What are digital skills?

Digital skills are the skills needed to participate in and contribute to the digital world. To live, learn and work in a digital society, organisations, leaders, staff and students need to develop their digital skills so that they can engage and thrive in a digital world. Developing these digital skills will enable people to find, evaluate, create, share, learn and network digitally.

In today's world, digital skills have become a key feature of the modern workplace; being computer literate is becoming just as important as knowing English and Maths. If staff and students are skilled in a broad range of areas then they will be well-equipped for the opportunities and challenges of a rapidly and ever-evolving digital world. In the future, it is predicted that current technologies will be replaced by their newer, more advanced counterparts at an accelerated rate. Thus, having a good digital skill set is becoming ever more advantageous.

Where might I require digital skills in the workplace?

Technology in the workplace looks very different today than it did perhaps ten years ago. It is used across many facets of the university including, but not limited to:

  • Promotion of events through social media.
  • Emails and communication.
  • Developing new skills- for instance, through online training courses.
  • Storing data- it is important that this is done lawfully.
  • Creating digital content.
  • Collaborating on work with colleagues.
  • Research and problem solving.

Benefits of developing digital skills

StaffStudents

  • To support innovative teaching and learning both on and off campus, for example, in online learning and blended approaches.
  • To enable modern approaches for undertaking research.
  • To ensure that we prosper on both an individual and organisational level in an increasingly digital world.
  • To increase productivity and efficiency.

  • To study, learn and communicate effectively throughout their time at University.
  • To prepare for a rapidly changing workplace in the future.
  • To develop graduates who have skills fit for the 21st century workplace (in the 2019 Jisc student digital insights survey only 42% of HE students felt their course prepares them for the digital workplace).
  • To develop skills for jobs that might not exist yet.

 

How can I assess my digital skills?

To assess your digital capabilities, there are a number of frameworks outlining fundamental digital skills. At the University of Bath, we recommend following the Jisc digital capability framework. This allows you to assess your digital skills, outlining what you can already do whilst also highlighting areas for development.

The JISC Framework

The Jisc framework is the digital skills model that we recommend as a University. This breaks digital skills down into six key components. Below is a quick summary of each of these components.

Information data and media literacies

Information literacy

The capacity to interpret digital information for academic and professional/vocational purposes, and to review, analyse and re-present digital information in different settings. A critical approach to evaluating information in terms of its provenance, relevance, value and credibility.

Data literacy

The capacity 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. The practices of personal data security

Media literacy

The capacity to critically receive and respond to messages in a range of digital media – text, graphical, video, animation, audio - and to curate, re-edit and repurpose media, giving due recognition to originators. A critical approach to evaluating media messages in terms of their provenance and purpose.

Digital creation, problem solving and innovation

Digital creation

The capacity to design and/or create new digital artefacts and materials such as digital writing; digital imaging; digital audio and video, digital code, apps and interfaces, web pages.

Digital research and problem solving

The capacity to use digital evidence to solve problems and answer questions, to collect and collate new evidence, to evaluate the quality and value of evidence, and to share evidence and findings using digital methods

Digital innovation

The capacity to adopt and develop new practices with digital technology in different settings (personal and organisational; social and work-based); to use digital technologies in developing new ideas, projects and opportunities

ICT Proficiency

ICT proficiency

The confident adoption of new devices, applications, software and services and the capacity to stay up to date with ICT as it evolves. The capacity to deal with problems and failures of ICT when they occur, and to design and implement ICT solutions.

ICT productivity

The capacity to choose devices, applications, software and systems relevant to different tasks, having assessed their benefits and constraints; to adopt and where necessary adapt digital tools to personal requirements such as accessibility

Digital learning and development

Digital learning

The capacity to participate in and benefit from digital learning opportunities; to identify and use digital learning resources; to participate in learning dialogues via digital media; to use learning apps and services (personal or organisational); to use digital tools to organise, plan and reflect on learning; to record learning events/data and use them for self-analysis, reflection and showcasing of achievement; to monitor own progress: to participate in digital assessment and receive digital feedback; to manage own time and tasks, attention and motivation to learn in digital settings.

Digital teaching

The capacity to support and develop others in digitally-rich settings, to teach, to work in a teaching or curriculum team, to design learning opportunities, to support and facilitate learning, to be pro-active in peer learning, all while making effective use of the available digital tools and resources.

Digital identity and well being

Digital identity management

The capacity to develop and project a positive digital identity or identities and to manage digital reputation (personal or organisational) across a range of platforms; to build and maintain digital profiles and other identity assets such as records of achievement; to review the impact of online activity; to collate and curate personal materials across digital networks.

Digital wellbeing

The capacity to look after personal health, safety, relationships and work-life balance in digital settings; to use digital tools in pursuit of personal goals (eg health and fitness) and to participate in social and community activities; to act safely and responsibly in digital environments; to negotiate and resolve conflict; to manage digital workload, overload and distraction; to act with concern for the human and natural environment when using digital tools. It is important to stay well in a digital world. This includes being aware of digital legislation, the risks associated with using technology and having an awareness of your digital footprint.

Digital communication, collaboration and participation

Digital communication

The capacity to communicate effectively in digital media and spaces such as text-based forums, online video and audio, and social media; to 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.

Digital collaboration

The capacity to participate in digital teams and working groups; to collaborate effectively using shared digital tools and media; to produce shared materials; to use shared productivity tools; to work effectively across cultural, social and linguistic boundaries.

Digital participation

The capacity to participate in, facilitate and build digital networks; to participate in social and cultural life using digital media and services; to create positive connections and build contacts; to share and amplify messages across networks; to behave safely and ethically in networked environments.

Themes

  • Employability
  • Support the needs of all learners
  • Digital capabilitites
  • Assessment and Feedback
  • Review and Reflect

Guidance

Jisc - What is digital capability?

Jisc digital experience insights staff survey 2019

Jisc Digital capability checklist for curriculum developers

TEL staff training opportunities at the University of Bath

Bath Baseline

Search for free online courses on FutureLearn

UK Professional Skills Framework

Institute of coding

Contacts

For advice on developing digital skills to enhance learning, teaching and assessment contact the TEL team: tel@bath.ac.uk

 

Where can I develop my digital skills?

The University of Bath offers a range of training opprtunities from face-to-face, group, online and bespoke packages. Follow the links below for more information.

TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning) staff workshops and training opportunities

For further information please contact the TEL team tel@bath.ac.uk

Staff and student IT training from the Digital, Data & Technology group