Online Syllabus

Assignments and Criteria

Articles and websites

Lesson One

Lesson Two

Lesson Three

Lesson Four

Lesson Five

Lesson Six

Lesson Seven

Lesson Eight

Lesson Nine


Lesson Two


Instructor and Students in the Family Computer Literacy Class

Instructors in the FCLP have students that come from linguistically diverse backgrounds. A majority are immigrants of color that live in low income areas.

Because of the diverse backgrounds that each student will have, instructors will have to manage a class where some students are able to move at a much faster pace than others. FCLP is offered in the language of English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. Classes taught in Spanish, Portuguese and French are available to students who's first language is not English, but one of these three.

The classes taught in English are for students who have an intermediate grasp of the English language. This, however, can be extremely challenging. Sometimes it is difficult to explain certain 'computational theories' in English, when the student's first language isn't English. Here are some useful suggestions:

  • Be patient, calm and understanding
  • Use as many visual aids as possible
    • Make sure a blackboard or eraser board is available for you to draw pictures and diagrams.
    • If there is a projector available that connects into the instructional computer you are using, you can display diagrams or drawings that you have already prepared or found from the internet.
  • Encourage your students
    • Every time your students do something that convey their understanding of what you have taught them (even if it is something as simple as learning to use the backspace function), congratulate them.

Using the Keyboard and the Mouse

Because most of your students will have never used a keyboard and a mouse, you will find that some students may fall behind. FCLP does not offer keyboarding skills preparation. Students would have to enroll into a keyboarding skills class in order to become proficient with this aspect of the computer. A keyboard is like a musical instrument. When someone first learns how to play the piano, they have to coordinate their hands and fingers with their brains. After much practice, people eventually become proficient in playing the piano. Of course, this takes time and practice. The same applies to the use of the keyboard and the mouse. Students will have to develop this coordination. You may find that some students will become frustrated with this portion of the learning program. Let them know that they are doing fine and that they simply need to go to the computer lab at CCTV to practice as much as they can. Tell them that it simply takes practice. Explain to them how long it took you to become comfortable with the keyboards.

The mouse is another type of 'instrument'. You will find that even thought the mouse is a 'point and click' mechanism, some students will encounter difficult with using the muscles in their index fingers. Clicking a mouse button "as fast as you can", takes a lot of practice and a build up of strong index finger muscles. Like the keyboard, it too will take practice. Advise them to simply practice in the CCTV lab or at the home computer.

This document is an excellent source to read, so you can understand the complexities of "keyboard anxiety" among students who cannot type proficiently. The Impact of Keyboarding Skill on Computer Anxiety in End Users (.pdf file).


Physical Disabilities

You will have students that have Visual and Physical impairments. Many times, students cannot see the monitor or the keyboard. Before students start using the computers, ask them if they're able to see the keyboard and the monitor. If not, you will have to adjust the resolution of their screen. For keyboard usage, some facilities offer keyboards with bigger and more pronounced characters. You will have to contact the person who is in charge of the technology department in the facility you are using. Explain to them that you need equipment that is designed for people with disabilities.


Teaching Assistant

Before becoming a full fledged FCLP instructor, many of you will first become a teaching assistant to the FLCP instructor. This is an excellent way to get your feet wet, learn the ropes, and prepare you to teach a class of your own.

Once you're promoted from assistant to teacher, you will be given an assistant of your own. The assistant is an invaluable source. If some students are ahead while others are behind, the instructor can split the class up into two sections. The instructor can teach the advanced students while the assistant can instruct or help the slower students (or vice versa). You may also want to give your assistant a chance to teach a class on his or her own.


For each class, have handouts prepared for what you will be covering. Outlines, definitions lists, instructions and diagrams are VERY helpful to students.