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The internal structure of university students’ keyboard skills

Author(s): Grabowski, Joachim

Journal: Journal of Writing Research
ISSN 2030-1006

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 27;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: typing | keyboard efficiency | academic writing | keystroke logging

Nowadays, university students do not necessarily acquire their typing skills through systematic touch-typing training, like professional typists. But then, how are the resulting typing skills structured? To reveal the composition of today’s typical typing skills, 32 university students performed on three writing tasks: copying from memory, copying from text, and generating from memory.Variables of keyboard operation that presumably reflect typing abilities and strategies, were recorded with ScriptLog, a keystroke logging software; these include typing speed, keyboard efficiency, and keyboard activity beyond keypresses that become visible in the final text. Factor analyses reveal three components of typing behavior per task. Their clearest interpretations relate to keyboard activity/efficiency and typing speed. Across tasks, typing speed is the strongest individually stable facet of keyboard operation. In summary, university students’ keyboard behavior is a multi-faceted skill rather than the mere mastery of a touch-typing method.

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