Northstar Learning Guide


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.

Module 1: Basic Computer Skills


Northstar Standard:Learning Resource:
1. Distinguish between desktop and laptop computers
  • What is a Computer?
  • Laptop Computers & Netbooks
  • 2. Identify specific computer hardware: a system unit, monitor, printer, keyboard, mouse or touchpad, USB port
  • Basic Parts of a Desktop Computer
  • Computer Basics
  • Hardware vs. Software
  • Buttons, Sockets, & Slots on a Desktop Computer
  • Computer Ports
  • 3. Turn computer and monitor on and off
  • Turning on, Logging In, Shutting Down
  • 4. Log on to computer
  • Turning on, Logging In, Shutting Down
  • 5. Demonstrate knowledge of function and placement of keys on keyboard: Enter, Shift, Control, Backspace, Delete, Arrow Keys, Tab, Caps Lock, Number Lock
  • The Keyboard
  • Computer Basics: Keyboard
  • 6. Identify types of mice: mouse and touchpad
  • The Mouse
  • Computer Basics: Mouse
  • 7. Identify mouse pointer shapes and match them to the correct context of use: typing arrow (text), arrow (basic clicking), hand pointer (clickable links)
  • The Mouse
  • Introducing the Mouse
  • Mousing Around Tutorial
  • 8. Demonstrate appropriate use and ability to right-click and left-click
  • The Mouse
  • Introducing the Mouse
  • Mousing Around Tutorial
  • 9. Double click and right click
  • The Mouse
  • Introducing the Mouse
  • Mouse Tutorial
  • Mousing Around Tutorial
  • 10. Drag and drop
  • The Mouse
  • Introducing the Mouse
  • Mouse Tutorial
  • Mousing Around Tutorial
  • 11. Use mouse to select check boxes, use drop-down menus and scroll
  • Introducing the Mouse
  • Mousing Around Tutorial
  • 12. Adjust volume and mute audio
  • Adjusting the Volume
  • 13. Plug in headphones correctly and use when appropriate
  • What is a Computer?
  • Laptop Computers & Netbooks
  • 14. Identify icons on desktop (Internet Browser, Control Panel, Recycle Bin, Skype)
  • Computer Basics: Computer Terminology & Terms
  • 15. Demonstrate the ability to use the recycle bin correctly for trashing and retrieving items
  • Deleting
  • Recycle Bin
  • 16. Demonstrate understanding that it is possible to customize a computer for increased accessibility
  • Customizing the Computer
  • 17. Demonstrate understanding that mice can be customized for left-handed people and that the speed of clicking can also be customized
  • Customizing the Computer
  • 18. Demonstrate understanding that screen resolution can be changed
  • Adjusting the Windows 7 Screen Resolution
  • 19. Demonstrate understanding that software programs are upgraded periodically and that different versions may be installed on different computers
  • Software Updates
  • 20. Identify storage media: USB/Flash drives (external) and hard drive (external and internal)
  • Inside a Desktop Computer
  • Buttons, Sockets and Slots on a Desktop Computer