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Northstar Digital Literacy

Northstar Digital Literacy assessment and online modules for patrons.

Northstar Digital Literacy

Create an Account at PPLD's Northstar site

Build and verify your basic digital skills in three areas:
  1. Essential Computer Skills
  2. Essential Software Skills
  3. Using Technology in Daily Life

Why Northstar?


Northstar Online Learning helps beginners learn digital literacy skills. It can be used at home, in a library, or in one of PPLD's virtual Computer Skills Refresh programs. In-person Northstar Digital Literacy classes are currently being held at select library locations; check out the schedule in Library Market here for dates, times, and locations.

Earn badges and certificates 

Northstar provides assessments in 14 different skill areas. Successful completion (85% or higher) results in a digital badge or certificate (proctored assessments only) you can add to a resume, a LinkedIn profile, or show an employer.

How to Use Northstar Digital Literacy

Start learning today!

  1. Go to PPLD's Northstar website
  2. Click on Sign Up as a Learner.
  3. Enter your first and last name and a valid email address.
  4. Click on I'm Not a Robot and then click on Sign Up.
  5. Check your email for an invitation to Northstar Online Learning.
  6. Click the link to confirm your learner membership with the testing location.
  7. Make a password.
  8. If you cannot find the invitation, check your spam/junk folder. 

IMPORTANT: If you do not have an email address, contact your preferred PPLD location

Assessment Options

  1. Public - Visit the Northstar Digital public site and take a test. Results are not tracked in your account.
  2. Unproctored location specific- Sign into your Northstar account and take an unproctored assessment. If you score 85% or higher, earn a digital badge. Results tracked in your account.
  3. Proctored location specific - Schedule an assessment at a PPLD location. If you score 85% or higher, earn a digital badge AND a certificate. Results tracked in your account.
    1. Contact your preferred PPLD location to schedule a proctored assessment.

Basic Instructions to Take an Assessment

  1. Go to PPLD's Northstar site
  2. Log in with your username (email) and password 
  3. Select your location
  4. Click on the test you want to take
  5. Check the test to make sure it says "Not Proctored" (this will track your results)

Northstar Digital Literacy lets you earn digital badges to verify computer skills. Passing an assessment with 85% or higher qualifies you for a digital badge.

Badging is a way to

  • Share your verifiable skills and achievements as you earn them.
  • Identify and celebrate talent and growth.
  • Build and certify interoperable tools.

Learn about Open Badges here

Claiming a Badge

Follow these steps to claim a badge

  1. Click on Claim Badge on the assessment results page
  2. Check the email address connected to your Northstar account 
  3. Find and open the Badgr email with the subject, "Congratulations, you earned a badge!"
  4. Follow the directions to download your badge

Individuals who earn 85% or higher on a proctored assessment can earn a certificate. Proctored assessments must be scheduled in advance at a PPLD location.

Basic Instruction to use Northstar Online Learning

  1. Go to PPLD's Northstar site
  2. Log in with your username (email) and password 
  3. Select your location
  4. From the dashboard, find the module you want to study
  5. Click on Details
  6. Click on Start Practice

Basic Instructions to Use Northstar's Outside Study Resources* 

  1. Go to the Northstar Digital Literacy site
  2. Click "Build Your Skills"
  3. Click number 3 "View other resources"
  4. Click the external resource module you want to study
  5. Complete the online resources

*Some modules are unavailable in Northstar Online Learning