Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Download this course

Share this free course

Hybrid working: skills for digital transformation
Hybrid working: skills for digital transformation

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

2.1 A framework for building digital capabilities

Many higher education and further education institutions have adopted the Jisc digital capabilities framework, which expresses the essential digital skills every adult should have in the context of the workplace and provides a means of articulating and understanding digital capabilities in an FE/HE setting. The framework states that:

  • At an individual level we define digital capabilities as those which equip someone to live, learn and work in a digital society.
  • At an organisational level we need to look beyond the capabilities of individuals and consider the extent to which the culture and infrastructure of an institution enables and motivates digital practices.
(Jisc, n.d).

The framework defines these capabilities as follows.

Table 4
The six elements of the individual digital capability framework are: The six elements of the organisational digital capability framework are:
  • Digital proficiency and productivity (functional skills)
  • 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)


  • Organisational digital culture
  • Content and information
  • Research and innovation
  • Communication
  • Learning, teaching and assessment
  • ICT infrastructure

In the video below, Dr Becki Vickerstaff, Higher Education Senior Consultant at Jisc, explains the Jisc digital capabilities framework.

Download this video clip.Video player: hyb_5_2022_sept105_framework_for_building_digital_capabilities_compressed.mp4
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript | Hide transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

When thinking about a digital capabilities framework, it is important to define the following in order to ensure that you understand the digital skills and behaviours needed for different contexts within your HEI – one size does not fit all!

  1. People: The group of people who need the skills
  2. Places: The context in which they need to use the skills
  3. Technology: The tools and systems that they need the skills to use
  4. Period: The time frame in which these skills are relevant (Orlik [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , 2018).

Activity 6 Jisc’s framework: how digitally confident are you?

Timing: 20 minutes

Research the Jisc digital capability framework in more detail. Consider what it means to you as an individual, and how digitally confident and capable you feel you are.

Jisc Digital Capabilities Framework

You may wish to use one of the following tools to help assess your own digital capability:

  • If your HEI is a member of Jisc you may have access to the Jisc Discovery Tool which is a self-assessment tool to help you to understand and develop your digital capabilities.
  • If your organisation is not a member you may wish to use The Digital Competence Wheel.

Write a summary of how digitally confident and capable you are and identify the areas you would like to develop. Think about which digital skills and behaviours are important in your personal life and in your role within an organisation. If you work in a HEI also consider the digital skills and tools you use, both in order to operate effectively as an organisation, and the skills to provide the best outcomes for your students.


Within The Open University the following approach has been taken to set Jisc’s digital capabilities into the OU context. Subject matter experts from across The Open University have collaborated to develop an approach to build and support digital capabilities, through guidance, training, support and processes.

Table 5
Capability This means that we….

Using technology​

(ICT proficiency)​

  • use ICT-based tools, devices, applications, software and services confidently, choosing the right tool for the job (ICT proficiency)​
Digital communication, collaboration and participation​
  • communicate effectively, appropriately and respectfully in digital spaces (digital communication)​​
  • collaborate effectively in digital teams; we understand the features of different digital tools for collaboration, and understand the range of cultural and social norms for working together (digital collaboration)​​
  • participate in, facilitate and build digital networks; we behave safely and ethically in networked environments (digital participation) ​
Digital creation, problem solving and innovation​
  • know how to create and design new digital materials e.g. audio, web pages (digital creation) ​
  • know how to use digital evidence to solve problems; we collect and collate new evidence and share it, and evaluate its quality (digital research and problem solving)​​
  • adopt and develop new digital practices in different settings (digital innovation)​
Information, data and media literacy​
  • know how to find, evaluate, manage, curate, organise and ethically share digital information (information literacy)​
  • use data to inform our decisions: we manage, collate, access and use it, we interpret it, and know how to keep it safe (data literacy)​
  • know how to receive, evaluate and respond to messages in a range of media (text, graphics, video, animation, audio) – and to curate, re-edit and repurpose it, crediting its creators (media literacy)​

Digital learning and teaching​

(digital learning and development)​

  • participate in and benefit from digital learning opportunities (digital learning)​​
  • we support and develop others to teach in digital settings (digital teaching)​
Digital identity, wellbeing​ and sustainability
  • develop a positive digital identity, managing our digital reputation (digital identity management)​​
  • look after personal health, safety, relationships and work-life balance in digital settings, and act safely and responsibly in digital environments (digital wellbeing)​
  • consider how we can work in a more digitally sustainable way to assist the organisation meet its net zero targets. (Digital sustainability)

Note: The Open University has included digital sustainability as an additional capability, that is not part of the Jisc framework.

Using the Jisc framework

In the video below, Becki Vickerstaff recaps what the framework is, then contributors discuss how it has been used in their organisations so far and areas to consider for the future.

Download this video clip.Video player: hyb_5_2022_sept106_using_the_jisc_framework_compressed.mp4
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript | Hide transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Many HEIs and FEIs work with Jisc and other organisations to develop resources to help build digital capabilities. In the video below Becki Vickerstaff explains how the Jisc framework has been used to create digital resources areas to help build digital capabilities of staff and students.

Download this video clip.Video player: hyb_5_2022_sept108_creating_the_digicentre_becki_compressed.mp4
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript | Hide transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Activity 7 Explore the DigiCentre

Timing: 10 minutes

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David worked with Jisc to create the DigiCentre, their one-stop shop for digital skills needs.

In the video below Sarah Jones, Head of Academic Services, Library and Learning Resources, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, discusses how it can be used and areas to consider.

Download this video clip.Video player: hyb_5_2022_sept107_creating_the_digicentre_sarah_compressed.mp4
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript | Hide transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Take some time to explore the DigiCentre. You may also wish to read the Jisc case study about this project: University of Wales Trinity St David, Building digital capability (

Consider how you might approach developing resources to raise digital capabilities in your own organisation.