Northstar Digital Literacy

Get help with Northstar

PCC Northstar coordinators:

  • Carey Larson, Digital Literacy Program Coordinator,
  • Michelle Bagley, Library Dean,

Thank you!

The Northstar Digital Literacy project is supported in whole or part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the State Library of Oregon.PCC Library thanks the State Library of Oregon and project partners for their ongoing support.

This guide is a close duplicate of a guide prepared by Jane Littlefield at Clackamas Community College. PCC Library gives credit and gratitude to Clackamas Community College for creating and sharing their guide.  

What is Northstar Digital Learning?

Northstar Digital Literacy set of online, self-paced digital literacy assessments and tutorials. These tools help you build the basic skills needed to perform tasks on computers and online in daily life, employment, and college.

Explore the Northstar website: link to PCC's Northstar subscription

What can I learn?

Northstar has assessments matched with with online tutorials: Basic computer skills, Internet Basics, Email, Windows 10, MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, Google Docs, Social Media, Information Literacy, Career Search Skills and Your Digital Footprint. After you login and take an assessment you can access the tutorial material.

Additional tutorials on assessment topics are being developed, in both English and Spanish.

Why use Northstar?

Screenshot Certificate of Completion

  1. Set yourself apart from others on your resume and job applications! Earn certificates for essential computer skills and list these accomplishments for future employers to see.
  2. Get college ready. Your college instructors may assume you already know how to use Excel, PowerPoint, Google Docs, or other software. Learning these skills will help you be successful in your classes.
  3. Develop skills to keep your job and advance your career. The problem solving and techology skills you will practice in Northstar will help you on the job!
  4. Build confidence and skills needed for successful remote and online learning.
  5. Learn at your own pace and without judgment.

How does Northstar work?

Northstar gives you the opportunity to check your digital literacy skills, learn and practice new skills, and demonstrate your mastery of these skills. Northstar teaches you essentials like using email and navigating the Internet, using Microsoft Office, and searching for career and job information.

How Northstar works:

  1. Set up a learner account at the PCC Northstar page.
  2. Log in.
  3. Choose a digital literacy topic (e.g., Microsoft Word).
  4. Take a digital literacy skills assessment on your topic.
    • There are 14 assessments to choose from.
    • This initial assessment will help you identify what you already know and what you need to learn.
    • You’ll receive links to lessons to develop some skills you need to learn. (Note! Lessons are under development, so you might not be available for all of your skills gaps.)
  5. Work through the topic-specific lessons to learn and practice new skills.
    • Use self-paced Northstar video lessons or recommended learning resources.
  6. Optional: Take a proctored assessment to demonstrate your new knowledge and skills related to that topic.
    • When you successfully complete a proctored assessment, you can access a certificate that shows your competency in each area of digital literacy.

You may be using Northstar in a class you've enrolled in, taking a library workshop, or discovering this tool on your own. We're glad you're here! Select Getting started with Northstar to continue.

Additional Northstar digital literacy resources

These tutorials are currently available without a login:

Northstar also compiles resources on a range of digital literacy topics..

Lecciones en español

Algunos temas y evaluaciones están disponibles en español.


Al iniciar sesión en el menú desplegable, seleccione español para ver el contenido disponible en ese idioma.