Digital Capabilities Toolkit

Digital capabilities are integral to personal, academic and professional development. This resource aims to support students and staff in developing these capabilities. In the broadest sense, digital capabilities may be defined as those skills, knowledge and practices that enable an individual to understand and interact with the digital world effectively and safely. Digital capabilities mediate how well a person is able to utilise digital tools and services aimed at supporting learning and, for many professions, they will impact on subsequent employability. Teaching staff need to meet expectations around delivering digitally and supporting the necessary digital capabilities required by a twenty-first century graduate.

Digital Capabilities Frameworks

These include New Media Consortium, SCONUL 7 Pillars, NTU Digital Framework and Jisc Framework. They encompass some or all of the following:

Digital devices and applications – keyboard and navigation skills, making choices about tools for accomplishing a goal
Information  finding, interpreting, evaluating, organising and manipulating digital information
Media – production and consumption of media requires ICT skills and an understanding of audience, creator and message
Communication and collaboration – digital networks to discuss, create and participate in scholarly activity
Digital Scholarship – with democratised information, everyone can have their say, but not all contributions are of equal value
Learning – digital tools for critical thinking, note-taking, referencing and time management
Life/professional skills – digital identity, well-being, safety, PDP


In addition to the frameworks, Jisc has role profiles which highlight the digital capabilities associated with particular roles including the  learner and HE teacher. These have formed the basis of a set of resources specific to the University of Plymouth:

Curriculum Strategy Toolkit: to develop a distinct and transparent programme strategy
Learner Toolkit: an interactive ePortfolio offering ‘one-stop-shop’ signposting to training and support.
Teacher Toolkit: to enhance and innovate professional and teaching practice, with easy access to employee systems.

To facilitate development of a comprehensive strategy, we recommend utilising all three as a single ‘package’, but each is designed for stand-alone use.

The Digital Experience and Platform team (formally ASTI) has developed a Toolkit for Professional Services administrative staff. See more details further down the page.

Learner Toolkit

The Learner Toolkit offers a way to undertake individual digital capabilities self-profiling through the use of an interactive ePortfolio. The process encourages self-reflection and identification of development needs before offering ‘one-stop-shop’ access/signposting to training, development and support.

How could these be used?

  • deploy to aid in transition to HE for example as part of induction and immersive module embed as part of programme Personal Development Planning strategy
  • use as part of the framework to key stages of personal tutoring.

The Learner Toolkit has been created in PebblePad and you can bespoke the toolkit for your discipline. Please email ASTI (details below) if you are interested in using the toolkit with your students or want to know more about the option to make a bespoke version.

Student instructions for downloading the Digital Learner Toolkit (YouTube video)

Teacher Toolkit

This toolkit offers academic staff one-stop-shop access to useful information and guidance around digital capabilities. It offers a host of information and links to a variety of resources to support developing such capabilities, ranging from systems they need to access and use as employees to those that can enhance and innovate their professional and teaching practice.

Access each area of the Teacher Toolkit below (right click on the link and 'open in a new tab'):

How could these be used?

  • link to PDR
  • use as part of Away Day activities
  • Self development and CPD 
  • keep personal employee information up to date
  • learn ‘how to’ use various tools in the classroom 

Digital Capabilities for Professional Services Admin Staff

The Digital Experience and Platform team has worked with University administrative staff to create a toolkit focused on digital capabilities required at each stage of employment.

Staff can use it to record the skills they have and identify any gaps. Links to relevant resources throughout provides staff with a one-stop-shop to online courses, workshops, help guides and training videos.

The toolkit provides a personal action plan staff can use to negotiate time and resources to develop the essential skills they need for their job. You can learn more about the toolkit in our short introductory video (opens in YouTube).

If you are a member of professional services and would like more information, please contact the service desk on 88588 

Curriculum Strategy Toolkit

This is designed to assist in the development of a distinct and transparent programme strategy on digital capabilities that can be articulated across all levels of a programme and the extra-curriculum. The toolkit can be used to both help map, articulate and gap analyse existing provision, and as part of the process of curriculum design in developing new programmes for approval.

How could this be used?

  • deploy to feed into design of new programme for approval, or as part of enhancement plans for programme re-approval
  • use in conjunction with UoP Peer Review on the DLE/TEL
  • used to contextualise QAA subject benchmarks
  • recommendation from Periodic Review as means of innovation and enhancement

Download the curriculum toolkit