The Jisc Digital Capability Framework provides a structure to help individuals understand what skills are needed and supports the development staff & students. Following extensive sector-wide consultation, and an evidence-informed approach to development, Jisc have produced an initial model of the framework which describes digital capability as six overlapping elements: ICT Proficiency; Information, Data & Media Literacies; Digital Creation Problem Solving & Innovation; Digital Communication, Collaboration & Participation; Digital Learning & Development; and Digital Identity & Wellbeing.
For a more comprehensive definition of each of these six core elements see Building Digital Capabilities: The Six Elements Defined.
Digital Capabilities can be defined as the skills and/or competencies required for living, learning and working in a digital society. (Jisc, 2015)
Working to the University Digital Strategy 2017-2020, in partnership and collaboration with Schools, Directorates and other stakeholders, we hope to identify what digital skills are required of our staff and students, provide advice and guidance on meeting these needs, and ensure we are equipping students and staff with the tools and resources they need to improve digital capability at a local or institutional level through on-going consultation and development.
Developing Digital Capability
To avoid digital capability being ‘yet another thing’ for staff and students to work into their busy lives, it is useful if they can be linked with other initiatives, woven into existing processes, and reflected in strategy. For example, existing work on the YSJ Pedagogy, the Inspiring Learning & Teaching, Clear About Career, and Impactful Research Strategies.
Developing successful staff-student partnerships will be paramount to the successful embedding of the Digital Capability Framework. The curriculum is the main focus of students’ attention and driver of effort so is potentially the best route to showcase and develop digital practices.
In order to embed digital capabilities in the curriculum, staff need to be engaged and will need continued support and development as the practices they model will become examples for students. Through engagement with this Framework and active consideration of what and how staff use technology to facilitate learning and teaching, they will also be aligning their practice to the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF), and elements of the Vitae Research Development Framework (RDF).
Developing staff digital capability will also support an expanding range of study and research options, and will enable our students to further develop skills for learning in a digital society.
Staff and students involved don’t need to be technology experts; communications skills, flexibility and an eagerness to learn and share are much more important as we seek to widen awareness and develop communities of practice.
Finally, addressing digital identity and digital wellbeing not only promotes personal and professional development, but also the health and wellbeing of our staff and students.