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Digital education

#CEIOS: Digital capabilities – The next step

30 November 2017

(Events are organised and run by the CEI team)


Earlier this year I was asked to set-up and co-ordinate series of events focusing on technology enhanced learning and teaching.

What an excellent opportunity I thought to myself but soon I realised that putting together such programme requires a great deal of thinking time and comes with many challenges.

I wanted to start with basics, I wanted to explore the area of digital literacy in Cardiff University. In my mind it looked quite clear and simple:  If I don’t know my digital strengths and weaknesses, how do I know that I’m digitally capable and well-equipped for classes of 21st century? How can I talk about online assessment, design quality material for mobile learning, or use of social media in teaching if I don’t understand my digital ability? These days, we are used to multitasking and efficiently dealing with information and data. But does it mean that we became digital polymaths? I wanted to explore further.

My first event is set up in this spirit. I called it Digital Capabilities – The Next Step. I invited Lisa Gray from JISC to speak about their journey with digital capabilities, design and launch of discovery tool and feedback they received, and I also invited our fellow colleague Matt Smith who has been working on a project called DigiCap, in the School of Pharmacy. The project is based on Jisc’s digital capability framework.

The aim of the session is to stimulate discussion around digital strengths and capacity of university staff, and what impact can it have on students’ learning experiences. Are we well-equipped for ever-changing digital environment?

I also wanted staff to have the opportunity to discuss in more detail, so we decided to follow the seminar up with a more practical session. I am sure that using the assessment tool and other resources, sharing experience and knowledge will help develop understanding in this area. I also hope that this will open doors for future partnerships and collaborations, and that at the end of this journey, our staff and students will realise the benefits.

I trust that this event will inspire our colleagues to think about how technology can enhance their teaching and learning and will inspire them to reflect on their practice.


The afternoon went really well and the recording is available for Cardiff university staff and can be watched here.

Lisa’s presentation was inspirational and touched many topics of discussion like the Six elements framework, Staff digital capabilities – impact and self-reflection and the importance of communities of practice.  We learnt about role-specific profiles and mappings and how the six elements framework can be interpreted and implemented in role-specific ways (all of which can be viewed on the Jisc website).

Matt walked through his CEI funded DigiCap Cardiff project. He explained how the project only scratched the surface of digital capabilities and it was the starting point for the framework’s transition into other academic areas. In addition, we will be looking to explore digital capability profiles for students, professional services staff, libraries and leaders.

In my opinion this project gives us an excellent opportunity to further explore digital capabilities across the institution, so that everyone in Cardiff University can benefit.