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Digital skills development vital to student satisfaction

13 Jan 2020 | Dr Kay Hack Kay Hack, Principal Adviser (Learning and Teaching) at Advance HE, explores the importance of helping students to develop the digital capabilities required for learning and working in the digital age.

It is self-evident that digital skills are critical in today’s global economy. 83% of graduate jobs require digital skills whilst graduates with digital skills can command higher salaries. Students recognise that both specialist and generic digital skills have become an unavoidable requirement for access to, and progression in the workplace.

Student appreciation

In 2019, the JISC Digital Skills Survey (DSS) cast a sharp focus on the importance to students of teaching staff being well-versed in modern technology:

“When teaching staff are well-supported to develop skills, students feel the benefit. This is a clear demonstration of the value of institutional investment in digital continuous professional development.”

The DSS reveals that less than half of HE students feel their course prepares them for the digital workplace. Development of these skills in teaching staff will therefore be vital for students’ satisfaction, understanding and ultimately, employability, while also increasing the digital skills base of the institution.

Staff need to be competent in their use of digital technology to ensure that their students get the best digital experience. However, rapid advances in the way in which digital technology is used both in higher education and the workplace can be overwhelming; making it difficult for teachers to identify and focus on which digital practices are important for students to develop.

Developing your digital capability

As part of our Innovation in Teaching Practice Workshop series we will explore how to develop your digital capabilities in order to help students fill the digital skills gap. The workshop takes a ‘pedagogy first’ approach to enhance your practices so that your students are developing the digital capabilities they need for learning and working in the digital age.  

The workshop, based on critical digital pedagogy, is not just about using the latest tool or app, but focuses on ensuring that the use of digital technology for learning provides a specific function, such as empowering learners, developing and showcasing their digital practices or providing inclusive learning spaces.

By supporting students to use digital technologies both within and outside the institutional learning environments, learners can develop the digital capabilities required for learning and working in the 21st Century.

Developing Digital Capabilities: Learning and Teaching Practices for the Digital Age takes place on 21 January in Manchester. Find out more and book your place.


Join us on 21 Jan in Manchester

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