Research Supervision Practices and Functional Challenges among Graduate Distant Students at the Open University of Tanzania
Keywords:Research supervision, graduate students, Tanzania higher education, research supervisor, educational research, Critical Theory
AbstractThe study investigated practices and challenges of graduate students in research supervision in Tanzania using the Open University of Tanzania as an example. The research emphasis was to assess graduate students’ conception of research in general, to examine graduate students’ research supervision practice at the Open University of Tanzania and to find-out ways suggesting the best practice for future research supervision of graduate students. Mixed method approach was adopted using the case study design to investigate the researched problem. 200 participants including academics and students volunteered participation in research. Participants were selected on random and purposive procedures. Data collection involved questionnaires, semi-structured and documentary reviews. Concurrent analysis framework was adopted to ensure complementarity in research process. Results were presented in different formats: graphs, themes and percentages and discussed accordingly. Results showed that academics demonstrated limited research knowledge and skills that called for the need of research-based training opportunities to the OUT academicians. Several recommendations were made including the need for research policy innovation at the institution, investment priority in research, and bench marking the postgraduate programmes to improve supervision of graduate students at the University.