ERIC Number: EJ695719
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Relationship Between Orthographic-Motor Integration And Computer Use For The Production Of Creative And Well-Structured Written Text
Christensen, Carol A.
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v74 n4 p551-564 Dec 2004
Background: Orthographic-motor integration refers to the way in which orthographic knowledge is integrated with fine-motor demands of handwriting. A strong relationship has shown to exist between orthographic-motor integration and students' ability to produce creative and well-structured written text (De La Paz & Graham, 1995). This relationship is thought to be due to the cognitive load resulting from lack of automaticity in orthographic-motor integration so that writers do not have sufficient resources to accomplish the more demanding aspects of writing. Interventions to improve children's orthographic-motor integration result in improved written text (Jones & Christensen, 1999). Aim: This study first extended findings related to handwritten text to the relationship between typing and the length and quality of computer-based written text. Second, it examined the efficacy of an intervention to develop proficiency in typing skills on the length and quality of students' written language. Sample: Participants in the first study were 276 Grade 8 and 9 students. In the second study 35 students in Grades 8 and 9 who exhibited very low levels of proficiency in typing were the participants. Methods: In Study 1, orthographic-motor integration related to typing as well as handwriting was assessed for all students. They were asked to complete a piece of handwritten and computer-based text. Students in the intervention study completed the same measures as Study 1, at pre- and post-test. During the intervention half the students completed a daily typed journal and half completed a program designed to facilitate their typing skills. Results: There was a significant relationship between orthographic-motor integration - handwriting and the length and quality of handwritten text, and a stronger relationship between orthographic-motor integration - typing and length and quality of computer-based text. Both intervention groups in the second study showed significant differst. However, the typing skills group showed significantly better scores on typing and quality of typewritten text than the journal group at post-test. The impact of the intervention was specific to typewritten text. There was no difference in length or quality of handwritten text. Conclusion: It is suggested that developing proficiency in orthographic-motor integration related to typing allows writers to employ their cognitive resources more flexibly when working on a computer, so that they can devote attention to higher-order processes involved in ideation, syntactic and semantic monitoring and pragmatic awareness.
Descriptors: Grade 8, Written Language, Semantics, Intervention, Computer Uses in Education, Handwriting, English (Second Language), Writing Instruction
The British Psychological Society, St Andrews House, 48 Princess Road, East Leicester, LE1 7DR UK. Tel: 0116-254-9568.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 8; Grade 9
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Bolivia