Nation's Report Card Home

Student Action Results

New era of computer-based testing provides insight into how students use word-processing tools

The computer-based delivery of the NAEP writing assessment provided the opportunity to collect data on the extent to which students engaged in specific actions available to them in the word-processing software. Results for the student actions are reported as the percentages of students who engaged in the action with varying frequency and the average writing score for those students. For example, students who used the text-to-speech tool more frequently scored lower on average than those who engaged in the action less frequently.

In the first tab below, explore the percentages of students by grade who engaged in each of the student actions. The second tab provides a closer look at both percentages and scale score information for specific actions taken by students.

Percentages for all writing actions
Percentages/average scores for specific actions

The number of key presses represents each key stroke that students made in the process of completing their response to the writing prompt. It does not represent the number of words students wrote or how long their responses were (note that backspace and delete were counted as key presses). It is reasonable, however, to assume some relationship between the number of key presses and the length of the response.

 Students who made more key presses to create their response scored higher on average than students who made fewer key presses.

 Seventy-two percent of eighth-grade students made between 1,001 and 3,000 key presses, and 21 percent made 3,001 or more key presses in creating their response on the 2011 writing assessment.

Percentage of students and average scores in eighth-grade NAEP writing, by the number of key presses they made during the assessment: 2011

NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. See complete data with standard errors.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2011 Writing Assessment.

 Fifty-one percent of twelfth-grade students made between 1,001 and 3,000 key presses, and 47 percent made 3,001 or more key presses in creating their response on the 2011 writing assessment.

Percentage of students and average scores in twelfth-grade NAEP writing, by the number of key presses they made during the assessment: 2011

NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. See complete data with standard errors.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2011 Writing Assessment.