Instructor's Corner
Operating Systems & Desktop Environment

Enduring Understanding

Knowledge and skills can be transferred when the learner recognizes similarities and differences between what has been learned and a new situation.

Essential Questions

  • Can learning about compter operating systems and desktop environments assist in learning to use any computer application?
  • What is an operating system, what does it do, why is it important to know about its features?
  • What are the hardware components of an computer, including input and output devices?
  • What are the main features related to managing files? (naming convention, saved location, virus protection)
  • How are windows used in a GUI (graphical user interface) similar?
What Instructors Need to Know

This site is provided for instructors to access training materials and collaborate about issues and solutions to problems encountered in delivery of the Operating Systems and Desktop Environment Course. There are four lessons (1.1, 1.2, 2.1, and 2.2). These can be given in two sessions or divided into four sessions. The anticipated time for completion is six hours; however, prior experiences indicate two hour sessions over four weeks has produced the most lasting retention of content.

Instructors can download and print:

  • copy of enduring understanding, esssential questions, and key vocabulary
  • class notes to distribute to the participants
  • self-check sheets for the students to directly key in, or select from a drop-down appropriate answers and print as their evidence of mastery
  • sample sheets of the self-check sheets which include all the possible answers for the drop-down selections
  • answer keys for each self-check sheet 

Main content focus for each lesson is presented with the download materials.

Instructors can use the enduring understanding statement to help participants know what they can expect from completing this course of study.

The essential questions can be used by both instructor and participant to focus their inquiry into the content of the course sessions.

The vocabulary should be distributed to the participants. Note the vocabulary can be sorted by lesson and thereby give the instructor the scope of terms they need to include in their presentation of the course content.

Self-check exercises are designed for the participant to create a set of documents they can refer to at a later time to refresh their memory about the course content.

The sample self-check sheets are provided for the instructor to view all the possible selections from the drop-down choices participants have on their self-check exercises if needed.

Answer keys to the self-check exercises are provided for instructors to assure content is covered.

Course Notes and Instructor Plans
Participant Notes for Lesson Sessions
Instructor Plans and Key Vocabulary
Lesson 1.1



Computers – what are they and what makes them work? What hardware and software is needed to run them?


Computer Components Self-Check Questions.


  •  Hardware components (speed and memory)
  • Operating System software
1.1 Computer Components & Operation Systems Self-Check Questions
1.1 Computer Components & Operating Systems Self-Check Quesntions Sample
1.1 Answer Key for Computer Components & Operating Systems Self-Check Questions
Lesson 1.2


What is the Desktop and what is available from it? Shutting down the computer –what is the difference between shut down, log off, and restart?


Desktop Self-Check Questions.


  • Explore the Desktop workspace, Start and Task bars.
  • Open My Computer and explore the bars, layout area, min-max-close; set the window to specific views.
  • Use the Start bar to open Notepad. Key in a list of troubleshooting tips, save the file with a unique name – LastNameTroubleshootingTips.txt (be sure the file extension is .txt).
  • Find the saved notepad file using the Start, Search, For Files or Folders feature.
  • Open the file “Desktop Questions,” answer, save with a new name and print the document.
  • Close out the session using shut down, log off or restart.
1.2 Desktop Self-Check Questions
1.2 Desktop Self-Check Questions Sample
1.2 Answer Key for Desktop Self-Check Questions
Lesson 2.1


The Start Bar – what else can be accessed through it?


Start Bar Self-Check Questions.


  • Use Start bar and Help to learn how to create a new folder on the Desktop.
  •  Create a folder on the Desktop. 
  •  Find the two files saved during the last class session and move them to the folder created on the desktop – one by using right click then copy/paste, and the other by drag and drop.
  • Rename the folder and the documents using both right click then rename and bthe Menu bar select File then rename.
  • Move the copy created by copy/paste (because this is a duplicate) to the recycle bin; empty the recycle bin.
  •  Use Start, Search Find Files or Folders to locate the drive where the created folder sits within the computer.
  • Use Windows Explorer, navigate to the drives and view the location (probably will be on the C-drive.)
  • Open the file Start Bar Questions, answer, save with a new name and print the document.
2.1 Start Bar & File Management Self-Check Questions
2.1 Answer Key for Start Bar & File Management Self-Check Questions
Lesson 2.2


Determine Operating System and Hardware information about a computer?


OS/Hardware Questions


  • Determine Operating System and the Hardware associated with the computer you are using.
  • Convert between units used for memory size and speed.
  • Determine if a computer has enough memory to install an additional software item.
2.2 Operating Systems & Hardware Specs Self-Check Questions
2.2 Answer Key for Operating Systems & Hardware Specs Self-Check Questions