On behalf of the Senate Sub-Committee, Annual Academic Sessions 2013, I am very pleased to present the published Proceedings of the Sessions. These Sessions will take place in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Open University of Sri Lanka on 27th and 28th November 2013.
This year we received 154 abstracts for review, of which 111 were accepted for presentation. Approximately one third were from researchers outside the Open University and in addition, a significant number of abstracts reflected collaborative research among academics from both within and outside the Open University. We are very pleased at the interest shown in our Academic Sessions, particularly by our colleagues from other universities in Sri Lanka, and look forward to such collaboration and inter-action continuing in the future.
The large number of abstracts accepted for the conference has enabled us to schedule three concurrent sessions during the two days, classified on the basis of the four faculties of the Open University – Education and Social Sciences, Engineering, and Natural Science. A plenary session on Open and Distance Learning on the first day reflects the importance of this unique mode of teaching in the Open University. The abstracts published in these Proceedings have been classified in more detail into 21 discipline based areas.
The abstracts, which comprised both applied and basic research, were subjected to a rigorous, blind review process by two independent reviewers, one from within the Open University and one from outside. The reviewers gave generously of their time, in many instances providing constructive feedback to enable the authors to further improve and enhance their abstracts. The high caliber of the review process thus ensured that the abstracts presented at these sessions have in turn reached a very high standard of academia. On behalf of the Senate Sub-Committee I sincerely thank all the reviewers who, in spite of their own busy schedules, helped to ensure the success of these Sessions and provided encouragement to researchers and authors in their work.
Firstly, I thank the Vice Chancellor for his support of the Annual Academic Sessions. I must acknowledge the contribution of the members of the Senate Sub-Committee who gave me their unstinted support throughout the organization of these Sessions, within a very short time frame. The four Faculty Representatives on the Committee, while undertaking the task of coordinating the review process also contributed immensely to other aspects of these Sessions. I appreciate the support of Mr. S H Uwaisulkarni, Deputy Registrar/Academic Administration who, while maintaining his heavy workload in the university, provided administrative and logistical support and convened and coordinated the meetings of the Sub-Committee. A very special word of thanks goes to Mr. Priyantha Nawarathne, Project Assistant, who willingly undertook a far greater share of the work than he was required to. His artistic talents have been demonstrated in the webpage and the conference stationary which he designed. He also maintained communication with authors and reviewers and undertook the final formatting of the abstracts. These sessions could not have been organized within a short time without his support and hard work.
The staff of the Department of Language Studies, as usual took on the arduous task of proof reading and language editing the abstracts. I would like to thank Dr. Dinali Devendra, Dr. Vivimarie Medawattegedara, Dr. Radika De Silva, Dr. Kanchana Warnapala, Mr. Lal Medawattegedara, Ms. J.C.N Pullenayagam and Mrs. P Abeysooriya for all their hard work in preparing these proceedings for publication.
I must also thank the staff of the Deputy Registrar’s office, Ms. Anoma Rajapakse and Ms. W L K D P Ratnakara for providing assistance during the proceedings, particularly with registration, and Mr. M N I Perera and Mr. K T S Prasad de Silva for office assistance.
A very special word of thanks goes to Mr. Mohan Karunaratne, Partner of V.V. Karunaratne and Company, one of our alumni who contributed generously to sponsoring this event, specially the fellowship dinner. I thank him and Dr. Ruminda Wimalasiri for making this event a reality.
Finally I would like to thank the Printer, Open University, Mr. Balachandra and the staff of the Open University Press for the good job done in printing the stationery and the Proceedings, all of which were submitted to them at the last possible moment. We hope that these Annual Academic Sessions of the Open University will help to foster a culture of research and writing among all of us and will also be an opportunity for forging friendships and encouraging future collaboration and interaction among all the participants.
Professor Camena Guneratne
Chairperson/Senate Sub-Committee, Annual Academic Sessions – 2013