Date of Award

1997

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

School

School of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Paul Newhouse

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the role and support afforded Computing Coordinators at Western Australian government senior high schools by undertaking a census survey. Previous studies performed by Weber and Kershaw (1990) and Kershaw and Weber {1991), portrayed the role of Computing Coordinators at Australian high schools as demanding a diversity of knowledge and skills in computer technology together with excellent management qualities. The literature also suggested that time management skills were a major factor in how effectively coordinators carried out the myriad of tasks expected of them. This study found that most Computing Coordinators considered their roles too onerous with the majority not awarded time to specifically perform their coordinating duties. This study also determined that most coordinators were using a proportion of their teaching time and a considerable amount of their class preparation time, managing computers. Considering the possible impact this could have on student learning, it was not surprising that most Computing Coordinators felt that their coordinating role seriously impinged on their role as a teacher. Computing Coordinators offered a range of solutions to the pressures they were experiencing in their coordinating role. The majority of these solutions involved increased financial assistance. It was considered by many coordinators that the purchase or lease of up-to-date equipment, hardware and software, may require less maintenance than older equipment and therefore reduce the time they spend on managing computer systems. Coordinators felt that greater support for professional development was essential to enable them to keep their computing skills up-to-date and for teachers using computers in the curriculum to further their skills in computer technologies. Also, adequate time for Computing Coordinators to perform their duties, along with the provision of a computer technician, currently lacking in most government senior high schools, were seen as necessary steps to reducing the pressure on coordinators.

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