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Northstar Learning Guide: Module 1: Basic Computer

This guide contains instructional materials designed to help learners build the basic computer skills defined by the Northstar Digital Literacy Assessments.

Northstar Certificates

Don't forget your Northstar certificates!

When you take the Northstar assessments at a Northstar sponsoring site and pass with a score of 85% or better, you can earn a certificate in one or all of the test areas. Ask your librarian or instructor for more information on taking an assessment and earning this valuable credential today!

Not at a Northstar sponsoring site? You can still take the assessments for free online at www.digitalliteracyassessment.org

Module 1: Basic Computer Skills

The resources on this page will help you learn the basic operational functions of a computer, such as using a mouse, keyboard shortcuts and customizing settings. Using your Northstar assessment results page, locate the skills you need to improve in the left-hand column of the table. Then, follow the links in the right-hand column to access the corresponding online learning resources. Ask a librarian or your tutor/instructor if you have questions or need help.
Northstar Standard
Learning Resource

1. Distinguish between desktop and laptop computers.

2. Identify specific computer hardware: a system unit, monitor, printer, keyboard, mouse or touchpad, USB port

3. Turn computer and monitor on and off

4. Log on to computer

5. Demonstrate knowledge of function and placement of keys on keyboard: Enter, Shift, Control, Backspace, Delete, Arrow Keys, Tab, Caps Lock, Number Lock

6. Identify types of mice: mouse and touchpad

7. Identify mouse pointer shapes and match them to the correct context of use: typing arrow (text), arrow (basic clicking), hand pointer (clickable links)

8. Demonstrate appropriate use and ability to right-click and left-click

9. Double click and right click

10. Drag and drop

11. Use mouse to select check boxes, use drop-down menus and scroll

12. Adjust volume and mute audio

13. Plug in headphones correctly and use when appropriate

14. Identify icons on desktop (Internet Browser, Control Panel, Recycle Bin, Skype)

15. Demonstrate the ability to use the recycle bin correctly for trashing and retrieving items

16. Demonstrate understanding that it is possible to customize a computer for increased accessibility

17.Demonstrate understanding that mice can be customized for left-handed people and that the speed of clicking can also be customized

18. Demonstrate understanding that screen resolution can be changed

19.Demonstrate understanding that software programs are upgraded periodically and that different versions may be installed on different computers

20. Identify storage media: USB/Flash drives (external) and hard drive (external and internal)