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Newcomer Introduction to Classes Online (NICO)

NICO will help low-literacy newcomers to learn basic computer skills, online learning skills, as well as boost their confidence to navigate the digital world. Newcomer Introduction to Classes Online (NICO) is an open source resource to be used by IRCC funded organizations that provide online language training. The purpose of the curriculum is to improve low-literacy newcomers' access to online language training opportunities. IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) funded the curriculum development.

The course is designed to accommodate newcomers’ needs. NICO is a flexible Moodle course that can be accessed online at any time. NICO is module based and self-paced. At the beginning of each module, a learner can do a quick assessment. The feedback will suggest the learner to take, skip or just review certain lessons of a module. After completing a module, the learner can try the module assessment again for unlimited times until the feedback suggests moving onto the next module. Upon completion of NICO, participants will possess the digital literacy skills required to undertake online language studies.

NICO curriculum outline formulation is informed by a national needs survey which had 150 staff and student participants from 22 online language training programs. The research identified barriers that newcomers have experienced to access online learning opportunities. The NICO digital literacy curriculum addresses the needs and is targeted at serving newcomers with Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) 3 and above. All of the curriculum activities are appropriate to people with Level I Essential skills and plain language is adopted throughout. NICO topics include: computer skills, online communication, study skills, vocabulary and more!

NICO is a free resource for staff. Staff are welcome to share any videos, links or information in NICO with your students. (As long as, NICO is offered as a free service and attribution credit is provided.)

NICO is open to students who want to participate.

Course completion will take approximately one month for students and is free. Please visit our website for more information or to register.

Resource Details

Alberta Initiatives Gallery: No
Areas of Focus: Teaching
Instructional Level: CLB Stage I (1-4)
Language Focus: Essential Skills Integrated Skills Reading Vocabulary
Format: Websites/Links
Produced by:The Immigrant Education Society (TIES)
Funded by:Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Author:Olivia Chen, Christine Do, Jayne Crawford, and Alicia Romero
Publication year:2020
Keywords:online learning, computer skills, online communication, study skills, NICO, TIES
Added:March 12, 2020, 10:53 a.m.
Updated:March 12, 2020, 4:34 p.m.