With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning has never been more prevalent. Unlike in-person learning that happens in a classroom setting and offers an abundance of physical interactions between instructors and students, online learning occurs on a digital platform and offers virtual interactions. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations had to adapt their programming overnight to keep up with the changes and meet the needs of their students. However, studying online and learning how to use a computer can be a challenge for many newcomers and instructors alike. This Toolkit section provides free resources available to newcomers and instructors in Alberta to support digital literacy skills.

For Students


Computer Access for Literacy Learners (CALL) at TIES is a 30-hour program spread over 7 to 10 weeks. In this program students will learn the basics of using a computer from an experienced instructor who is trained in low-level language and literacy education. Other topics that are covered in the program are: Internet search, E-mail, Social media, Basic software (Microsoft Office), Zoom online classes. Learn more here.


The eSkills course is an online, self-paced digital literacy course designed for newcomers to Canada that helps them learn to use technology to access and evaluate digital content. This will help them communicate and collaborate safely, responsibly, and effectively in preparation for employment. Register here.


The NICO program at TIES will prepare students for online classes. Online classes offer opportunities to learn English and Employment skills at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home, at the times that work best for you. NICO covers the following topics: Computer skills, Online communication, Study skills, Vocabulary. Check out more here.


WebSafe aims to provide newcomers to Canada with knowledge about digital disinformation and to empower them to support family, friends, and community members in dealing with online scams, threats and misinformation. The topics covered include email scams, website disinformation and strategies to manage digital life. The course uses video, audio, and whiteboard animation to create an interactive and engaging set of learning tools. The materials have been developed for newcomers at CLB 4+ and are published as an open educational resource. Enroll here.

For Instructors


NorQuest College has created free course and accompanying instructor guide for ESL instructors to help English language learners develop digital literacy skills, online learning strategies, and the vocabulary needed to be successful online learners. Find out more here.


The Digital Literacy course, provided by NorQuest College, is designed to develop skills and strategies to improve performance in online courses. Start the course here or download the resources here.