What It Is:
Typing Coach Online Typing Course is exactly how it sounds. The course covers basic typing skills. The lessons begin with Home Row and then moves through all rows in turn, shift keys, numbers, and practicing.
The course uses three types of instruction - audio, visual, and written. The audio sections are clips that you play on your computer. These explain the concepts and topics. There was a video that did explain correct posture which we found very helpful. There are also videos that explain the testing process, as well as a half hour video that explains the Typing Coach method. There is also nice music to listen to during these sessions! There was also a few things to print out: The Student Packet, Learning Checks, and Progress Chart. These printouts are very useful - the student uses the packet each day as they practice.
Working at the suggested pace of one lesson a week, students move through the lessons. At the beginning of each lesson they listen to an audio lesson and then use the page in the packet to practice. They can use any word processing software to practice in - we used Google Docs. Once they feel they have mastered that lesson, they can take a test at the Practice and Testing Center. There are three practice checks for each lesson. The trick to the practice sessions is to either shut off the monitor or tape a paper over it, so the student is not distracted by what they are typing.
The student will need to get through the minute long test without any mistakes. Once they pass all three tests they can move on to the next lesson. We found that spending a week per lesson was not achieving the goal of complete mastery - Dasher worked very diligently and we ended up spending an average of 8 school days on each lesson. I do appreciate the goal of mastery in this program - you do not move on until you are scoring 100% on the tests.
How We Used This and What We Thought:
I had Dasher using this product. She had been begging me to find a way to teach her typing so she was very excited to start this. We spent a couple of days watching the videos and familiarizing ourselves with how the program worked. I also printed out all of the printables and made them into a little book for her.
She began with the posture lesson. I loved it that posture was emphasized - to me this is very important and I was glad to see that there was a whole lesson in this. The next lesson was Home Row. She listened to the audio lesson which was about 12 minutes long. In the lesson, the instructor explained the keys in Home Row, and which fingers to use. There were also tips that were very helpful as well.
After the audio lesson came practice typing. This is found in the Student Packet. There are four lines of jibberish words - around 20 characters for each line. Each time she practiced she was to try to type these lines without any mistakes. After a few days she was still not mastering, so she did go back and re-listen to the audio lesson as suggested.
Finally she felt she was ready for the test. The testing is done at their Practice and Testing Center. You do need to log onto this site with your email - that way the test results will be emailed to you.
The first test you take is called Home Row Learning Check and the small print says that it is in the Student Packet. I assumed it was the lines she had been practicing in the Packet so we covered up the screen and she had one minute to type out the line. We were disappointed when test was finished and she got every character wrong. I looked through the other packets and then found it in the Learning Check packet. She went to retry the test and we found out that the system makes you wait 48 hours between tests.
The testing did prove frustrating for us a couple of times. Once here, but then another time, since the screen was covered, we didn't realize that she had the caps lock on, and was once again locked out of a testing session for 48 hours. But then I do understand that since mastery is the goal, constant testing is not a way of achieving this. Like the instructions say at one point, "I don't expect perfection....just no errors." A very good goal indeed.
So far, we are working on the fourth lesson. She is following the instructions and making sure she doesn't peek at the keyboard. She is seeing progress and is excited to be on the road to typing. Sometimes she really struggles with not being able to hit the backspace key to correct her mistakes. We have also found that she needs more practice than maybe others that used this course - after you pass the third lesson your practice sessions are actual words (vs. jibberish) and she did find herself memorizing the content. I would have loved to have seen more practice pages for those students that needed more time on each lesson.
There is an option for slower paced students - the program does offer Slower Paced Lessons. These divide the first three lessons into six audio lessons. The packet practice pages do remain the same, which can be quite repetitive.
I hope to have her finish the program over the summer. She is excited to be learning to type, and I am really liking this online typing program. Check out what others thought by clicking below!