FACTORS AFFECTING RESEARCH COMPETENCIES OF ACADEMICS IN THE DISCIPLINE OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES (HSS) IN THE CONTEXT OF OPEN AND DISTANCE LEARNING (ODL)
Abstract: The main purpose of the study is to examine the factors affecting research competencies of academics in the discipline of HSS in the context of ODL using the Motivational System Theory (MST). The interviews were conducted with twenty academics in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Open university of Sri Lanka (purposive sampling). The qualitative data were thematically analyzed. The results showed that the personal and institutional factors affecting research competencies of academics in the discipline of HSS. Moreover, at the institutional level, the resources, training, supportive mechanism and research culture are not properly established to achieve the research competencies of the academics. On the other hand, the personal factors such as family commitments and biological reasons are negatively affecting research competencies of academics. Therefore, the responsible parties should facilitate the academics to achieve the research competencies by providing the required resources, facilities, opportunities, guidance, training and creating a staff and student friendly working environment within the institution.
Keywords: Academics; Humanities and Social Sciences; Motivational System Theory; Open and Distance Learning; Research competencies
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