CAOA62 Introduction to Keyboarding




Class Question


Computer Ergonomics

Proper Posture

Ergonomics is the study of your work environment and how you adapt. It takes into consideration your comfort level in your workstation. Invariably, individuals twist or strain to reach the keyboard or sit in odd contortions which result in neck, back, or wrist pain. Some simple workstation modifications, posture awareness, and chair consciousness can prevent problems.

Sitting in a chair places 400 pounds of pressure on your lower back. If your back is unable to support your body, the strain which it is undergoing will affect other areas of your body as well, including your hands, arms, and wrists.

There are a number of steps you can take to reduce strain as you work. First, consider your desk posture. Be sure to sit with your back low against the back of your chair. You may need to roll up a towel or buy a lumbar roll to maintain the natural curve of your spine. Be sure the back of the head is lifted, the breastbone is lifted, and the lower back is supported. Your back should be angled backward a few degrees to widen the angle between the torso and the thighs: this increases blood flow plus reduces the compression of the spine.

Proper Keyboarding Posture

  • Lower the height of the chair so that your back touches the back of the chair and you are comfortable.
  • Your feet should rest firmly on the floor slightly in front of you.
  • Center your keyboard in front of your monitor. Your eyes should be at the same level as the tool bar.
  • Keep the keyboard and mouse close to the edge of the desk.
  • Keyboard and mouse should be positioned so your arms fall naturally at your sides, with wrists straight out in front while typing/mousing.
  • Support your wrist and forearms with a gel pad or wrist support.
  • Avoid repetitive gripping of the mouse.
  • Keep frequently used items close - avoid reaching for anything!
  • Do wrist, finger, and hand exercises.
Your arms should be relaxed and loose at your sides, with your forearms and hands parallel to the floor. The correct wrist and hand position should create a 90-degree angle and the wrists should not be flexed or extended, but rather should be in a neutral position. Keep your thighs at a right angle to your torso, and your knees at a right angle to your thighs.

Be sure to change your position frequently, and avoid using excessive force while typing at the keyboard. Over time, a heavy typing style could aggravate hand, wrist, or finger pain symptoms by placing joints and tissues under continual stress. Lastly, consider the use of ergonomic devices such as back supports, mouse wristpads, and keyboard gel wristpads.

Can I use a wrist rest?

Wrist Rest

Protect Yourself!

You should be keeping your wrists straight when you type.  It's important you do not pinch the nerves in your wrist.  Your keyboard should be at elbow height or slightly lower and your wrist relaxed.

Keyboarding can be hard on your muscles, nerves and posture. It is important you follow good computer ergonomics. This is a good web resource for ergonomic information:

How can I prevent carpal tunnel syndrome?

There are no proven strategies to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, but to protect your hands from a variety of ailments, take the following precautions:

  • Reduce your force and relax your grip. Most people use more force than needed to perform many tasks involving the hands. If your work involves a cash register, for instance, hit the keys softly. For prolonged handwriting, use a big pen with an oversized, soft grip adapter and free-flowing ink. This way you won't have to grip the pen tightly or press as hard on the paper.
  • Take frequent breaks. Every 15 to 20 minutes give your hands and wrists a break by gently stretching and bending them. Alternate tasks when possible. If you use equipment that vibrates or that requires you to exert a great amount of force, taking breaks is even more important.
  • Watch your form. Avoid bending your wrist all the way up or down. A relaxed middle position is best. If you use a keyboard, keep it at elbow height or slightly lower.
  • Improve your posture. Incorrect posture can cause your shoulders to roll forward. When your shoulders are in this position, your neck and shoulder muscles are shortened, compressing nerves in your neck. This can affect your wrists, fingers and hands.
  • Keep your hands warm. You're more likely to develop hand pain and stiffness if you work in a cold environment. If you can't control the temperature at work, put on fingerless gloves that keep your hands and wrists warm.
Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrom

Hitting the Return Key?

Do you have any tips for hitting the return key without moving/lifting up your hand? This seems to be problem for me.

You should be reaching with your little finger; however, some people have very little hands. To make the reach from the semi colon to the enter key requires they lift their hands off the home row.  Practice the reach from the semi colon to the enter key.  Try to keep your three middle fingers on the J, K,  & L.

If you absolutely must lift from the keys, make sure they don’t straighten and they are in position to come back on the keys easily.  This way you will be able to make the reach without getting off the home row.

Happy Valentines Day

Increasing My Goal Rate?

You've increased my goal rate does that mean I have to go back and do lessons 1-5?  I hope not because lessons 6-10 aren’t going as easy.

No!  This means I have checked the rate you are currently typing and tried to increase it by about 5 WPM.  This is a goal for the duration of the class.  Your current rate The A range is within your current rate.  Your rate will probably go down and up as the lessons progress. I am looking at maintaining an average over all 33 lessons.

I am doing lessons 6 and 7 over to make my new goal of 40 wpm.  I find that I can make it but, I am looking at the keyboard and reverting to bad habits.  I haven’t typed regularly since high school in 1984, so some of this is coming back to me, but it isn’t easy. 

There is no need to get exactly your goal rate on every line of the lesson.  As the goal rate increases, you have a range of 10 WPM from an A to a B range.  I don't want you to look at the keyboard.  My suggestion is to make the accuracy goal without looking.  Finish all the lessons for the weekly the assignment.  If you are unhappy with the rate you achieved on a particular lesson, then try typing the lower line results again after the entire lesson is complete.  Remember you can always go back and do an individual line but the score you get is the average of all the lines in the lesson.

Using Blackboard?

I was wondering if it is manditory that we use Blackboard????? I was also wondering if we have to login to keyboardingonline a certain amount of times a week or if we just complete the four lessons a week even if they are done during one login session?????

Because Blackboard has more features for the online classroom, I sincerely believe you will get more out of the class and have answers to your questions quicker if you log on to blackboard.

I have logged into the book website, and already have an account with blackboard for another class I am taking currently. but I can not seem to get this course to appear for me to work I doing some thing wrong?

Please e-mail me right away!

I can have our Cuesta technical department make sure you are setup Properly.

Typing the Rows?

I started lesson one last night and was noticing that each time I typed a row and If I finished early than the time that was given, it decreased my words per minute dramatically.

I want to know what I need to do after I complete a row so that my time stops and my WPM is counted correctly. I didnt finish the entire lesson because my WPM was not acurate and I didnt want to submit something that wasn't. I also wanted to find out if it only sends my results to you after the entire lesson is completed, or if it just send what I have completed at the point of completion. ie completing one row.

If your time is not up, hit enter at the end of the row and type it again. It's important that you hit enter and not the space bar. The program is recording the space bar at the end of the row as an error. This will increase your overall WPM for the assignment

I have been working on lesson 1 and have been having an issue with the program keeping my scores...I scored 51 with 2 errors for line 11 and it wouldn't regester my attemp...what should I do?

More Grading Information

I had a similar question to the publisher. The publisher has given me the following answer:

“Trash scores are not recorded to the Progress Report. Only scores (no matter what the speed) that meet the accuracy rate you set in the setup will record. Students maybe need to slow down some so they don't make so many mistakes. They shouldn't advance to the next exercise until they get their goal. Pushing them on before they know the keys will soon make it too difficult for them.”

If you want to check what the accuracy rate is for an assignment, choose setup and click on options.
Line 11 is a one minute timed writing.
Only 1 error is allowed.
This is why your time did not record.


Lost Data


We live in an area that may have short power outages that affect your computer & saving data. I highly recommend getting a battery backup for your computer power supply.  They provide about 5-10 minutes of power during a power outage.  This gives you time to shut down your computer and save your data.

Battery backups are available at Staples or Office Depot for approximately $25.  APC and Belkin both make good equipment!



Accuracy Rate for Assignments

  1. The acceptable number of errors allowed for the timings has been set in your typing course standards. You can view your individual standards when you log onto keyboarding online and click on setup.
  2. Everyone has the same accuracy requirement:

    • 15 Second timing = 0 Errors
    • 30 Second timing = 1 Error
    • 1 Minute timing = 1 Error
    • 2 Minute timing = 2 Errors
    • 3 Minute timing = 3 Errors
    • 4 Minute timing = 4 Errors
    • 5 Minute timing = 5 Errors

Instructional Videos

Suggested Strategy

Complete each line correctly at least once so you can receive a score on that line.  Once you have completed that line correctly go on to the next line.  If you complete the entire assignment before the due date, you can always go back to a particular line and try to increase your average speed.  The second week of the semester I will set your WPM goal rate.  This grade is an average of all the lessons completed by the end of the class.  You can always go back after a line has been completed accurately and try to increase the speed on a line. This will increase the average speed for the lesson.

Check your Progress

In order for the program to increase your speed on an exercise, you need to get a correct response for the exercise. The program will average the best of 3 CORRECT timings.  You can view your status by following these steps.

  • Log into the program
  • Log into your student file
  • On the left side panel find Progress Reports
    Click Comprehensive Report

This will give you a full outline of your progress on each lesson.



Marilyne Cleeves 

Introduction | Getting Started | Syllabus | Blackboard | Keyboarding Online |
Important Notes | Assignment Schedule