A comparison of the effectiveness of teacher-directed instruction and independent study of computer keyboarding skills for students in grades three through five

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

First Committee Member

E. John Kleinert, Committee Chair


The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to determine the appropriate elementary grade level to introduce and teach keyboarding skills, and (2) to determine whether keyboarding instruction should be taught directly by teachers or if independent student study utilizing keyboarding software is as effective as direct instruction. Three hundred students were included in this quasi-experimental study. The number of students in treatment one groups were 48 in grade three, 47 in grade four, and 59 in grade five. The number of students in treatment two groups were 48 in grade three, 42 in grade four, and 56 in grade five.The treatment one groups were taught keyboarding by teacher-directed instruction for scheduled time periods using a keyboarding textbook. The treatment two groups were exposed to the same number of classroom computers with a keyboarding software program as part of their network menu. Students could opt to access this software during independent computer time.Three keyboarding tests were used in the study: (a) an alphabet typing test to assess touch-typing of letters, (b) a written fingering test to assess knowledge of correct fingering, and (c) a timed typing test to assess keyboarding speed and accuracy. Findings from analyses of covariance indicated that: (1) keyboarding speed increased with each advancement in grade, (2) written fingering test scores were higher for the students who received direct teacher instruction, (3) keyboarding accuracy was not dependent on grade level, and (4) alphabet typing scores were not dependent on instructional method.Pre-instruction and post-instruction questionnaires provided student data on amount of computer usage, student interest in computers, and the skill of keyboarding as it related to other subjects. Computers were found to be a motivational learning tool. Computers and keyboarding were also perceived as academically beneficial.


Education, Elementary; Education, Technology of; Education, Curriculum and Instruction

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