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Our discovery tool is an empowering first step for staff and students to reflect on their digital capabilities and to identify current strengths and areas for development.

What is the discovery tool?

The discovery tool is a developmental tool that students and staff can use to self-assess their digital capabilities, identify their strengths and offers opportunities to develop their skills further to enhance their practice of learning.

It uses a series of reflective questions that relate to our framework building digital capabilities: the six elements defined. It also offers question sets considering digital capabilities for specific roles (eg teaching staff, library staff) or focus areas (eg accessibility and inclusion).

Discovery tool questions are quiz-like and non-judgmental. They aim to assess users' confidence and experience with a host of real-world digital practices. Just by answering the questions, users are made aware of digital practices they already have and new ones they might try.

On completion, your staff and students will receive a report with suggested next steps and links to free resources that can help them develop further. Subscribing organisations can add their own resources.

Tool features

  • Access to the full version of the tool for any staff or student
  • Role specific question sets for FE and HE teaching staff, library and learning resources staff, new students and current students. In addition, specialist question sets focusing on accessibility and inclusion and also effective online teaching
  • Reports with suggested next steps and links to resources
  • A rich collection of freely available curated resources browsable by theme
  • The ability to add your own resources
  • Access to anonymised organisational level data dashboards on your staff and student capability and confidence
  • Virtual or face-to-face debrief and support around building a digital capable organisation and discovery tool implementation

Who is it for?

Our discovery tool has been designed to support individual staff and students in colleges, universities and training providers.

How can I access the tool?

The discovery tool is available to staff and students from subscribing organisations only. Get in touch for more information or to request a call to discuss how the discovery tool can help your organisation.

Logging in for the first time? See our guides on how to log on to the discovery tool.

More information on the discovery tool question sets

Question set design and rationale

The questions are developmental and designed to foster understanding rather than to test knowledge. They reflect real world digital practices and have been reviewed by our expert panels and checked against professional role profiles. Learn more about how the questions were written in our question design and rationale guide.

Our aim is for the tool to be part of the conversation you are having with staff and students about their digital capabilities. Although it is a tool to support self-reflection rather than self-assessment we see this as just one element of the wider support that you offer and not something that users do on their own. Think carefully about how you introduce the tool to users, the context and the support they may need; both while they are using it and afterwards as they respond to the feedback and begin to try out new ideas in practice (see more information on planning for implementation).

Question sets and element descriptions

The following question sets are available in the discovery tool. If you administer the discovery tool in your organisation, you can download Word versions of the question sets as well as documents that describe the elements of digital capability that the questions relate to. Please visit our Microsoft Teams BDC community site.

  • Overall digital capabilities
  • Teaching staff (FE)
  • Teaching staff (HE)
  • Library and learning resources staff
  • Accessibility and inclusion
  • Effective digital teaching
  • Leading for digital change
  • Current students (FE)
  • Current students (HE)
  • New students
  • Digital skills in AI and generative AI
  • Student digital skills in AI and generative AI
  • Recognising digital skills for employability

It has been a fantastic resource to help raise the profile of digital capabilities and dispel some of the anxieties around this. This is helping us to win hearts and minds and create an openness that will inform a considered programme of support that aligns to broader personal, team and organisational objectives.

Non Lloyd Scantlebury, academic engagement manager, library and computing services, University of Hertfordshire

Discovery tool security

We make sure that the discovery tool is secure for our users. Read about discovery tool security.