Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Thomas L. Elliott


This study was an attempt to determine shorthand enrollment trends and homework procedures being utilized in secondary schools in the East-Central Illinois area. The study was conducted through a questionnaire at Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois, during the fall semester, 1981.

The survey instrument was given to a shorthand instructor in each high school in the East-Central Illinois area and consisted of five sections. The first section pertained to the instructors' teaching experience. The second section included information about each school's shorthand program. The third section requested information about current shorthand enrollments while the fourth section was centered around teaching methods. The last section included questions about homework procedures being utilized in the program.


The majority of the shorthand programs in the East-Central Illinois area include two semesters of shorthand. Enrollments have remained stable in the past five years, but declining enrollments are increasing. First and second semester shorthand classes have experienced the highest decreases. Enrollment in the majority of the first semester shorthand classes is eleven to twenty students in each class.

Teachers are utilizing the traditional classroom approach of one lesson a day in assigning homework. Daily homework assignments are being made but not recorded for a grade. Homework assignments are being utilized in class activities through oral readings.

Instructors expect their students to read the homework assignment before writing it. A majority of the instructors check students' reading skills by having their students read casually from the text. For timing purposes, instructors have their students read for one minute and then record a grade.


While shorthand enrollments have been stable in the past, there seems to be some evidence that they will decline in the future. This is especially true in first and second semester shorthand classes.

Daily homework assignments are being made by the instructors; yet students are not getting graded for their efforts. These assignments are being used in class activities, however. The majority of the instructors utilize the traditional approach of one lesson a day in their shorthand classes.

Students are expected to read their assignments prior to writing them and are timed in class for their reading rates. Reading rates are used for grading purposes.