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S OCIAL

NETWORK FOR UNIVERSITIES

NAME: PYO WAI LIAN HLA KHIN (TP028536)


INTAKE CODE: UC2F1410SE
DEGREE ENROLLED: BSC (HONS) IN SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
LECTURER NAME: LEONG SWEE KEE
MODULE NAME: RESEARCH METHODS FOR COMPUTING AND TECHNOLOGY
MODULE CODE: CT098-3.5-2-RMCT

CT098-3.5-2-RMCT
SOCIAL NETWORK FOR UNIVERSITIES

Acknowledgement

First and foremost, I would like acknowledge to Mr. Leong Swee Kee for close guidance
throughout this assignment, without whom I would be able to achieve it with the highest
quality. Also I would like to thank my friends who have helped me brain storm some key
features of the system.

CT098-3.5-2-RMCT
SOCIAL NETWORK FOR UNIVERSITIES

Table of Contents
1.0. Introduction............................................................................................... 4
2.0. Problem Statement and Problem Background.....................................5
2.1.

Problem Statement................................................................................... 5

2.2.

Problem Background................................................................................. 5

3.0. Aims and Objective................................................................................... 6


3.1.

Aims.......................................................................................................... 6

3.2.

Objective................................................................................................... 6

4.0.

Literature Review............................................................................................ 7

5.0.

Research Questions.......................................................................................... 8

5.1.

Domain Questions.......................................................................................... 8

5.2.

Technical Questions........................................................................................ 8

6.0. Research Design....................................................................................... 9


6.1.

Survey....................................................................................................... 9

6.2.

Questionnaire.......................................................................................... 10

7.0. Personal Reflection................................................................................ 11


8.0. Reference................................................................................................. 12

CT098-3.5-2-RMCT
SOCIAL NETWORK FOR UNIVERSITIES

1.0. Introduction
Networks are everywhere around us, whether its sending a message from one place to
another, or providing electricity, network gets things done. To get from Bukit Jalil to Time
square, we need a network of roads to get there. There are also networks between people, and
they are needed to get create job opportunities, making new friends, or even life partners. But
it is limited to only what we can see and the people around us in the real world. This is when
social networks sites come into play.
Social networking sites or SNS, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, creates a possible
connection around people without any limitations. So how do these social network works? A
user can sign up on these sites and fill up their profile information. From there, user can find
people on the site and if they see a person they know, they can send a friend request to the
other person. If their request is accepted, they can communicate with each other on those
sites. Both of the users are added to each others friend list. The social network to be
developed will have some different features compared to this, but more will be described in
the later pages.

CT098-3.5-2-RMCT
SOCIAL NETWORK FOR UNIVERSITIES

2.0. Problem Statement and Problem Background


2.1. Problem Statement

Universities need its own exclusive social network.


Some social network sites are blocked in certain countries such as China, Russia, etc.
Lecturers cannot contact all students on important issues during a short period of time.

2.2. Problem Background

How important are these social networks in our daily lives? Madge, Meek and Wellens
(2009), from the University of Leicester, conducted an online survey on 213 students who are
Facebook users. And it is found that these social networking sites acts as a social glue
between students and it has the mostly impact on freshman students who helps them settle
down in their university lives. On top of that, the school staff, lecturers, admins, etc. have
mentioned that they would like to hear feedbacks from students on certain issues directly,
rather than coming from the third parties.
Its all about authenticity. - Jason Boucher (2013)
Public social networks in some countries are marked as a treat and blocked them for security
reasons. This could create a problem if anyone travels to these certain countries and be get
out of contact. China, for instance, stated that the reason that they have blocked Facebook and
other social networking media is that it is a place where people can freely express their ideas
(Frizell, 2009). It is a place that the rumors and false news can be easily spread. Instead, they
have replaced these sites, with Weibo, a local microblogging website, where the posts are
being closely monitored and censored.
Lecturers need something that can to contact all students in a short period of time. One of the
reasons is the class cancelations due to certain unexpected incidents. The students who travel
long distances needs to be notified before they reach their destination. According to a survey,
it is found that around 27% of students (Jisc, 2013) who uses social media have contact with
their lecturers and supervisors frequently. It is also found that, out of 500 students, 85% (Jisc,
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CT098-3.5-2-RMCT
SOCIAL NETWORK FOR UNIVERSITIES

2013) claimed that facebook.com is the most famous way of communication between each
other, 36% (Jisc, 2013) voted they used twitter, and the 23% (Jisc, 2013) for Whatsapp.
Though these statistics are based on public social networks, it is expected to be higher for
students communicating with academics if private social network is created.

3.0. Aims and Objective


3.1. Aims

The aims of this research proposal is to create an social network application which enable all
universities lecturers, students and staffs to come together into a website where they will be
able to connect and communicate with each other, where-ever around the world.

3.2. Objective

The purpose of this system is to:

To enable users to communicate with one another

Allow users to share/post relevant information and other visual media.

Display/receive important news or announcement to/from all users

Enable users to send messages to each other

Enable video conference for all users

Create tailored news and notifications for specific intakes

Search through post by using a hashtag search engine (#); e.g. #FreshManParty

Enable students to be automatically assign into their current intakes.

Create special events to notify all/certain students

Integrate an application to broadcast events. E.g. ongoing seminars


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CT098-3.5-2-RMCT
SOCIAL NETWORK FOR UNIVERSITIES

4.0. Literature Review


In todays world where technology is at its cheapest, the internet can be accessed at almost
anywhere in the world. In Malaysia, it is reported that there are 19.2 million (Mustafa, 2014)
active internet users and each person spends an average of 5.5 hours (Mustafa, 2014) on the
internet. Statistics also indicated that a 64% (Mustafa, 2014) of these active internet users, on
average spends 3 hours and 17 minutes (Mustafa, 2014) on social media.
With these growing technology, universities should have their own exclusive social networks
to allow students and staff to connect with one another. Social networks are used by
universities in a variety of ways, from connecting with each other, to advertising the students
works, and to streaming live seminars (Lavrusik, 2009). Universities can closely monitor
students feedbacks and gather information on the certain subjects, hence they can take
actions accordingly. A notification alerts which can notify students, on issues such as class
cancelation, or delay of submission dates, can be integrated into the system. The integration
of the social networking service into the lives of the students could also help them able to
connect from anywhere they want, even in countries such as china (Frizell, 2009), where
social networks are being blocked.
An alternative solution is to integrate more features into the universities current social
website. E.g. Webspace 2.0. Though this eliminates the creation of the new social networking
site, it would still provide solutions to the problems.

CT098-3.5-2-RMCT
SOCIAL NETWORK FOR UNIVERSITIES

5.0. Research Questions


A research question is one of the basics functions in researching a project, studying or writing a
literature review. In this assignment, the questions are broken down into two factions, domain and
technical.

5.1.

Domain Questions

1) Have you being using any social network to connect with your friends? If yes, please
state the name of the network, on what purpose and how frequently you use it.
2) How often do you communicate with you lecturer/supervisor outside of university?
What forms of communication do you use?
3) Is social network used as a part of your studying? If yes, please state how.

5.2.

Technical Questions

1) What is the hardware needed to develop this application? Estimate the cost of the
hardware.
2) Determine if the system should be compatible with any software/hardware.
3) Determine the programming languages involved in this application.
4) Define requirements, functions and special features to be included in the system.

CT098-3.5-2-RMCT
SOCIAL NETWORK FOR UNIVERSITIES

6.0. Research Design


In the final stage of the assignment, there will be two different techniques used to collect
data, survey and questionnaire. Attached below are some sample questions that would be
given out during the process.

6.1. Survey
The survey is a technique of collecting data from specific type of chosen people. There
should be a purpose in every survey. The information can be gathered through various means,
distributed papers, over phone calls, google docs, by email, or even in person. Every
participants involved in a survey are given a set of same questions, and the results are
standardized and concluded in some way.
In this sample survey, the target participants chosen are students and lecturers. Likert scale is
a scale consisting of 5 levels of responses, strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree and
strongly disagree, will be used in this survey to get the feedback from the users. The purpose
of this survey is to determine how dependent each users on this system and to determine
requirements in developing the system. The surveys will be distributed either through online
or done in person, to obtain the most accurate results. Below are a set of sample questions:
-

How often do you use social media to connect to your college peers?
How satisfied are you with the public social media that you are using?
How important is safety and freedom to express thoughts in these social networks?

CT098-3.5-2-RMCT
SOCIAL NETWORK FOR UNIVERSITIES

6.2. Questionnaire
Questionnaire is another process to collect data from the targeted audience. It has all the basic
functions of the survey as mentioned above but with one difference, the users will be given a
set of question, either open or closed type, for them to fill out and answer. In fact it could be
said that survey is one of the type of questionnaires.
In this research, the questionnaire is targeted to all the users for the system, lecturers,
students, and staffs. The purpose is to identify any special requirements needed when
developing this system. The questionnaires will be distributed in person, so the research can
explain on how the system works and give feedback if the participant is unclear on any of the
questions provided.
-

On what purpose do you use social networks mainly on?


Please state any features you would like to see in this new social network being

developed
What type of monitoring applications would you like to integrate into the system?

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CT098-3.5-2-RMCT
SOCIAL NETWORK FOR UNIVERSITIES

7.0. Personal Reflection


There is a lot to be learnt from this project. Generally it has taught me about the basics
techniques needed to perform in a research before developing a system. Not all programs and
applications can be build whenever the user wants without proper documentation on what
type of problems that this program is trying to solve, because it is these features and solutions
to the problems that makes the system stands out from all the other similarly developed
systems.
Citations and references to support ideas is one of the main techniques to make the research
stronger. Even though there are quite a plenty of problem statements that can be thought of,
due to the lack of information, there cant be much of problem background to support the
statement. The research should ensure that his data that he have collected is trustable and
dependable, that means coming from journals, articles and white papers. The places where
information can be manipulated easily, such as blogs and some internet sources such as wiki,
might not be an ideal choice for reference. The literature review section has being added with
more information and references that support the problem background. In addition to this,
solutions are also stated in that same topic.
In addition to this, critical thinking is one of the key features to completion of this
assignment. It has being implemented inside almost every topic, from the presentation of
small objectives of the system, to stating the problems, to deciding the research design and
techniques needed for this assignment.
In conclusion, the implementation of this system will bring many advantages. The function of
the system might vary slightly according to the research questions collected and if the new
requirements are stated before the development of the system.

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CT098-3.5-2-RMCT
SOCIAL NETWORK FOR UNIVERSITIES

8.0. Reference

Frizell, Sam. 'Here Are 6 Huge Websites China Is Censoring Right Now'. TIME.com.
N.P., 2014. Web. 1 June 2015.

Indexoncensorship.org, '10 Countries Where Facebook Has Been Banned - Index on


Censorship | Index On Censorship'. N.p., 2015. Web. 1 June 2015.

The Independent,. 'China Just Banned Many Citizens' Last Way Of Accessing Banned
Sites Like Twitter, Facebook And Google'. N.p., 2015. Web. 1 June 2015.

Madge, Clare et al. 'Facebook, Social Integration And Informal Learning At


University: 'It Is More For Socialising And Talking To Friends About Work Than For
Actually Doing Work''. Taylor & Francis (2009): n. pag. Web. 1 June 2015.

Lavrusik, Vadim. '10 Ways Universities Share Information Using Social


Media'. Mashable. N.p., 2009. Web. 6 July 2015.

Themalaysianinsider.com,. 'Malaysians Spend Five Hours Online Daily And It Is


Mostly On Social Media, Says Report - The Malaysian Insider'. N.p., 2015. Web. 5
July 2015.

BusinessDictionary.com,. 'What Is Questionnaire? Definition And Meaning'. N.p.,


2015. Web. 5 July 2015.

Hr-survey.com,. 'What Is A Survey? From HR-Survey.Com'. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 July


2015

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