Think you know all you need to know about the digital world? Or know you don’t, and wish to know which areas to explore more?

Jisc (the UK higher, further education and skills sectors’ not-for-profit organisation for digital services and solutions) has created a discovery tool to enable staff and students of further and higher education institutions to review their digital capabilities. Through the short course of multiple-choice questions, the tool is able to draw up a picture of your digital capabilities, and then present them to you at the end with some helpful pointers, explaining each element that has been covered.

Digital capability describes the skills and attitudes that individuals and organisations need if they are to thrive in today’s world.

Polar area diagram of 15 sectors, arranged into 6 areas of digital capabilities.
The Discovery Tool provides a simple overview of your capabilities, followed by detailed analysis.

Why do it?

The results presented to you by the discovery tool can help highlight the areas in which you show the most strength, as well as any areas that you might benefit from some extra training or research. The information is geared specifically to teaching and learning, and the interpretation of these results can therefore be easily associated with improving and updating your learning and teaching practice.

The feedback is extensive and detailed, with easy to understand analysis provided alongside additional resources

The discovery tool is based on Jisc’s digital capabilities framework, covering six areas of practice:

  • ICT (digital) proficiency
  • Information, data and media literacies (critical use)
  • Digital creation, problem-solving and innovation (creative production)
  • Digital communication, collaboration and participation (participation)
  • Digital learning and development (development)
  • Digital identity and wellbeing (self-actualising)

But I already know I’m great. Why do I need someone to tell me?

Well first of all, nobody knows everything about everything. There’s always room to develop, and when it comes to digital skills, that development can have lasting positive effects on all areas of your work, study and daily life.

Secondly, the anonymised data that is collated also has a wider benefit. If Queen’s University (or your respective FE or HE establishment) is able to see what areas are strong across lots of people, they’ll be able to gauge what they are capable of as a modern institution. Conversely, they will also be able to see what areas need improvement across the board, and this can help to influence future planning, funding allocation, infrastructure development and training opportunities made available to staff and students.

Finally, here’s a short animation from the University of Derby to help outline the benefits of taking part (transcript available here (pdf)).

How do I access the Discovery Tool?

To access the tool, select your institution from the list on this page, then log in using your institution’s credentials. This is required for licencing authentication, but also allows you to log back in at a later date and review your performance, or view additional resources.

For more information about the tool and its purposes, see QUB’s Digital Discovery blog.


Tony Furnell

E-Learning Officer in the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences at Queen's University Belfast. Passionate about digital literacy, making life easier for users of technology by designing better systems, and incorporating equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) (including accessibility) into teaching and daily work.

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