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Internet use among postgraduate students with reference to type of faculty.


The use of the internet has become a central part of the developed and developing societies around the world. Approximately 78.1 percent of the United States population use internet on a regular basis (Internet World Stats, 2012). Internet use is recognized as an essential part of modern life. Owing to web-based technologies and increases of internet access in Latin America and Asia, internet use has increased dramatically across the world reaching the number of global internet users more than 2.3 billion in 2011. As on December 2016, India had estimated 432 million internet users. This however, doesn't take into account the impact of demonetization. It is estimated that by 2017, Internet users in India are most likely to be in a range of 450-465 million. The report finds that the overall internet penetration in India is around 31% presently.

Internet is a multipurpose tool with numerous benefits. It enables students to communicate with other students and people not only in one's own country but also in abroad and thus share each other's ideas, knowledge, experiences and cultures. It enhances skills and capabilities of students, which assist them in studies and in professional life.

Internet use is spreading rapidly into daily life and directly affecting people's ideas and behavior. Internet has an impact in many areas including the higher education system. Internet heralded the development and implementation of new and innovative teaching strategies in higher education institutions. Educators who advocate technology integration in the learning process believe it will improve learning and prepare students to effectively participate in the 21st century workplace. Internet use has become a way of life for the majority of higher education students all around the world. They use computers to accomplish a wide range of academic tasks. Many students prepare course assignments, make study notes, tutor themselves with specialized multimedia and process data for research projects. Most exchange emails with faculty, peers and remote experts. They keep up to-date in their fields on the internet, accessing newsgroups, bulletin boards and web sites posted by professional organizations. Most access library catalogs, bibliographic databases and other academic resources in text, graphics and imagery on the World Wide Web (Asan & Koca, 2006).

In Malaysia, Noor Ismawati (2003) reported that students in Universities Malaya used the internet for communication, online purchasing, assignments, personal activities and searching academic resources. She also found that students used the internet more for social and entertainment purposes than for academic activities. A similar study by Sam, Othman and Nordin (2005) reported that the internet was used for e-mail (98.6%), research (95.9%), entertainment (85.1%), for gathering product and service information (82.4%). Other nonacademic internet use included the downloading of software and games (66.2%), assessing newsgroups (56.8%) and chatting (50%). On average, the students spent 9.2 hours per week on the internet. Balakrishnan (2010), in a study of 92 undergraduate students revealed that even though the majority of the students used the internet to find books in the library, 32.6% reported that they never used the internet to search for books. Students preferred to use search engines such as yahoo, google and others to supplement materials provided by

the University library, such as proudest, university e-learning resources, university web resources and university library publications.

Many studies on internet use have found internet use most prevalent among young highly educated people (Hoffman et al., 2000; Mythily et al., 2008; Ybarra and Mitchell, 2004). Investigating the internet use among students in an ethnic context Korgen et al., (2001) reported that availability of computer at home accelerated the use of internet. In another study of internet use among university students Bao (1998) reported that 40.2% respondents accessed internet daily while 38% accessed it weekly only 10% respondents seldom or never accessed internet 83% students and faculty accessed the internet to search academic information. Investigating internet use among Australian students (Foster, 2000) reported that 88% students accessed internet to search course related information.

Khare et al., (2007) have carried out a survey on using of internet as a source of information by the Ph.D. scholars of H. S. Gaur University Sagar, M. P. they showed that the rate of internet use was more in research scholars of science, life science, engineering technology and management faculties as compared to the faculties of arts, social science, law, education and commerce. Among the non users of internet, the number of female research scholar was more as compared to male. The research scholars used the internet for research purpose, entertainment as well as for job search. They suggest that it is an imperative to create awareness about internet among the scholars. They also felt a paramount need of imparting training to the researchers, extension of internet connection to the department and motivating to use of internet for the research scholars.

Tadasad, Maheswarappa and Alur (2003), who carried out studies at the PDA College of Engineering, Gulbarga, observed that internet use among students in several engineering fields was confined to general or recreational purposes such as receiving and sending emails, games and entertainment. Ruzgar (2005) surveyed 744 students at Marmara University in Istanbul and found 52% of the respondents spent 6 to 20 hours a week surfing the internet. The majority of them used the internet for e-mail services. A research conducted by Omotayo (2006) among 664 undergraduate students at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, indicated that 97.1% of the respondents used the internet for e-mail and 53.9% for academic information. Toprackci's (2007) finding showed that 32% of the higher education students went online for various reasons such as chatting, reading news (41.7%), courses related activities (49.1%), e-mail (59.2%) and playing games (29.5%). Findings from Shen and Shakir (2009) in one public and one private university in United Arab Emirates showed that 86% of the respondents accessed on the internet daily for the following purposes: to seek information (24%), e-mail (15%), chatting (13.6%), entertainment (13.4%) and online discussions (6.84%). Only 4.95% stated that they used internet for academic purposes. Findings from Ritter and Lemke (2000) indicated that 89% of the students utilized the various media and facilities available on the internet for study purposes.

Objective: To find out the impact of type of faculty on internet use among postgraduate students.


Sample: The sample of the study comprised of total 180 students studying in various departments of Saurashtra University, Rajkot. Out of these 180 students 60 students each from arts, commerce and science were selected from various departments. All the subjects were randomly selected keeping in view the control variables of the study.


* Personal Data Sheet: Personal data sheet was framed to collect information's about gender, age, type of family etc from the subjects.

* Internet use measure: In order to obtain required data about internet use a question was asked to all the students that 'How many hours you spend in a week for internet?'

Procedure: The testing was done on group of arts, commerce and science students studying in various departments of Saurashtra University, Rajkot. The whole procedure was explained to them clearly. It was also made clear to them that their information would be kept secret. It was checked out that none of the subjects left any question. Obtained data were statistically analyzed using t-test.


In order to test hypothesis framed with reference to objective of the study data were analyzed using t-test. Interesting results were obtained. These results are presented in table 1.

When the data was analyzed to examine the impact of type of faculty on internet use among postgraduate students the t-value revealed significant results. The highest mean is related to the impact of science faculty on internet use among postgraduate students. Postgraduate students in science exhibited higher mean scores (Mean = 19.23) as compared to the commerce (Mean = 10.45) and arts students (Mean = 5.87).

The mean score of internet use among students having commerce is 10.45 and it is higher as compared to students having arts (Mean = 5.87). Thus, the result indicates that commerce students have higher internet use than arts. The t-value for significance of difference between mean score is 2.76, which is significant at 0.01 level. The mean scores indicate that commerce students use more internet than arts postgraduate students. The t-value for mean difference between arts and science group is 4.89 which is significant at 0.01 level and for mean difference between commerce and science group is 3.28 which is also significant at 0.01 level. Thus, science group students are highest on internet use followed by commerce and arts students.

There are comparative studies on the time spent online by students from different fields of study at the university. An earlier study by Odell, Korgen, Schumacher and Delucchi (2000) showed that science students accessed the internet on an average of 8.5 hours per week, as compared with 4.6 hour per week for social science students. Anderson (2001) divided students according to various groups, such as physical science students (majoring in chemistry, computer science and engineering), students taking a combination of arts and life sciences (majoring in biology, criminal law and psychology) or liberal arts students (majoring in business, english and history). On average, the students accessed the internet 100 minutes per day, but physical science students spent more time on the internet as compared with students from the other two groups. A similar study conducted by Sam, Othman and Nordin (2005) on University Malaysia Sarawak undergraduate students found that they used the internet 9.2 hours per week on average. Students from the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology and the Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts were found to be online longer than those from the other faculties (Faculty of Resource Sciences and Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Economic and Business, Centre for Language Studies, Faculty of Cognitive Sciences and Human Development). This shows that science students, including those taking engineering and computer science, were found to be online for a longer period compared to students in social sciences and other fields.

Given probable reason the students of science stream generally as a part of academic requirement use more internet for communication purpose, assignments, personal activities, academic resource, academic activities, social purposes, assessing news groups, online reading books, library work, e-learning resources, email, courses related activities, seek information, online e-journals, online discussion, job search etc. Thus, in present research science students were found to use more internet than arts and commerce students.

Conclusion: Interesting results were obtained in the present research students of all the three groups viz., arts, commerce and science significantly differed with one another whereby, science group students were highest users of internet followed by commerce and arts students.


Anderson, K. J. (2001). Internet use among college students: An exploratory study. Journal of American College Health, Vol. 50(1), pp. 21-26.

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Bao, X. M. (1998). Challenges and opportunities: A report of the 1998 library survey of internet users at Seton Hall University. College and Research Libraries, Vol. 59, pp. 534-542.

Balakrishnan, M. (2010). Academic use of internet among undergraduate students: A preliminary case study in a Malaysian University. International Journal of Cyber Society and Education, Vol. 3(2), pp. 171-178.

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Received: October 23, 2017

Revised: January 19, 2018

Accepted: February 28, 2018

Parmar Jaydipsinh M (*) and Desai Minakshi D (**)

(*) Research Scholar and (**) Professor and Head, Department of Psychology, Saurashtra University, Rajkot-360005, India
Table-1: Mean, SD and t-value of internet use with reference to type of

Sr. No  Type of Faculty  N   Mean   SD     t

        Arts             60   5.87   9.62  2.76 (**)
1       Commerce         60  10.45   8.53
        Arts             60   5.87   9.62  4.89 (**)
2       Science          60  19.23  18.88
        Commerce         60  10.45   8.53  3.28 (**)
3       Science          60  19.23  18.88

(**) P < 0.01
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Author:Parmar, Jaydipsinh M.; Desai, Minakshi D.
Publication:Indian Journal of Community Psychology
Date:Sep 1, 2018
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