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General Overview: The EV360 Realtime Theory

As you embark on your journey to becoming proficient court reporters, we know you will start to hear much chatter about what theory to learn. While we won't debate that one theory is better than another, we do feel it is important to have a clear understanding of the fundamental principles of machine shorthand language or steno theory. So, we would love to share our thoughts on the topic! The EV360 Realtime Theory is based on the principles developed by Ward Stone Ireland in the late 1800s and the machine shorthand principles of the ‘70s and ‘80s, when students could complete their court reporting education in two years or less. A steno theory's basic principles must be logical to the learner, easy to understand, and not require massive amounts of memorization. Advanced writing principles should be introduced after the learner has a solid foundation of the theory's basic principles. The same is true when learning any other language or musical instrument. Advanced principles include learning how to shorten one's writing would be considered an advanced principle.

At the College of Court Reporting, our administrators and teaching staff have worked diligently to create easily learned and logical theory principles that incorporate the latest technology and artificial intelligence for court reporting, broadcast captioning, and CART reporting. Our method not only encompasses theory but also provides a way to learn machine shorthand and develop the skills and proficiency required to write rapidly, write shorter, and write with a high degree of accuracy while incorporating modern technologies of Computer Aided Transcription software.

Our educational solutions textbooks are specifically developed for adult learners, who have unique characteristics such as the need for autonomy, relevance, and organization in their lessons. These students have years of experience and knowledge that their younger counterparts may lack and must apply what they already know to new machine shorthand concepts and principles of writing. Review and positive reinforcement throughout the learning journey are crucial to their success.

The book for beginning students contains 69 lessons, with each lesson building on and reviewing previous material. This method is critical when learning a new language and developing a psychomotor skill. The lesson format includes drills for numbers, alphabets, finger exercises, new keystrokes, principles of writing, or new steno rules, keyboard drills, and practice, outlines for brief forms and phrases, word lists illustrating the new rule, preview words for all sentences, and sentences for straight-copy practice and dictation containing all the new material and reviewing previous material.

We also emphasize the importance of reading and correcting steno notes during the writing process. This helps one learn to identify steno language weaknesses, which causes hesitations, which slows down the rate at which one can progress in their speed building journey. Finally, we address conflicts that can arise in shorthand outlines and how to resolve them.

We are confident that our EV360 Realtime Theory and philosophy will provide you with the tools and skills necessary to succeed in your court reporting education and career. We have created an account for you on our Learn Steno website and enrolled you in the Trial course site. This course site will give you an opportunity to see how our non-live instructional resources are presented as a student enrolled at CCR. Lastly, we are including a preview of the first 30 lessons so you can see how easy and logical the EV360 Realtime Theory is to learn.

We want to take it one step further!! We are excited that you are considering a career in court reporting and would love for you to chose our school as your potential educational home. We would also love for you to be able to preview our theory and see what classes will be like for you at CCR. Please reach out to use at information@ccr.edu to request access to our introductory theory course.

LESSON FORMAT:  New material is gradually presented throughout this textbook along with review lessons.  Students must master each concept before they move on to the next lesson as each lesson contains material from previous lessons. To minimize frustration, lessons are balanced so more difficult material is disbursed throughout the textbook and intermingled with easier material.  All lessons begin with finger exercises and a warm-up.  Except for the review lessons, all lessons contain the following:

  1. Drills for numbers, alphabets, finger exercises;
  2. New keystrokes, principles of writing, or new steno rules;
  3. Keyboard drills and practice,
  4. Outlines for brief forms and phrases,
  5. Word lists illustrating the new rule and reinforcing previously learned rules,
  6. Preview words for all sentences,
  7. Sentences for straight-copy practice and dictation containing all the new material and reviewing previous material.

DAILY STUDY PLAN:  To effectively master machine shorthand theory, students should study and write on their machine a minimum of five days a week.  The amount of time each day depends on the student, but students will be highly proficient and can complete the program in two years or less if they allow four hours a day for each lesson.  The following daily study plan for lessons containing new material is recommended:

  1. Students should read through the lesson.
  2. Students should visualize and memorize the new keystrokes that are introduced in the lesson.
  3. Students should practice writing the new strokes on their steno machines and check their steno strokes to see if they wrote them correctly. 
  4. Students should write each section at least five times before going on to the next section.
  5. The teacher should go over all aspects of the lesson in class.
  6. When students go through the preview words, they should read each word as well as the correct steno outlines.
  7. Students are encouraged to think of the relevance or logic of the rules for writing the words to help in memorizing the outlines.
  8. Students write the words on their shorthand machines. 
  9. Students are told to always read and correct their notes before going on to another part of the lesson.

REVIEW LESSONS:  The fifth and tenth lessons are review lessons.  They summarize and reinforce the new material presented in the previous four lessons.  Review lessons not only emphasize material from the previous four lessons, but they continue to reinforce material from the beginning of the textbook.

READING SHORTHAND NOTES:  An essential element of developing speed, skill, and accuracy in machine shorthand is having students read and correct their shorthand notes.  It is important that they read the paper notes printed by their shorthand machine instead of the shorthand on their computer screens.  When reading and correcting shorthand notes for the first time, they should use a red pen and quickly mark all errors.  They are encouraged to practice reading their corrected notes more than once.  If they frequently misstroke a particular outline, they should mark it every time.  Reading the paper notes from their machine and using a red pen programs their subconscious to subsequently write the correct steno outlines.  This reinforcement is crucial for adult learners.

If they occasionally read notes from their computer screen, students should set the CAT software so the steno comes up in the “Read Notes” or “Vertical Notes” format. 

STENO CONFLICTS IN SHORTHAND OUTLINES:  Some shorthand outlines could translate homophones as more than one word.  CAT systems contain a conflict database that is a compilation of steno conflicts that will be resolved by the software’s artificial intelligence capabilities.  The first few times a conflict is resolved, the software stores the selections.  Eventually it automatically selects the correct word when used again in the same context as it was when it was resolved.  The Moody Method theory incorporates the artificial intelligence capabilities of CAT software.

STRAIGHT-COPY PRACTICE:  Straight-copy practice or text-based copy is valuable for adults when developing skill in machine shorthand especially for “visual” learners.  The Moody Method for Machine Shorthand textbooks emphasize straight-copy practice in learning and progressing in machine shorthand.  Straight-copy practice occurs when students write on their shorthand machine while looking at a printed page.  It gives them the ability to focus on getting correct outlines, making corrections on misstrokes, and writing all the punctuation.  Students should write all sections of each lesson from the textbook before the teacher goes over the lessons in class. 

BRIEF FORMS, CONTRACTIONS, AND WORD FAMILIES:  Most words are written phonetically, by sound and by what one hears, and they may resemble English (especially with certain vowel sounds).  Brief outlines for words are introduced in most lessons.  These are words that are written a specific way and not necessarily phonetically.  Outlines have been developed to prevent conflicts or shortened to increase the ability to write faster.  Silent letters are often dropped in brief forms, and many outlines use text messaging concepts or commonly abbreviated words and phrases.  Contractions and groups of words called “word families” are also taught.  All contractions are written in one stroke.  These special outlines are systematically introduced throughout the text are logical and easily learned.

PREVIEW WORDS AND SENTENCES:  All lessons contain sentences using the new outlines and principles of writing presented in the lesson.  The teacher begins speedbuilding on these sentences within the first few days so students immediately get used to speedbuilding.  As a result, all students get accustomed to writing 60 to 80 words a minute.

This theory is not a revision of any previous theory, but the theory principles were developed through the collaboration of numerous court reporters and educators affiliated with the College of Court Reporting. 

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