME/SSCE SSCE coaching centre
  3. to examine the dangers associated with social media towards examination malpractices


Research Questions

  1. Does social media aid in the commission and perpetuation of examination misconduct?
  2. Do social media enhance academic performance?
  3. What are the dangers social media poses towards examination malpractices?

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