Required Computer Competencies


  • Exhibits knowledge of operating system basics
  • Has detailed knowledge of the computer desktop
  • Can start and shut down the system
  • Can access commonly used programs and create new files with these programs
  • Can multitask in a typical desktop computing session
  • Knows commonly used keyboard shortcuts
  • Can identify common hardware components and can describe their function
  • Understands the fundamental processes performed by system software and application software
  • Appreciates the significance of common computer specifications such as processing speed and amount of installed RAM

File Management

  • Has thorough knowledge of the file management utility
  • Understands file extensions within the Windows operating system
  • Can access files and folders on local and network drives
  • Can create folders on local or network drives
  • Can save files to specific folders and can retrieve files from these folders
  • Can open, update and save previously created files
  • Can copy and move files between folders
  • Can delete un-needed files
  • Can properly connect, use and disconnect common peripheral devices such as USB drives, auxiliary disk drives and digital cameras
  • Can decompress ZIP compressed archives and can create compressed archives

Network Concepts and Terminology

  • Has basic general knowledge of network concepts and terminologies
  • Has an understanding of common network protocols such as HTTP and TCP / IP
  • Has an appreciation for the technical foundation of the VIU network, typical small office networks and Internet / intranet technologies
  • Has a general understanding of the evolution of the Internet

Internet Research

  • Has an appreciation of different kinds of Web search tools: crawler and directory- based search engines, meta search engines
  • Can use appropriate search syntax such as Boolean operators or searching on specific phrases
  • Can constrain searches to specific domains
  • Can eliminate or include particular terms from search strings
  • Has some knowledge of specialized search tools such as paid subscription databases and specialist websites and services
  • Has an understanding of the rigour required for academic research
  • Has a fundamental understanding of reference management tools such as RefWorks

Word Processing

  • Can competently use the word processing interface
  • Has a detailed working understanding of the use of headings, paragraphs and lists
  • Can manage long documents that incorporate table of contents and index entries
  • Understands sections within a document and can treat sections independently within a single document
  • Can create specific page numbering schemes and styles
  • Has a complete understanding of the application of styles in a document, including the ability to modify preconfigured styles and create custom styles


  • Understands the fundamentals of HTML and can apply the most common tags
  • Can construct a simple Web page with title, headings, paragraphs and lists
  • Can incorporate graphics on a Web page
  • Has an appreciation of the various file formats in use on a website
  • Can create links between pages within a Web project
  • Can create links to any public resource on the World Wide Web
  • Understands some technical requirements regarding website hosting
  • Understands the domain registration process; can access public domain registration records

Presentation Graphics

  • Has an appreciation of the appropriate use of presentation graphics software such as PowerPoint
  • Can select appropriate templates for the topic, intended audience and viewing conditions
  • Can create slides to several common templates
  • Can modify a common template
  • Can effectively utilize appropriate text styles, including headings and lists
  • Can incorporate graphic objects on slides
  • Can create precisely-specified custom behaviours of objects on a PowerPoint slide
  • Can apply appropriate transitions from slide to slide throughout a presentation


  • Understands the concepts of rows and columns in a spreadsheet application
  • Understands various common data types
  • Has a thorough awareness of constants, calculated values and formulas
  • Understands relative and absolute cell references
  • Can perform simple calculations, using cell references and common mathematical operators
  • Can transfer calculations from cell to cell (AutoFill) to improve efficiency and accuracy
  • Can apply common functions
  • Understands the significance of function arguments
  • Understands the construction and application of common chart types derived from spreadsheet data
  • Can select appropriate chart types for specific purposes
  • Can readily apply a spreadsheet solution to such common situations as budget projections or stock performance tracking and comparisons
  • Can efficiently manage large spreadsheets with multiple sheets with many rows and columns


  • Understands common data types such as text, currency and time/date
  • Understands such key concepts as storing a data item in only one location
  • Understand the various object types that can exist within a single database: tables, forms and queries, for example
  • Understands the significance of a primary key in a database table
  • Understands relationships between database tables and how relationship integrity can be enforced

Software Integration

  • Can efficiently transfer data from one application to another within a typical office productivity software suite
  • Understands dynamic data linking between applications
  • Can effectively manage multiple applications at the same time