Underlying functions associated with keyboarding performance of elementary-school students

Nagham Gahshan-Haddad, Naomi Weintraub*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Keyboarding (Typing) is a major writing mode in educational settings in addition to, or as an alternative to, handwriting. Therefore, it is important that occupational therapists become experts on this activity, to support students’ performance. Yet, the knowledge of keyboarding performance of elementary-school students, and the underlying functions it entails, is limited. Aim: To compare keyboarding performance (speed and accuracy) of 4th-grade students in copying and dictation keyboarding tasks, and to examine the role of underlying functions in predicting keyboarding performance. Material and Methods: The sample consisted of 57 4th-grade students, recruited from 2 elementary schools. Students were tested for reading speed, attention shifting, fine-motor skills, kinaesthetic awareness, and keyboarding performance. Results: Keyboarding performance differed in the copying and dictation tasks. Reading speed was the major underlying function predicting keyboarding performance in both tasks. Additionally, kinaesthetic awareness had a low, negative correlation with dictation accuracy. Conclusions: When occupational therapists assess students’ keyboarding performance, they should use various tasks. Additionally, therapists should consider students’ reading speed and kinaesthetic awareness, as they may explain keyboarding performance. This knowledge may also support decision-making when considering keyboarding as an alternative writing mode for students with handwriting difficulties.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1415-1423
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Volume30
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Typing
  • cognitive
  • motor
  • primary-school
  • reading

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