Six Tips for Teaching Computer Basics

Learning to use a computer can be intimidating, especially for the student whose skills aren’t as advanced as their friends or classmates. As computers are becoming a part of our daily lives, it is important to make sure that you teach the basics in a way that is easy for all of your students to understand.


Below are six tips to keep in mind as you teach your next course.

  1. State the goals of the class before you begin instructing so students will know exactly what is going to be covered.
  2. Keep a slow, steady pace. The American Library Association (ALA) suggests to “Assume that you are always going too fast. Take your cues not from the agenda you’ve set for the lesson, but instead the look in the eyes of your student.” If your students’ brows are furrowed and eyes are glazed over, take a moment to see what is confusing them or where you lost them, and work on catching up from there.
  3. Avoid using computer jargon while you teach. Find interesting ways to put jargon into laymen’s terms. Computer Shy says it is helpful to use real life parallels. For example, you can say that “web pages are really just magazine pages that you can read on a computer screen.”
  4. Use hands-on instruction. Tell the class what they will be doing (opening a web browser, composing an email, etc.), and then do it together.
  5. Have students practice through repetition. The ALA suggests doing everything at least three times, as repetition helps students retain what they have learned.
  6. Assign homework. Give your students short assignments daily so that they can practice what they have learned. Computer Shy also suggest providing students with notes at the end of each class so that they can review what has been covered on their own.


Labyrinth Learning has several teaching resources available that instructors can use to effectively teach computer skills to students of all ages and abilities. Please visit our website or contact us for more information.


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