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Leading adult education through support for and the effective application of technology.

The Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

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Computer(s), Internet access, headphones

Activity Description

The Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment is a self-guided, online set of assessments that show an individual’s ability to perform basic computer skills in eight skill area areas:

  • Basic Computer Use
  • Internet
  • Windows OS/Mac OS
  • E-mail
  • Word Processing (using Microsoft Word)
  • Social Media
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint

Use these assessments for post-testing your students on these various skills.


  1. Familiarize yourself with the knowledge and skills required in each assessment module.
  2. Teach the relevant knowledge/skills.
  3. Curriculum, aligned to the Northstar benchmarks, is available for some topics


  1. Direct students to the assessment module . Students should use a browser other than Internet Explorer for full functionality.
  2. Remind students that they will need to follow the instructions at the site very carefully, because if you perform the function, but not in the way they describe, it will not be counted as correct. This is very important.

Teacher Tips

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  • When individuals pass the assessments at approved sites, they can obtain the Northstar Digital Literacy Certificate. This provides a credential for employment. There is no cost to complete the online assessments.Visit the link above for a current list of participating sites.
  • There are not many sites in California that are approved to offer certificates. To find out how to become a sponsor site, contact their support team.


  • Beginning High
  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (4.5) Effectively use common workplace tools and technology

Basic Communication

  • (7.7) Demonstrate the ability to use information and communication technology
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.