Developing a Digital Fluency Framework

Questions that have been asked of the digital fluency team include:

  • What digital skills are needed to work or study at Lancaster?
  • What digital capabilities are employers looking for?
  • How do we define ‘digital fluency’?

In order to help people to think about what digital skills they might need, whether it’s for study, for work, to progress in a particular career, or within their community or social activities, we have adapted Jisc’s digital capabilities framework to come up with a Digital Fluency Framework for Lancaster:

How will this help?

We’re starting to use the framework to identify and develop digital skills courses for students. Some of these will be available online, some will be short information sessions, and many will provide credit to go towards the careers element of the Lancaster Award. We’re also in the process of developing a digital skills certificate, where students will be able to select courses from across each element of the framework, making selections based on their current interests, or developing skills applicable to their academic programme.

In the longer term we hope the framework will also help staff to think about areas where they would like to further develop their digital capabilities, and to help with the development of appropriate training opportunities.

Ideas are continually being developed so if you want to work with us, or have any comments or suggestions please do feed them back to us (contact Rachel Fligelstone in the first instance).

Digital T&L Exemplars – Student Bursaries Still Available

Fourteen £800 bursaries have already been approved for students in a number of departments and projects are well underway.

We are now extending the scheme to fund a further 15-16 pilot projects and are inviting applications from departments who would like to pilot the use of technology in their teaching activities. Projects may build on current activities or focus on the implementation of new uses of technology within teaching.

The deadline for this round is the 9th March. Proposals from departments who don’t currently have a project approved are likely to be prioritised, but good ideas from anywhere will be accepted for consideration!

Proposals can be submitted using the online form.

Details of the projects currently funded can be found on the Digital Teaching & Learning Hub website.

Further details about the scheme can be found in our earlier blog post.

Digital Exemplars for Teaching & Learning: Student Bursary Scheme

This new scheme is aiming to create a network of Student Digital ‘Ambassadors’ from across the University who will work on specific project within their department to develop the use of digital technologies to support teaching and learning.

Each student will receive an £800 bursary and will be supported by:
• an academic from their department,
• support staff from the faculty, ISS or the library as required,
• student ambassadors from other departments.
The expected deliverables of each project include:
• A summary of each project will be posted on the scheme’s website / blog, with progress being shared by the students.
• An evaluation of the project, in the form of a case study, project blog, video etc.
• The Digital Ambassador and academic associated with each project will be expected to give a presentation about their project in a ‘sharing practice’ day (or series of days) towards the end of summer term.

We are currently inviting departments to submit proposals (using the online submission form) for pilot projects. The deadline for submission is the 18th December 2015).

More about the scheme:

• The bursary is available to any student, undergraduate or postgraduate.
• Each proposal must be supported by an academic who will oversee the work of the student and be responsible for measuring impact and reporting on project outcomes.
• If additional support is likely to be required (e.g. from ISS, the library, OED, learning support officers) this should be outlined in the initial request.
• Although this is a bursary it should fall under the same rules as paid work in terms of the hours per week that a student is allowed to work (i.e. the student should not spend more than 20 hours a week on the project – or less if they have other paid work).
• We are expecting that the total time spent on the project by the student across the project (including development time, implementation and production of the final evaluation and presentation) should be around 80 hours.
• We are expecting that the project should run in Lent term, and be evaluated and summarised during summer term. If more than one submission is received from any department the Head of Department will be asked to prioritise any submissions .
• Bursaries will be paid to the student in two instalments – £400 at the end of Lent term, and £400 after the sharing practice day, which will take place in summer term.

Possible themes for projects:

Projects may build upon current activities or focus on the implementation of new uses of digital technologies within teaching.  Examples of possible themes are given below, noting that this list is by no means exhaustive.

  • New applications of technologies for online collaboration and participation.
  • Developing resources to help students with their use of discipline-specific software tools and acting as a facilitator for students to support themselves (we would be particularly interested in applications to trial a new online peer-support application).
  • Identifying areas of the curriculum where students struggle with the use of technology, or working with students to identify skills gaps.
  • Providing a pilot for the use of online collaboration tools (WebEx, Skype for Business, Box etc.) to build effective working relationships within groups, and/or to support distance students.
  • Offering additional workshops to develop students’ digital capabilities.
  • Building on centrally provided digital resources (e.g. from the library, ISS, learning support etc.) to integrate them into the curriculum.
  • Using digital technologies to make materials & resources more accessible, for example to support students with reading disabilities.
  • Trialling a particular tool or piece of software to help an individual student with specific accessibility support needs.
  • Developing innovative digital resources to address issues that arise for new students moving into HE (such as plagiarism, referencing, understanding academic texts etc.).
  • Using digital technologies for assessment (online marking, audio feedback, video assessment submission, to facilitate peer review etc.).
  • Integrating the assessment of students digital capabilities within the curriculum.

Welcome from the Director of ISS

Welcome to the Digital Lancaster blog. Digital Lancaster is the University’s Digital Strategy and there is a short introduction video here:

You can also download Digital Lancaster on a page or the full Digital Lancaster document.

Further information in Digital Lancaster related initiatives will be posted on this blog.

If you want to feedback or ask questions about Digital Lancaster, please email

Dr Paul Harness
Director of Information Systems Services