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Teaching Tips

It’s Proven: Poor Computer Skills Lead to Poor Test Scores

March 13, 2019

by: Megan Parker

2 min


We’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about student online test results lately.

From Colorado to Rhode Island, students who took computer-based tests scored lower than students who took the tests by paper—and they’re not the only states to notice the discrepancy.

State and district officials in Illinois and Maryland are now reporting that poor computer readiness and keyboarding skills are leading to inadequate online test scores.

Poor computer readiness skills don’t just affect test scores. However, in a separate ASCD classroom survey, many students admitted to shortening their responses when completing computer-based assignments due to a lack of confidence with their keyboarding skills.

As educators and parents, how can we make sure students have the computer readiness and keyboarding fluency skills they need to succeed?

Help students build foundation digital skills. This extends to more than just keyboarding skills in older grades. Among other pre-keyboarding skills, it also includes helping younger children becoming comfortable with using a mouse, scrolling/highlighting text, and dragging and dropping. 

Integrate cross-curricular connections. Connecting interesting subjects together while students type will keep them engaged and help them get used to typing their knowledge on various topics, instead of focusing on mechanics of typing.

Practice, practice, practice! Just like handwriting, students need plenty of opportunities to practice and master the keyboard on different devices, in different settings. With self-directed lessons, students will also get to independently build more confidence in their skills.

As classrooms and schools go increasingly digital, let’s work together to help our students get the best possible start!
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