Free, Online Assessment of Computer Skills

Northstar Basic Computer Skills Assessment is a free online assessment of a person’s basic computer skills. After taking the assessment you can print out a personal learning plan that will help you improve in the areas you found more challenging.

Not only is this a great tool to use with students, but teachers should also take the assessment to better understand what basic computer skills are and where they may have their own share of challenges.

The assessment covers seven key skill areas: basic computing, world wide web, Windows, Mac OS X, using email, Microsoft Word, social media, and Microsoft Excel. People who take the assessment will often learn computer skills while taking the assessment. The basic computing section includes an in depth tutorial on how to move through the assessment.  After completing each area, the assessment taker will be able to see what they got right and wrong.

This assessment is free to use, however programs can become a Sponsor of Northstar for an annual fee which then allows the program to provide assessment takers who score 85% or above, a Northstar Certificate and also gives the program access to detailed data about testing results.

Northstar was developed by the Friends of the St Paul Public Library through a variety of funding support.

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About Nell Eckersley

Nell loves roller derby, Indian food, and educational technology. She grew up in Nebraska, home of Carhenge. Nell now lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn with a very friendly cat named Bruno. She is always looking for ways that technology can help solve problems and deepen and broaden teaching and learning.

2 thoughts on “Free, Online Assessment of Computer Skills

  1. This resource is fantastic! I wish I had this when I taught computer classes. The best thing about it is that students are tested on what they can actually do (save files, create folders, etc.) as opposed to just asking questions about computers, which old assessment of digital literacy were limited to. And it’s free!

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  2. I also really like this resource. I’d like to add an additional resource tied to the Northstar assessments: http://guides.sppl.org/northstar/Home
    This is a sub-skill breakdown that connects learning resources to the questions on the Northstar assessment, targeting instruction directly to the learners’ needs.

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