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Observing typing technique
Observing typing technique
Meredith Cicerchia avatar
Written by Meredith Cicerchia
Updated over a week ago

Observation technique 

When supporting an adult or child who is learning how to type, one of the most important things you can do is to stand back and resist the temptation to intervene. Instead, it's best to wait until it is clear the mistakes are a pattern and not random errors the student can correct for themselves. 

What are you looking for?

In the early stages, concentrate on:

  • Use of the home keys

  • Whether each hand stays to its designated side of the keyboard

  • How often the student looks down

  • Whether there is any sign of discomfort when they type

"Hunt and peck" method

The “hunt and peck” method of typing is quite common amongst students who have been using computers for some time prior to learning to type. They are keyboard aware, but they rely heavily upon finding the keys by sight. This is not ideal as it requires them to share their attention between the materials being typed and the typing process itself. You may find it useful to download and print the TTRS Correct Finger Placement poster and display it for your learners.

The 3 strikes rule

No student enjoys being "pounced" upon every time they make a mistake. It can be disheartening, and will only serve to raise anxiety levels.

We recommend a 3 strikes rule approach: The first time you observe an error in technique, do nothing. If it happens for a second time shortly afterwards, keep watching. If it’s repeated a third time, then step in and provide assistance. 

One thing at a time

Keep in mind, it's best to work through any observable issues one at a time. Don’t try to fix everything at once or it can be cognitively overwhelming for your learner and demotivating.

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