Developing the digital capabilities of staff and students is of key importance for educational institutions as we work towards the aim of ensuring everyone has the capabilities required to live, learn and work in a digital world (Jisc, 2015) and ensure now one is left behind (House of Lords, 2015). The University of Derby (UoD) recently made a commitment in their TEL Strategy 2017-2021 to ensure all staff and students have an appropriate level of digital capability. Initial work focused on raising awareness in staff of the importance of digital capabilities and the support available to help at the University, through a pilot of the Jisc Digital Capability Discovery Tool, alongside other institutional support. After the pilot we realised how useful a tool such as this could be for our students and, as part of a HEFCE Catalyst project, developed our own Digital Capability Check-up.
This session will provide participants with the opportunity to explore the approach UoD took when creating and piloting their Digital Capability Check-up for students. It will cover how the check-up tool was developed using the Jisc Discovery Tool as a foundation and how through partnerships with the UoD union of students and professional services, it provided students with the ability to reflect upon their capabilities, view a personalised report and access links to useful resources. The overall data gathered will also provide attendees with an insight into the areas of a student’s digital capability where they commonly lack confidence and how this has influenced the support available at the University.
Session content: evaluation and reflection
In addition, the session will also cover the challenges faced around helping students to understand what digital capabilities are, communicating the purpose of the tool, dealing with issues of data protection and privacy and how we then go on to support the student with developing their digital capabilities further. The Check-up was evaluated through an online survey and via a series of focus groups helping the university to shape this with further input from students and enable us to make the communication about the purpose of this clearer.
Jisc (2015) Developing students’ digital literacy, available at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/developing-students-digital-literacy (accessed 20/03/2018).
House of Lords (2015) Make or Break: The UK’s Digital Future, available at https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldselect/lddigital/111/111.pdf (accessed 20/03/2018).
Resources for participants
Link to presentation on SlideShare https://www.slideshare.net/lauraskelton/digital-capability-checkup-supporting-students-to-discover-and-build-their-digital-capabilities