Refocusing on Fine Motor: Increasing Accessibility to Fine Motor Resources in a Virtual World

Robin R. McLey, University of South Dakota


This capstone project was designed to increase resources and accessibility to trusted fine motor activities and exercises. This was accomplished through design of an online interface that aimed to serve students who fell within tier one and tier two of the Response to Intervention Framework. Fine motor and home exercise programs that focus on fine motor development in school-aged children are effective at improving fine motor skills which translate to higher academic achievement. Handwriting skills, in particular, are affected by appropriate fine motor skills development. Other areas of academic achievement that are linked to fine motor skill development include cutting, gluing, coloring, painting, and typing. Hand and forearm strength play an important role in the coordination required to perform the aforementioned tasks. Occupational therapists possess the unique skills to identify fine motor delays and prescribe appropriate interventions or remedial strategies to promote appropriate development. This capstone project completed a needs assessment to determine what tools an online interface could provide to increase teachers’ confidence with identifying fine motor delays and incorporating remedial strategies that would increase classroom performance. After design of the fine motor online interface was completed, an eight-week fine motor program was implemented in a kindergarten classroom. There were 14 students in the kindergarten classroom. A pre and post program screener showed improvement of the classroom’s mean score. At the end of the eight- week program, all students within the classroom demonstrated a mature writing utensil grasp. Students within the classroom also showed improved independence with opening their milk cartons during mealtime. A survey was sent out to teachers after the online interface was used, in order to assess efficacy of the online interface and it’s embedded eight-week program. Results of the post survey were positive and assisted with planning of future changes to the online interface.