Open Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 8, Issue 12 (December 2020)

ISSN Print: 2327-5952   ISSN Online: 2327-5960

Google-based Impact Factor: 0.93  Citations  

Identification of Issues Encountered by Students in Completing Their Research Dissertations for the Master of Education Degree Programme

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DOI: 10.4236/jss.2020.812004    65 Downloads   166 Views  


Conducting educational research is important as it aims at providing reliable information regarding educational problems which lead to the recommendation of informed solutions to those problems. Educational research can be defined as a “purposeful and systematic” enquiry “to solve a problem, illuminate a situation or add to our knowledge” (Forbes, 2015). Therefore, the research component is a vital part of the Master of Education post graduate degree conducted by the Faculty of Education, at the Open University of Sri Lanka. Our experience as members of the faculty is that the students, who have the potential to work as prospective researchers in the field of education, find it difficult to complete the research dissertation due to a variety of reasons. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to identify academic issues faced by the students in conducting research for the Masters’ Degree, to identify personal issues faced by the students which affect the completion of their research as well as to make suggestions to overcome the issues faced by them in conducting their research. The survey method was used as a research methodology to achieve these objectives. Data collection was done by using a questionnaire handed to the students reading for the degree programme. A sample of 176 students who were in the second year of Master of Education Degree programme was the informants of the study. Data derived using the survey questionnaire was analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. According to the findings, issues on the identification of a proper area of research, insufficiency of relevant literature and other related information on the proposed research study, unavailability of primary sources of data and research literature, lack of library facilities, the protracted time taken by the research supervisors to provide feedback, the difficulty of collecting data from several samples, the complexity of completing an action research and not being interested in the selected research topic were identified as some of the academic issues encountered by the students. In conclusion, the study revealed that 24% of the samples encounter the issue of unavailability of primary sources of literature to conduct a review of literature. In addition, 36% of students have issues connected with meeting supervisors. Workplace commitments, family commitments, health problems, insufficient support from family, problems on time management and having to travel long distances to university were also identified as personal issues. Preparing an action plan to meet the supervisors, conducting workshops for supervisors, preparing a checklist and comprehensive guidelines on writing and submission of the dissertation, maintaining a good rapport between the supervisor and student for sustaining their motivation are some of the methods recommended to overcome the issues encountered by the students during the period they conduct research for this degree programme.

Cite this paper

Wanasinghe, W. (2020) Identification of Issues Encountered by Students in Completing Their Research Dissertations for the Master of Education Degree Programme. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 8, 36-44. doi: 10.4236/jss.2020.812004.

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