UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A comparative study of teaching typing skills on microcomputers Lindsay, Robert McDonald


A four week experimental study was conducted with 105 junior secondary students in four introductory typewriting classes of a large urban Vancouver school during the Spring semester of 1981. The purpose of the study was to compare the effectiveness of teaching the skill building components of typewriting speed and accuracy using either the microcomputer or the electric typewriter. The study also addressed the suitability of the microprocessor selected for typewriting instruction. Ten hypotheses were tested using a randomly selected treatment group of 32 students and a control group of 73 students. The nonequivalent control group design modified by a time series design (Campbell & Stanley, 1963) was used. Two pretest and posttest speed and accuracy assessments were measured by instruments certified by a panel of typewriting experts and the results treated with analysis of variance and covariance statistical techniques. The experimental group used a custom-designed software program (Braun, 1981) which was essentially a copy of the skill building text material used by the control group. A student and teacher questionnaire was administered. The results failed to reject 9 of the 10 null hypotheses indicating that the microcomputer is as effective as electric typewriter in increasing student speed levels when factors of sex, age and class attended are considered, and as effective as the electric typewriter in increasing accuracy scores where age and class attended are involved. In the rejected hypothesis, significance at the p<.01 level indicates that males of the treatment group did not achieve error rates as low as either the control group males or the females in the treatment group. Recommendations for microprocessor design and areas for future research were based on the findings.

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