While students learn to type, Typing Agent provides different lessons/activities leading up to the Main Lesson. Upon completion of the Main Lesson, a customized Type Up lesson appears for students to practice and improve the key strokes that gave them the most trouble. The following icons indicate the lessons/activities available:
Typing Agent’s learning paths consists of Worlds with 10 Units (aka sections) each, in addition to various Activities.
Units in Worlds 1, 2 and 3 each include ONE Main Lesson. As seen in the above image, World 1– Home Row, Unit 1, has 1 Main Lesson; therefore, as there are 10 Units in World 1, 10 Main Lessons will be ultimately be available. However, Worlds 3 and up use Main Lesson only, meaning no practice activities are offered, just graded Main Lessons.
Each grade level may use our default speed and accuracy targets or ones set by their administrators or teachers. The star targets are applied to Main Lessons only, whereas Activities are based on accuracy standards only. In other words, Typing Agent’s Activities focus primarily on accuracy, not target settings, because students are still learning the location of keys. We encourage students to go slowly in order to build muscle memory in finding set keys without looking down at the keyboard. Again, the Main Lessons focus on the targets set, and teachers may use these results for formative assessments.
There are two reasons why Main Lessons, and not Activities, are used for results:
- Most Activities provide learning experiences. For example, in Video, skills are modeled, but speed and accuracy standards are not measured; the stars above the icon indicate that the Video has been watched, nothing more. Furthermore, Activities are generally not good indicators of speed, because of the way they are designed and laid out: i.e., single-letter format Activities simply engage the brain to learn or remember keystrokes and letter placement by building muscle memory through repetitive actions. For example, in the Star Striker lesson, where students do not see letters but stars instead, the exercise requires students to determine which of their fingers hits the star displayed on the virtual keyboard, then use their corresponding finger to strike that key on the real keyboard. Because the objectives of the Activities in Worlds 1, 2, and 3, are geared towards building accuracy over speed, there is no point in using grade-level targets. Only after having completed the various skill-building Activities offered do students undergo an evaluation to measure speed and accuracy. This penultimate Activity provides grades and identifies where improvements can still be made. The final Activity gives students further practice opportunities to improve their identified weak areas.
- Teachers looking for the results of Activities only will have far too much to sift through. Typing Agent streamlines evaluations in its Progress Report – Summary, which displays the results of the Main Lessons only. This report is a good indicator of how well students are meeting the target standards. The Progress Report – Detailed displays an overall average score for the whole curriculum based on all of the Main Lessons completed and combined.
Reading the Reports
The results below are for a Demo Student. The top portion is from Progress Report – Summary, which takes the best results achieved for the Main Lessons. The bottom portion is from Activity Report, which records the results of all the Main Lessons, no matter how many times the student has repeated it. Note that the Activity Report corresponds to the Progress Report – Summary, which records only the Main Lessons.
The first Main Lesson result shows 3 stars. You will see this with the gold star and number 3 indicated in Unit 1 and Main Lesson 1. The Average displays the mean achieved for all Main Lessons. A student who is still working on an Activity and has not completed the section to get a final result, will be identified with half a green star.
As previously stated, when students have learned all the letters in Worlds 1, 2, and 3, the program no longer has Activities with different practices to complete. Only Main Lessons are presented from World 4 and up. All lessons henceforward focus only on the target speed and accuracy standards set. In other words, these are all Main Lessons that will be graded.
The improved Diagnostic Report displays students’ progress over time.
By using the exact same baseline test, teachers have a consistent standard against which progress may be measured. Students are required to do Diagnostic Test 0 when they use Typing Agent for the first time. From Worlds 4 and on, after students complete the Activities in each Unit, they do the Diagnostic Test. This is used to show progress or improvement over time.