Free writing sessions are an opportunity to apply typing skills and compose an original text inside the program.
Users can choose from short (5 min), medium (10 min), and long (15 min) sessions
Topic suggestions are available or learners can generate an image to describe
At the end of the session, feedback is given on the number of words typed, the average length of these words, the average typing speed, and the number of words from the TTRS course which were correctly spelled
Free writing pieces can be saved, edited, printed and/or shared
Administrators can review student writing (and leave comments - coming soon!)
Why use free writing over a word-processor?
Free writing sessions are a first step for emerging touch-typists. Writing inside the TTRS program bridges the gap between learning to type using structured exercises and applying touch-typing skills to express original ideas.
They are also a great way to put spelling skills to the test. Measure success with reporting features that show the number of words from the TTRS course that were used and spelled correctly in any given free writing session.
Admin feedback (coming soon!) and editing functions encourage a draft-based approach to composition.
Lastly, typing in a familiar interface may be more comfortable for users with learning difficulties who require specific display and font settings to make their written work more readable, which in turn facilitates revision.
How to start a free writing session from a student account
Inside a student account, select "Start free writing session"
How to start a free writing session from an Admin/Teacher account
From an admin account, select "Free writing" in the button above the Main Course levels screen
Select a session length and then select "Start"
An empty screen will appear and the timer will start
For ideas on what to write about, select the ? symbol on the top right to bring up a help box which includes the option to view an image
You can view an image using the "View image" button under hints. Get a better look with the magnifying glass tool. You might choose to describe the image in your writing or to create a storyline that goes with it. Select "Show another image" to view something different.
At the end of the free writing session, a report will appear with the total number of words typed, the average characters per word, the number of TTRS words used and spelled correctly, and the average typing speed
Please note you need to wait for the timer to completely finish, before you receive the below screen.
The user can give the work a title, share, print or download the work, and save and quit
How to access free writing reports from a student account
Click "My stats" at the top menu and then click Free writing
How to access free writing reports from an Administrator account
Select a student profile and then select 'Free writing' to view overall statistics from a student's total free writing sessions
To view reports for individual writing sessions, use the dropdown menu and select target dates
Select a session to view stats. From here you can also view the piece, print, download and/or send it by email
Add feedback to student writing sessions
Leave a comment on the right-hand side of a student's work and (coming soon) they will be notified and prompted to view feedback when they next log in.
To leave a comment, click All sessions on the dropdown menu
Then click Give feedback under the free writing name.