Keyboarding Overview


The Online Lab is a web-based keyboarding tutor and learning management system that accompanies the textbooks in the Paradigm Keyboarding series. Download the Online Lab at

The Online Lab gives students anytime access to their course activities from any web-connected computer running Windows XP, 10, Vista, or 7 that has the Online Lab installed.

Students do not have to synchronize work from different computers. Instructors can access students work and scores by logging into the Online Lab.

Keyboarding Activities in the Online Lab

All Online Lab activities referenced in the textbook are individually numbered and can be identified on the left side in the corresponding textbooks and eBooks.


In Sessions 1–33, much of the effort involves keyboarding exercise activities. To keep the drill work interesting, there are a wide variety of exercise types in the Online Lab. Exercises are used at the beginning of a session, to learn and practice key locations, to practice responding to questions, composing, to increase the keying speed and improve the keying accuracy.

Exercises are used at the beginning of a session to do the following:

  • To learn and practice key locations
  • To practice responding to questions
  • Composing
  • To increase the keying speed
  • To improve the keying accuracy

Students will complete activities by either referring to prompts on screen or by keying from drill lines printed in the textbook. The textbook and Online Lab provide clear directions to students through the learning experience. Students will not get lost!

Starting in Session 34, Session work begins with exercises that include warm-up drills and timed short drills.

  • Warm-up drills prepare the student for the document production activities that follow
  • The timed short drills provide students with an opportunity to enhance their keying speed or accuracy


Videos demonstrate correct finger positioning and finger reach all keys as they are introduced in Sessions 1–24. Students can use these videos to help develop good keyboarding technique, which is essential for developing speed and accuracy. Videos are also provided in Session 34 and 61 to illustrate how to complete document activities.


Timings are an important tool in assessing keying proficiency, including WPM goals. The Online Lab provides immediate feedback on speed and accuracy for all timings.

The Online Lab offers 1-minute, 3-minute, and 5-minute timings:

  • Timings begin in Session 6 with a 1-minute duration.
  • The 3-minute timing is introduced in Session 18, and the 5-minute timing begins in Session 28.

The Instructor Resources include a chart that lists the duration, syllabic intensity, and WPM goals for each timing. In addition to the timings printed in the textbooks, the Online Lab includes pretest and posttest timings.


Document activities begin in Session 34 and are completed using Microsoft Word 2016. Students complete each activity as specified by the easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions in the textbook, and finally submit the document for assessment. Each document activity launch page includes a textbook icon and a reference to the corresponding textbook page numbers.

The Online Lab automatically manages the files for each document activity. When the student clicks the Launch Activity button, Word opens in the Online Lab window and retrieves the base document used in the activity. The Online Lab also automatically saves all files created in the document activities for future reference.

There are three types of document activities:

  1. Checked and timed activities
  2. Checked activities that are not timed
  3. Unchecked activities

Checked Document Activities:

For most document activities, the Online Lab will report a WPM score and evaluate keying and formatting accuracy. For these types of document activities, when the student has completed the activity and proofreads the document, he or she clicks the Check button, which stops the timer, displays the WPM score, and initiates the checking process.

While the checking process is occurring, the Results button displays an embedded green progress bar until the Results document is ready for review. The Results document displays any differences (errors) between the student’s submitted document and the model answer.

After viewing the Results document, students can then return to the Word document that they generated by clicking the Submitted button.

Alternatively, students can view both their submitted document and the Results document by clicking the Show Both button. The Show Both button splits the screen and displays both documents in an over/under format. A student can then make corrections to the submitted document, which can be checked again for errors.

Checked Document Activities—Focus on Formatting:

For some document activities, the Online Lab only evaluates keying and formatting accuracy (the activity is not timed and no WPM is reported). Mostly, these activities involve editing a pre-existing Word document.

When editing is complete, the student clicks the Check button, which initiates the checking process.

Unchecked Document Activities:

Unchecked document activities are either ungradeable by the Online Lab or more open-ended than checked documents. In many of these types of activities, students compose a document according to the instructions in the textbook. When the student finishes the activity, he or she clicks the Upload button. The document is then sent to the Online Lab where the instructor can review the View Submissions report.

Updated on March 11, 2019

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