Digital Literacy Framework

The DSC steering group have agreed a Digital Literacy Framework for the University, which was endorsed by ULT in Nov 2017. Existing digital training and skills development across the institution (offered variously by OD, CDS, RED, ITS, the Library and LLI) will, for the first time, be co-ordinated and articulated within this consistent framework.

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Why is digital literacy important?

Paul Gilster (1997), pioneer in the use of the term digital literacy, said, it’s about “mastering ideas – not keystrokes”. Being digitally literate is an ongoing process. Becoming more confident and proficient over time, digital literacy becomes simply about efficient and effective use of technologies in everyday life so that being digitally literate is an intrinsic part of who we are in both our personal and professional lives.

This framework is a single, shared set of organisational principles around the articulation and support of digital literacy for staff and students.  Adapting JISC’s national Digital Skills and Capabilities model,  the framework offers a more mature and nuanced view of 'IT Skills’ differentiating between six areas of digital literacy.


As part of the DSC Steering Group, the six stakeholder groups, will continue to develop, communicate and firmly embed this digital literacy framework and the six key digital literacy areas into University activities.

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Core IT Skills and Knowledge

A confident understanding of the basic concepts in IT. Fluent moving between different devices and applications to accomplish a variety of tasks, choosing devices, applications, software and systems relevant to different tasks and the capacity to stay up to date as they evolve. Able to use and maintain devices for everyday digital activities and adapt digital tools to personal requirements such as accessibility.

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Working with Information, Data and Media

Know how to find, evaluate, manage, organise and share digital information. The capacity to critically receive and use information in a range of digital media. To collate, manage, access and use digital data in spreadsheets, databases and other formats, and to interpret data by running queries, data analyses and reports. Appreciate the legal, ethical and security guidelines in the management, access and use of data.

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Communication and Collaboration

Be able to communicate and collaborate effectively in digital media and spaces such as email, online forums, video and audio, and use shared digital tools to produce shared materials and use shared productivity tools.  Understand the varieties of cultural and other norms for working together to participate in digital teams and working groups. Design digital communications for different purposes and audiences; to respect others in public communications; to maintain privacy in private communications; to identify and deal with false or damaging digital communications.

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Creation, Problem Solving and Innovation

Use technology to support research to gather evidence, solve problems, answer questions and share evidence and findings using digital methods.
The ability to design and create new digital artefacts and materials such as web pages, images, audio and video, apps and interfaces. An understanding of the digital production process and the basics of editing and coding. The capacity to adapt and develop new practices, new ideas, projects and opportunities with digital technology.

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Learning and Teaching
An understanding of the opportunities and challenges involved in learning online. Participate in and benefit from digital learning opportunities; identify and use digital learning resources; manage your own time and tasks, attention and motivation to learn in a digital setting having an understanding of your own needs and preferences as a digital learner.
Have an understanding of the educational value of different media for teaching, learning and assessment; making effective use of the available digital tools and resources to support different educational approaches to develop others in digitally-rich settings.
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Digital Identity and Wellbeing

Develop and project a positive digital identity or identities and understand the reputational benefits and risks involved in digital participation; look after personal data, health, safety, relationships and work-life balance in digital settings to manage digital workload, overload and distraction. Build digital networks to participate in social and cultural life using digital tools.

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