Handwriting versus keyboarding: Does writing modality affect quality of narratives written by beginning writers?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonReading and writing. 2021, 1-25. 10.1007/s11145-021-10169-y
To date, there is no clear evidence to support choosing handwriting over keyboarding or vice versa as the modality children should use when they frst learn to write. 102 Norwegian frst-grade children from classrooms that used both electronic touchscreen keyboard on a digital tablet and pencil-and-paper for writing instruction wrote narratives in both modalities three months after starting school and were assessed on several literacy-related skills. The students’ texts were then analysed for a range of text features, and were rated holistically. Data were analysed using Bayesian methods. These permitted evaluation both of evidence in favour of a diference between modalities and of evidence in favour of there being no diference. We found moderate to strong evidence in favour of no diference between modalities. We also found moderate to strong evidence against modality efects being moderated by students’ literacy ability. Findings may be specifc to students who are just starting to write, but suggest that for children at this stage of development writing performance is independent of modality.