Digital discovery tool

Realise your potential

The Digital discovery tool supports individual staff and students – in universities, colleges and training providers – to reflect on their digital capabilities. It presents a series of reflective questions that relate to the different elements of capability we have defined in our framework.

Discovery questions are quiz-like and non-judgemental. 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. Once their answers have been submitted they receive a visual profile of their digital capabilities. This is followed up with advice on the ‘next steps’ they might take to further develop their practice. There are links to relevant resources from Jisc and other quality-assured open content.


The Digital discovery tool is not a course. It gives individuals:

  • an understanding of different elements of digital capability
  • a neutral space where they can reflect on their digital practice
  • positive feedback about areas in which they are proficient
  • simple, actionable suggestions for further development
  • quality resources that are relevant to their needs

Feedback is based on the assumption that individuals are working in a supportive context where, for example, they can talk about their development needs, or ask to have their skills recognised.

Organisationally, the Digital discovery tool can be used to raise awareness of the range and importance of digital capabilities, and to encourage personal development. Conversations about digital capability can be taken forward with a common reference point and some shared terms. Digital capabilities become more familiar and less threatening.

The Digital discovery tool is not meant to monitor individuals, but staff could choose to bring their results into appraisal settings, or professional development reviews. While personal findings remain anonymous, aggregated data views are available to organisational users of the service. These can be used to help understand the organisation’s strengths, weaknesses, and priorities for development.

This is a beta tool which means it is currently still in development. You can find out more about the findings of the first evaluation in 2017 here.  Around 100 organisations have signed up to run the Digital discovery tool in an open pilot, ending in May 2018, on the platform. The evaluation of this pilot will be used to inform the future of the service.

How does this tool relate to other Jisc digital capability resources?

The Digital discovery tool is just one of a range of resources Jisc has developed, some in collaboration with partner organisations, to support digital capabilities. A good starting point is our Guide: developing organisational approaches to digital capability, which offers a step-wise model for developing a strategic approach. Other resources to check out are these:

Digital capabilities framework: the six elements
A framework describing the broad areas of practice in which staff and students should be confident if they are to thrive in educational settings where digital technologies, data and networks are constantly in use.

Digital capability profiles
Aligned to the framework, and sometimes mapped to relevant professional body standards, these profiles highlight the digital capabilities associated with different specialist roles.

Leadership and organisational resources

Organisations with an interest in developing digital capability will also be keen to find out more about the Student digital experience tracker project. This gathers information from students, organisational leaders, and (piloting 2018) teaching staff to provide a snapshot of the student digital experience and to highlight areas for improvement. The staff and student instruments include space for organisations to add their own questions, which could cover digital capability issues. The tracker is delivered in BOS, which provides in-system data analysis and download of data in different formats for further analysis if required.

How can I find out more?

There is information on this site from the ‘Discovery tool’ drop-down list in the top menu, and via a series of relevant blog posts.

For more information about the discovery tool, please contact