Using the Digital Practice Framework

Using the Digital Practice Framework

Wordle image of digital literacy

Digital Practice FrameworkPreviously, I’ve written about a new Digital Practice Framework that we’ve been putting in place within the Digital Practice team. We been using the framework to help analyse our support for digital technologies and structure the staff development activities that we wish to plan and develop.
One of the other ways that the framework can be used is to help analyse provision across an organisation and we have been utilising it in that context as part of our on-going work with the Changing the Learning Landscape project here at NTU.

One of our aims was to look at support for digital literacy and digital technologies across the institution in terms of provision for both staff and students.  This has involved representatives from the numerous professional services coming together in a series of workshops and using the framework to capture our current support across all the different services.

To assist with the analysis we’ve focused on different aspects of digital literacy/practice using an adaptation of the Llida framework of frameworks looking at both the digital practice we are all supporting and the associated digital tools potentially being used to enable that practice. Using this framework to look at particular aspects of digital literacy helped keep the discussions contained (though it was acknowledged that there was plenty of overlap especially with tools.) We then used the Digital Practice framework to consider the breadth of support for that particular aspect. For example, workshop members were asked to consider the support offered in relation to the digital practices and tools when supporting communication and collaboration.

The practices considered (taken from the Llida framework) were:

  • Use digital technologies to participate in/manage networks
  • Use digital technologies to share and co-build knowledge
  • Maintain appropriate levels of privacy
  • Manage digital identity and reputation
  • Computer Supported Collaborative Working

Associated digital tools and NTU technologies considered were:

  • Email- MS Outlook, Mail Apps on devices
  • Word Processor/Presentation Software- MS Office/Google Docs, Notes, Keynote
  • Webinar Technology – MS Lync, Skype Google Hangout, Blackboard Collaborate, Adobe Connect
  • Collaboration tools – SharePoint, SkyDrive, Dropbox, Shared Network Drives
  • Social Networking tools – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+

The groups then captured what each service was delivering in terms of support for the different levels of practitioner.

analysis of support for collaboration and communication

collaboration and communication

It was important to stress to the groups that we were trying to capture the support as it was currently or soon to be implemented, not aspirational ideas about support.


Going through this process of capturing and mapping our provision has been valuable:

  • It has clearly given us an opportunity to gather in one place the breadth of support for staff and students that the professional services can offer in terms of digital literacy support. We’ve discovered that there’s more happening in particular areas than we realised and it has already given us some good opportunities for future collaboration.
  • Of equal importance, the process of discussion, reflection and sharing has enabled staff to get together and share their knowledge more. It’s brought a much better understanding of what we are all providing to the university and helped us align ourselves further under our shared common goal of supporting staff and students with their digital literacy skills.
  • And that sharing of common goals and understanding is enabling us to think about what we can do further across our services to address some of the issues that have been identified through the Changing the Learning Landscape project and enhance our services further.

About the author

Digital Practice Manager for the Digital Practice Team in Organisational Development. She has over 15 years experience in supporting and managing eLearning and digital practice teams. She is a UCISA Exec Member and a member of the UCISA Digital Capabilities Group.

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