International Typing Assessment Standards: What They Are and Why UltraKey Follows Them!

October 15, 2015 by Art Willer #UltraKey typing assessment standards0

International Typing Assessment Standards

What They Are and Why UltraKey Follows Them!

When it operates its annual Keyboard Challenge, the Davis School District sets UltraKey to Modified International Typing Contest Rules (MITCRs) because the MITCRs provide a single typing score that can be compared from person to person and situation to situation.

The MITCRs define a standard score that can be compared with performances anywhere in the world. Frankly, we are yet to find any keyboarding tutor or other software-based typing assessment that provides a standard score of any kind, other than UltraKey. This article explains what needs to happen to determine a standard score.

The MITCRs establish a single typing score called a net speed which is calculated by reducing the gross speed a certain amount depending on how many errors the person makes during a test.

The UltraKey preferences display the control panel shown here, which explains how the MITCRs net speed calculation is made and enables the standard to be selected for the school, class or home.

Image shows the Speed Calculation option in UltraKey.

Not a Simple Task 

Calculating net speed is simple. The challenge lays in accurately assessing typing performance so the calculation can be made.

UltraKey is uniquely researched and developed to meet the standards of measurement required by the MITCRs. UltraKey meets the following critical criteria:

Analysis has to be completed to the character level.

To standardize the word count, the MITCRs define a typing word to be 5 keystrokes.

The sequence The boy hit the ball has 5 English words in it but it only has 4 typing words: The b  oy hi  t the   ball

To standardize the error count, the MITCRs define one word error to be any typing word with an error in it.

In the example, if one typist keyboards The boy hit the bull and another typist keyboards The boy hit the beck, both typists made 1 word error even though it might be argued that bull has fewer errors than beck.

The upshot is that the software has to identify all errors at the character level and segment the typing into typing words in order to precisely calculate the words typed and the word errors made.

If a typing program only highlights English words mis-typed, then the software cannot provide a standard typing score and definitely cannot meet the MITCRs standard. UltraKey highlights each wrong key, missed key, and inserted key.

Analysis has to be accurate.

When a typing program measures your typing, try missing a word, mixing up the next word, and then adding a word in the same sentence. If the software starts marking everything wrong after the first missed word or gives up at the mixed up word, then you have just witnessed this truth: The accuracy of any typing program is only as good as the intelligence its human creators have put into it.

Bytes of Learning has researched and developed its typing analysis technology for over 25 years. As a result, UltraKey is a very powerful and reliable typing measurement tool that handles very complicated series of typing errors and provides an accurate analysis.

You can tell that a program is accurately assessing your typing performance when it presents a detailed analysis that identifies each keystroke error. This includes the identification of letters and words that have been omitted, letters and words that have been inserted, and letters and words that have been replaced.

Up to 5 minutes of timed typing must be permitted.

Even one minute of uninterrupted typing can seem like an eternity, especially to an 8 year-old. However, to achieve a standardized typing score, the software must be able to administer a 5-minute timed typing test to be considered truly official.

UltraKey provides 1-minute, 2-minute up to 5-minute timed typing tests.

Discretion Permitted 

Davis School District has chosen the 2-minute limit as their standard setting for the annual Keyboard Challenge because it presents enough challenge for grade 4 to 6 students, and certainly enough to give a reasonable measure of typing performance.

Mature users who are looking for certifiable measures of their typing ability for job preparation, should complete a 5-minute timed test. However, typists should complete the UltraKey curriculum and then build their endurance using the UltraKey Typing Forum. A 5-minute test is something one needs to work up to.

Why You Should Care

Even if you are not concerned about getting standardized keyboarding scores, you should still be concerned about the accuracy and usefulness of any report a keyboarding program provides. Accurate character level analysis is critical to identifying ways to improve your typing, and clues to providing specific help when it is called for. Put differently, if a computer program cannot precisely assess your typing accuracy, how it can it possibly recommend how you should improve?

There is far more than meets the eye in making any keyboarding software effective. UltraKey provides a solid foundation for skill development and skill measurement as this article demonstrates.

For additional information or comments, contact us.

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