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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Competence Assessment Tools



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NAME OF THE ASSESSMENT TOOL
Essential Computer Skills
NAME OF AUTHOR(S)
North Star Digital Literacy
NAME OF PRODUCER
Minnesota Education Guides
DATE OF PRODUCTION
2010 -date
COSTING
Free of charge
TYPE OF PRODUCT
Web Site
DIGITAL COMPETENCES
Communication, Safety, Information processing
LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE
Basic
LANGUAGE/S OF TEACHING RESOURCES
English
DESCRIPTION
The Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment defines basic skills needed to perform tasks on computers and online. Online, self-guided modules assess the ability of individuals to perform tasks based on these skills. Included are basic computer digital literacy standards and modules in three main areas:

Essential Computer Skills - Computer Basics, Internet Basics, Email, Windows OS, Mac OS X
Essential Software Skills – Word, Excel, PowerPoint
Using Technology to Accomplish Tasks - Social Media, Information Literacy.
Northstar was developed in response to the needs of job seekers who may lack the digital literacy skills needed to seek, obtain, and retain employment, as well as to perform other tasks in daily life. However, this is relevant for anyone in employment who wants to review their digital competency.
Northstar allows end users to freely take the assessments from anywhere via our homepage, but individuals can instead go to an approved testing location and obtain the Northstar Digital Literacy Certificate when they pass assessments.
Certificates provide an important credential for employment, as even entry-level jobs increasingly require basic computer skills. Certificates also certify end user ability to complete computer skills needed in higher education, and demonstrate their ability to use social media and online information thoughtfully.
The assessments are a tool for individuals to identify areas of strength and areas needing work. Teachers may also use the assessments as pre- and post-tests, as well as a means for guiding instruction.
If individuals do not pass, personalized assessment results provide a roadmap to relevant instruction, allowing them to retake the assessment once they have mastered the necessary skills.

Northstar is used by over 790 Adult Basic Education programs, colleges, nonprofits, workforce centers, government agencies, and businesses. There is no cost to complete the assessments on the Northstar homepage
COMMENTS
This assessment website is available for use free of charge and provides a useful means to assess basic levels of competency.
When individuals take tests the correct answers to questions incorrectly answered are not given because this would invalidate the result of future assessments. Participants receive a printed report identifying areas of strength and areas needing work.
The assessments can be used for learners ages 13 or higher. Due to the complexity of the language and the concepts in the assessments, test takers younger than 13 might have difficulties.
The standards informing the Assessments were developed through a collaborative, community-based process in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. The process was suggested by the St. Paul Public Library, and hosted by the St. Paul Community Literacy Consortium.
TEACHERS' COMMENT
The Northstar Digital Literacy, in USA, is used in many Adult Basic Education programs and community colleges to assess test takers’ computer skills and it also adopted by K-12 programs. The standards have been established as statewide digital literacy standards for Minnesota Adult Basic Education. The Northstar Digital Literacy in widely used also in Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, Kansas, Georgia, Delaware, Washington, Nevada different programs.
Northstar Digital Literacy in intended for use as an assessment.
The motto is “Learn it, know it, show it”.
Northstar Digital Literacy, a program of Literacy Minnesota, is a online test to check the computer skills of the users. We can build skills in key areas and demonstrate our knowledge by earning certificates and badges. The possibility to have a certificate in computer skills it is very important and eligible.
The Northstar Digital Literacy test defines the basic skills needed to use a computer and the internet for daily life, employment and higher education. This self-guided modules assess the ability of adults to perform these tasks. After the Northstar certificate we may choose to pursue more advanced training and certifications.
The testing competences are in: basic computer, internet basics, using email, Windows 10™, MacOS™, Microsoft Word ™, Microsoft Excel ™, Microsoft PowerPoint ™, social media (regarding facebook™, LinkedIn™, Instagram™ and twitter™), information literacy (with three stories that require to use technology to gather new information in order to solve three problems ), career search skills (using a case of issue at work for an employer) and digital footprint (using a story with a character).
This tools permit to have a good and complete comprehension of medium competences in ICT. The tests are made by lot of questions, odds 30 questions for each competence, very professional and wit story case to understand how these skills could help us, and so how important ICT competences are.