The UK economic contribution attributed to digital capability is acknowledged as ‘enormous’1 and technological innovation features heavily in the 2017 white paper The UK industrial strategy2. Examples cited within the white paper of how businesses and citizens of the UK can ‘benefit from the opportunities of technological change’ are many and include artificial intelligence, satellite technologies, cyber security, and low carbon technologies. With a government expectation that by 2037, 90% of all jobs will require some element of digital skills3, there is an acknowledged need to invest in building digital know-how4, capability and resilience.
Despite considerable efforts by colleges and universities over several years, success in developing the digital capabilities of staff and students can vary enormously within and across institutions. Responding in a timely manner to new skills requirements is challenging for education providers3 and the increase in capability required to fulfil these economic ambitions is significant. Meeting this challenge, and ensuring that both individuals and institutions benefit, requires strategic leadership and senior management buy-in as well approaches that engage and empower individuals.
This session will focus on how engagement in collaborative digital change initiatives is helping institutions to develop contextualised and nuanced approaches to developing digital capabilities that benefit both individuals as well as to enhance organisational capability, efficiency and capacity.
The work-in progress report/experimental session relates to two of the 2018 ALT-C conference themes: Collaboration for learning technology and participation through learning technology. Working in partnership with students to create engagement, supporting the development of digital literacies and improving accessibility and equity are notable aspects of many digital capability implementation strategies. The development and piloting of the Jisc digital discovery tool5 is a large-scale collaboration between Jisc and institutions. Many are using this as an opportunity to scale-up their efforts to increase both organisational and individuals’ digital capability.
Session content: evaluation and reflection
This session draws on evidence from 100 institutions participating in a pilot using the staff and learner digital capability discovery tool. Evaluation evidence from users and institutional leads has informed the project, providing a strong evidence base of how students and staff are being supported to develop digital capabilities as well as the wider impact and benefit for institutions. Throughout the pilot (run from February – May 2018) we are collecting user feedback from: individual staff and students; institutional leads; focus groups held with pilot institutions, and; in-depth case studies. Findings will be shared with workshop participants.
What people will get out of the work-in-progress report/experimental session:
In the session we will hear from colleagues in further and higher education who will share their experiences of participating in the national pilot of Jisc’s digital capability discovery tool outlining the benefits and emerging impact of their engagement as well as lessons learned.
• Hear about key findings from the latest pilot of the Jisc digital discovery tool
• Learn from the experiences of institutions involved in the pilot as part of their efforts to develop student and staff digital capabilities
• Learn about key enablers that are facilitating holistic approaches
• Have an opportunity to ask questions
• Introduction and background to project (5 min)
• Synthesised findings from the pilot (5 min)
• 1 x institutional perspective (10-12 min)
• Question and answer session (5 min)
• Future direction for project and close (3-5 min)
(1)House of Lords select committee on digital skills (2015). Make or break: the UK’s digital future. [online]. Parliament.UK. Available at: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldselect/lddigital/111/111.pdf (accessed 28 February 2018)
(2)Gov.uk (2017). The UK Industrial Strategy. [online]. Gov.UK. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/the-uks-industrial-strategy (accessed 28 February 2018)
(3)Skills Funding Agency (2016). Review of publicly funded digital skills qualifications (2016). [online]. Gov.UK Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-publicly-funded-digital-skills-qualifications (accessed 28 February 2018)
(4)H. Beetham (2015). Deepening digital know-how: building digital talent. [online]. Jisc.ac.uk. Available at http://repository.jisc.ac.uk/6259/1/Deepening_Digital_Knowledge.pdf (accessed 5 March 2018)
(5)Jisc (2018). Digital capabilities discovery tool. [online]. Jisc.ac.uk. Available from https://www.jisc.ac.uk/rd/projects/building-digital-capability (accessed 5 March 2018)
Resources for participants
Building digital capability – https://www.jisc.ac.uk/rd/projects/building-digital-capability
Digital capability project blog – https://digitalcapability.jiscinvolve.org/wp
Developing organisational approaches to digital capability – https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/developing-organisational-approaches-to-digital-capability
Building digital capabilities framework – http://ji.sc/digicap_ind_frame
Developing digital capability: an organisational framework – http://ji.sc/digicap_org_frame
Digital capability institutional videos – https://ji.sc/digicap_films
Digital leaders programme – https://www.jisc.ac.uk/training/digital-leaders-programme