Common difficulties

Every student is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all method of teaching the TTRS course.

However, there are some commonly occurring difficulties that students can experience, which will benefit from your support if and when they occur.

Space omission

If a student repeatedly omits the space between words, activate the Space option feature within the Settings section of the student’s console.

Once set to "on", every space will be verbally announced at the end of each word.

Unwanted focus on speed

If your student is reluctant to shift their focus from speed to accuracy, consider covering their hands to encourage them to pay attention to the correct finger positioning.

Observations

You may observe:

  • A lack of finger strength and dexterity.
  • A student constantly lifting their hands to view the keys beneath.
  • An inability to curl the fingers comfortably on to the keys.

This is where your tutoring skills will be most needed, as you support your students to overcome these physical challenges.

Sticky keys

Whilst students are learning to use the Shift keys to reproduce capital letters, it is not uncommon for the Sticky Keys pop-up box to appear.

Sticky Keys is a Windows accessibility feature which allows capital letters to be produced without the need to press more than one key at once. However, it can also trigger whenever it senses an over-long pressing of the Shift key. Click "No" to dismiss the dialog box, or turn off the feature permanently from within your PC’s Windows settings.

Control key

On most computers, there will be a number of keyboard shortcuts that open all sorts of different browser features. The most common involves the Ctrl key in combination with a letter key.

So if a dialog box has unexpectedly popped up, it’s most likely occurred because the student accidentally used the Ctrl rather than the Shift key when typing a capital letter.

One mistake option

Unlike the typewriters of the past, which required a significant force to press the keys, computer keyboards require very little pressure to produce a result.

Unfortunately, for those with poor fine motor skills, this can become very frustrating when a single press of the key produces an entire line of characters that will register as multiple spelling mistakes.

Always ensure the One mistake option is active, to prevent the keyboard from over-responding in this way.

Fine motor difficulties

Students with fine motor difficulties may struggle to know which finger to use for a particular letter.

Try gently stroking the finger with a pencil to give them a little extra sensory input.

Watch out for any signs of strain from your students - rubbing hands, wrists, eyes, etc. See the Injury Prevention lesson for further advice.

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