An Ethnographic Study of Keyboarding Instruction and Standardized Assessment

Deborah J Gentry, Tennessee State University


The purpose of this ethnographic study was to examine the relationship between focused keyboarding instruction and the required standardized assessments mandated by Federal and State authorities. Initial mandates required that the first assessment to be administered online would be the Writing Assessment by year 2014. The assessment given in school year 2012-2013 could have been given to students either online or continue for one more year in handwritten form. As of school year 2022-2023 all standardized assessments will be administered online. Keyboarding instruction in Tennessee had been part of the middle school curriculum in previous years but had for all intents and purposes been omitted when physical education, music, Spanish, and art classes were mandated to be added or increased. A Middle Tennessee school system made the decision to add a focused keyboarding instruction segment in some shape or form along with the decision to administer the writing assessment online. This decision was due to the realization that without some level of typing skill students might not display their actual writing ability otherwise. This study examined whether keyboarding skills affected online standardized assessments, i.e., does typing skill free students’ cognitive skills to produce a higher quality product on an assessment. It also examined whether focused keyboarding instruction needs to be included in a curriculum and at what age, developmental level, and grade level. Further research was recommended concerning whether advancements in rapidly development technology will replace the need for keyboarding skills entirely, and whether keyboarding skill will replace the need for handwriting in the future.

Subject Area

Educational tests & measurements|Curriculum development|Educational technology

Recommended Citation

Deborah J Gentry, "An Ethnographic Study of Keyboarding Instruction and Standardized Assessment" (2022). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI29991788.