The purpose of the framework is to provide a common reference point for module, programme and qualification teams to use in planning and measuring students’ progression across different digital skills areas. It enables appropriate learning outcomes for digital and information literacy to be integrated into qualification pathways, and activities meeting those outcomes to be created and embedded into module materials.
Some notes on our approach:
Baseline ICT skills are not included in detail in this framework but they are a key enabler for the skills articulated here, and may be covered in other ways, for example, through engagement with the OU's Employability Framework, as part of student induction, or using other resources alongside module study.
‘Digital wellbeing’ (in understand and engage) is a new area for this version of the framework that is key within the Jisc digital capabilities framework and relevant to the university’s current focus on mental health. Looking after our own wellbeing is often about our personality traits and habits. We do however have a responsibility to provide the environment and model and encourage those habits and behaviours which will enable students to look after their own digital wellbeing.
We have taken a ‘best fit’ approach to where skills sit within the overall headings of the framework, because digital skills are closely linked to each other and often overlap. This means that some skills might not be obviously in one area of the framework but will be in another.
We have tried to avoid too much repetition across the levels: for example, at higher levels students should already be able to demonstrate the outcomes at lower levels of study.
We have included examples of some specific tools and platforms where we think they add context and help explain the skills; tools change, so we have avoided giving prescriptive lists that will date quickly.
Your academic liaison librarian will provide advice and mediate the use of the framework throughout the learning design and course production process. The aim is always to start conversations about student skills development, rather than provide a prescriptive ‘tick list’ . Please interpret the framework flexibly according to the discipline or level, and the qualification or module learning design, focussing on the required learning outcomes.
Developing digital and information literacy skills supports the university’s employability strategy and framework, for example, by developing collaborative and team-working skills, effective research and information handling skills, and communication / self-presentation in a virtual environment. The framework is not intended for use directly with students but will help with the wording of learning outcomes, which ultimately helps students to articulate their skills. Students should be encouraged to record and articulate the value of their digital and information literacy skills and to link them to their personal and / or career goals.