How can I embed digital capabilities in the curriculum?

Support for developing some digital capabilities will already be embedded in your curriculum.  Some colleagues have found that sometimes students need additional support to recognise the digital skills they are acquiring and have appropriate language to confidently talk about these abilities to potential employers.

The following is based on approaches from Jisc utilising the ‘6 elements’ of the Digital Capabilities Framework and freely available Jisc resources to help map, analyse and expand on support for digital capabilities provision within your curriculum.  The student voice should be represented as appropriate when working through the following steps.

1. Personalise

Starting with Jisc’s ‘Learner Role Profile’ for students, personalise the expectations / ILOs against each of the 6 elements of digital capabilities so that they are relevant to your Programme/Unit and context.  You can download a copy of the template used below here.


2. Map

Complete a mapping exercise of current Programme/Unit learning activities against the ILOs you have derived for each of the 6 elements of digital capabilities.  This will identify the elements you are already providing support for, as well as helping to highlight areas may wish to expand on.


3. Benchmark / Evaluate

Jisc worked with the NUS to create a 'Roadmap for supporting students to improve their digital experience at university and college'.  The Roadmap is a useful rubric, guiding what ‘good practice principles’, such as students being ‘prepared to study with digital technologies’ look like on a scale from ‘first steps’ to ‘outstanding’.  Again, this phase can assist in identifying areas to develop or enhance and having students’ views represented is essential.

4. Develop / Enhance

The Conversations that Count cards have been designed by Jisc to scaffold discussions with students about their ‘digital experience’.  Guidance is included on how to use this resource which provide starter questions against a series of key topics for students and staff to explore, enabling the planning of developments/enhancements.

5. Recognition of skills & Signposting resources

Two further measures to support embedding of digital capabilities into practice:

  • Supporting students to recognise their digital capabilities and capture and confidently discuss them as they build their digital CVs. Making ILOs around Digital Capabilities transparent to students can assist in this, e.g. including them at the start of each Unit.
  • Signposting to supplementary supportive resources, such as My Learning Essentials and support from IT Services and Faculty eLearning teams (BMH / Humanities / Science & Engineering).

To ensure currency, this has to be an iterative process, with the steps listed above forming a cycle to be worked through repeatedly, rather than a linear sequence.

Further Support

  • If you would like to discuss implementing the outlined approach, please contact Jane Mooney who is happy to discuss / support personalising in your context.
  • If you would like to discuss the creation of learning activities supporting the development of digital capabilities please contact your eLearning team who will be able to advise on approaches and appropriate technologies.
  • My Learning Essentials from The Library has resources to support different aspects of student digital capabilities, such as literature searching, evaluating sources and social media.

Previous suggested reading: What are digital capabilities and why are they important?

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