Keyboarding Covers
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Written by:
Dr. Kim Bartel
Administrative Management and Business Education
Central Washington University
Ellensburg, Washington
Where is the research to support the use of keyboard covers??? The research
I have studied indicates that students develop psychomotor skills more
quickly when stress is decreased and when emphasis is positively placed on
the skills needed.  Let students look at their keys -- it's human nature.
Encourage them to look away after they feel comfortable with the reach.
There are two reasons students look at their hands: (1) They have developed
the bad habit; and (2) They lack confidence in their ability.  Putting a
cover over the keyboard only emphasizes and reinforces the problem. Did
Michael Jordan learn to make baskets by being blindfolded during
practice???

One suggestion, AFTER the keyboard has been introduced, have students turn
their monitors off and then key one line.  Then have them turn the monitors
on and check their work.  Do this in a fun, light-hearted manner so
students don't get stressed.  What they/you will discover is that they know
the keyboard better than they thought they did (a confidence building
exercise).  Encourage them to make "eyes on copy" a goal.

Also, use instructional terminology that emphasizes the skill desired.  For
example, say "eyes on copy" instead of "don't look at your hands."  For
more information on this topic, check out the research of Dr. Leonard West.
 If any research exists that supports keyboard covers, please let me know.
I'd love to read it.

Dr. Kim Bartel
Administrative Management and Business Education
Central Washington University
Ellensburg, Washington
 

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