Digital capability

A great community effort

Co-hosted with Manchester Metropolitan University, the latest building digital capability and digital experience insights community of practice event held on 19 May 2021 engaged community members in sharing ideas and practice, discussing issues and potential solutions and participating in co-design and feedback activities as we develop new resources for the building digital capability and digital experience insights services.

Insightful keynotes

Professor Helen Laville (provost at Kingston University and formerly pro vice chancellor for education at MMU) and Professor Mark Stubbs (assistant director, learning and research technologies, MMU) shared their experiences in delivering Digital Education at Manchester Metropolitan University: responding to the global pandemic, reflecting back on the situation before COVID-19 and presenting a timeline of the issues they faced throughout the sequence of national and regional lockdowns, how they responded and their vision for the university’s roadmap to 2030.

Looking to the future was also the focus for Conrad Taylor (business learning and technologies manager, City of Wolverhampton College) and Adam Dwight (learning innovator, lecturer, City of Wolverhampton College). In Defining future learning – the City of Wolverhampton College way, Conrad and Adam shared their digital journey so far, their vision and the initiatives and practical approaches they are using to empower students and staff and to ensure they have the skills and confidence to use technology effectively.

Breakout sessions

A choice of four highly engaging and participative workshop sessions covered a variety of topics:

  • Building digital skills for employability into the curriculum – Raphael Hallett and Matt Street from Keele Institute for Innovation and Teaching Excellence shared their plans to take students on a digital learning journey from reflecting on their digital development to critical use and fluency throughout their studies and facilitated workshop discussions. See also Jisc’s employability toolkit and further information on our workshops on developing learner’s employability skills
  • Benchmarking online learning – an update for the NUS/Jisc benchmarking tool – with the current focus on online learning, Helen Beetham (consultant and researcher, University of Wolverhampton), is researching and updating our existing roadmap tool in partnership with students and staff from members. The new benchmarking tool for online learning will be available later in the year
  • Digital wellbeing – facilitated by Dr Jane Mooney (senior lecturer, University of Manchester), Ben Bone (teaching and learning co-ordinator (student experience), University of Manchester) and Dr Sarah Shepherd (senior lecturer (consultation skills), University of Manchester. This session provided an opportunity for workshop participants to discuss experiences, challenges and solutions for enhancing the digital wellbeing of students and staff and highlighted the value of Jisc’s online digital identity and wellbeing workshop and briefings for practitioners and senior leaders
  • Developing subject specific digital capabilities – Helen Beetham (researcher, University of Wolverhampton) shared her research on successful online pedagogies and study practices, activities that can be embedded into subject teaching and led discussions on how best to support students to develop successful online academic and professional practices. View the resources from Helen’s workshop or visit to find out more about Helen’s research. Helen is looking to interview university teaching staff who are doing interesting things with digital in their subject teaching. This would be beyond using the core platforms (unless in very innovative ways): for example subject-specialist uses of data and data visualisation, thinking skills, digital media production as an academic/professional outcome, new forms of analysis and argumentation. If you would like to participate, please contact Helen at

Member stories

It’s always great to hear from community members and our short, and pacy PechaKucha sessions are a great way for members to share their stories and initiatives. Topics covered this time were:

  • Exploration of the pivot to online teaching and the inequalities revealed by the Jisc student digital experience survey by Dr Bronwen Swinnerton (senior research fellow in digital education/LITE fellow in learning analytics, university of Leeds). The survey data highlighted that not all students experienced online teaching and learning in the same way
  • Building digital teaching and learning capabilities in Ireland with the knowledge platform by Dr Carina Ginty (GMIT lead, building digital teaching and learning capabilities). Sharing the DigitalEd journey to date
  • Digital skills awareness for teachers by Sarah Sherman (director, Bloomsbury Learning Exchange) and Nancy Weitz (digital education specialist, Bloomsbury Learning Exchange)

Service updates and a wealth of resources and links were shared throughout the day. The slides, recordings and transcripts will be available from our event page as soon as is possible.

Find out more

Visit building digital capability and digital experience insights for further information

Join us

Our next community event will be held in November 2021 – we like to work in partnership with the community so please do get in touch if you would like to work with us to shape and co-present the next event via (citing building digital capability and digital experience insights community of practice in the subject line).

By Clare Killen

Senior consultant, Jisc data analytics

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