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[ Contents Vol 3, 1987 ] [ QJER Home ]

The purpose of this section is to provide brief information regarding recently completed research studies in Queensland.

Intending contributors should forward a short abstract of their work, together with relevant biographical data, to: The Editor, "Queensland Researcher", Research Services Branch, Queensland Department of Education, P.O. Box 33, North Quay Q 4002.

Title:The ELIC Telecourse Program in Queensland State Schools
Institution:Research Services Branch, Queensland Department of Education


During 1988, the Queensland Department of Education participated in a number of 'operational service trials' which utilised the Q-Net system, a Statewide telecommunications network linked through the AUSSAT satellite. The State Government, as the major sponsor of Q-Net, offered free use of the system for a two year period (1986-87) to the Department of Education and other providers of public services.

One of the educational programs to be trialled during 1986 on the Q-Net system was the Early Literary Inservice Course (ELIC) Telecourse. ELIC is a major professional development initiative of the Preschool and Primary Divisions of the Department and is being implemented with city-based early childhood teachers in face-to-face courses.

The telecourse version of ELIC was adapted from the 11-unit face-to-face course and specifically designed for delivery to targeted teachers in rural or remote areas of Queensland. Many of these teachers, who would not have had access to ELIC under normal circumstances, were given the opportunity to participate in the telecourse program. Based on a distance learning model, the ELIC telecourse has enabled groups of teachers at selected rural sites to complete an integrated program which involves:

All of the 120 participants in the telecourse also had the opportunity to receive in-class visits and practical support from one of the six Brisbane-based tutors at various times throughout the program.


Audiences for the evaluation included the ELIC Management Committee and project team, senior personnel from the sponsoring divisions and participating regions, as well as representatives of the Government's Telecommunications Strategy Planning Committee.

The evaluation, which involved descriptive, formative and summative functions, was designed to answer two important questions:

  1. How effective is the telecourse as an in-service program for school personnel in non-metropolitan areas of the State?

  2. What has been the short-term impact of the program on participants' level of knowledge of early literacy and their classroom practices?
A wide range of data was gathered from facilitators and participants in the program through the use of interviews, logs, questionnaires and participant observation. Additional information was obtained from supervisory and advisory personnel in the five regions taking part in the trials.


On the most of the measures used to gain an insight into the effectiveness of the ELIC telecourse, a high proportion of participants gave very positive responses. The main findings are listed below:

Program Content and Materials

Program Processes

Time Commitments and Workloads

Telecommunication Equipment and Physical Facilities

Short-Term Impact of the Program


The results of the evaluation clearly point to the value and worth of this distance learning version of ELIC. It has been an effective and timely in-service experience for teachers who, due to their rural locations or isolation, probably would not have had access to this program for some years. Participation in the telecourse has enabled groups of teachers in country areas to keep abreast of current ideas and theories about young children's literacy learning and development Furthermore, completion of the course has stimulated many teachers to question their present practices in the teaching of literacy and, where necessary to initiate changes which may make reading and writing more meaningful and enjoyable experiences for their pupils.

Translating the essential features of the ELIC face-to-face course into a successful telecourse has been e complex and time-consuming task. Difficulties and constraints have arisen during the process of development and trialling, yet it is evident that valuable learning and growth has occurred as these problems have been tackled and solved. Members of the project team have gained considerable insights and extensive experience in designing, producing and implementing a multi-media inservice course which utilises innovative telecommunications systems and devices.

For many years, school personnel working in rural or isolated areas of Queensland have been denied full access to comprehensive and extended inservice programs such as ELIC. The establishment of the Q-Net telecommunications system based on AUSSAT, has the potential for overcoming many of the constraints traditionally associated with the 'tyranny of distance'. As a result of this trial project, it is clear that long term, interactive professional development experiences can be successfully provided to teachers and school administrators working in non-urban areas. It is incumbent on those responsible for designing and implementing other inservice initiatives within the Department, to investigate the application of the sophisticated range of telecommunication services which are now readily available for educational use within the State.

Further information about this study can be obtained from:

Matthew Glen
Research Services Branch
Department of Education
P.O. Box 33
North Quay Q 4002
Telephone: (07) 237 0971

Title:Senior Secondary Subject Selection by Boys and Girls
Institution:Research Services Branch, Queensland Department of Education

This study concerns the education and employment plans of State High School students nearing the end of Year 10. Particular emphasis is given to differences between males and females in the subjects they choose in the post-compulsory phase of secondary education, and in various factors associated with their choice. Students' plans, including subjects for Year 11 and possibility of tertiary entrance, are cross-tabulated with background variables such as sex, mathematics achievement in Year 10, and self-ratings in various subject areas.

For the students intending to proceed to Year 11, the choice of English and a mathematics subject was almost universal. In addition, biological science was chosen by close to half of the students. In the remaining three slots in students' subject preference lists, health and physical education, manual arts, chemistry and physics were prominent in the boys' choices. Art, accounting and performing arts subjects were prominent in the girls' choices.

Boys' intentions for study and work after Year 10 seemed to be dominated by trade or skilled occupations, usually engineering or construction trades. A higher proportion of the boys (24%) than the girls (17%) intended to leave school after Year 10. Among those who intended to return to Year 11, a higher proportion of the girls (69%) than the boys (57%) would consider the possibility of tertiary study.

About half of the prospective Year 11 students would choose at least one school subject. (School subjects, unlike Board subjects, are not fully accredited by the Board of Secondary School Studies and do not count towards a T.E. score.)

The data indicated that many of the prospective Year 11 students did not have firm plans or hopes for tertiary study but would choose sufficient Board subjects to keep the possibility open. Apparently the importance students place on obtaining a T.E. score would strictly limit their choice of school subjects. Should secondary accreditation or tertiary entrance requirements change, increased demand for areas such as fashion, catering, arts and crafts, health and leisure, and manual arts would seem likely to occur.

Secondary subjects were seen to 'have a gender'. The report concludes with a discussion of the complex interplay among factors in the gender of subjects such as:

Further information about this study can be obtained from:
Ted Hobbs
Research Services Branch
Queensland Department of Education
P.O. Box 33
North Quay Q 4002
Telephone: (07) 237 0980

Please cite as: QIER (1987). Research reports 3(2). Queensland Researcher, 3(2), 40-47. http://www.iier.org.au/qjer/qr3/res-repts-3-2.html

Contents Vol 3, 1987 ] [ QJER Home ]
Created 17 Mar 2008. Last revision: 19 Feb 2013.
URL: http://www.iier.org.au/qjer/qr3/res-repts-3-2.html