JISC Digital Capabilities and the DigiCompEdu framework : a comparison

As part of the Hull Digital Technologies network’s current focus on Digital Competencies, I have undertaken a comparison of two of the best known frameworks:

  1. The JISC Digital Capabilities framework – http://repository.jisc.ac.uk/7278/1/BDCP-DC-Framework-Individual-6E-110319.pdf
  2. The European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigiCompEdu) – http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC107466/pdf_digcomedu_a4_final.pdf

As can be seen from the table below, these two framework contain a great deal of similarity although some areas are organised and divided differently – for example . 

The main difference is in their purpose: the JISC framework taking an broader organisational focus encompassing all staff and students, and the range and level of competencies is then focused through ‘role profiles’ – https://digitalcapability.jisc.ac.uk/what-is-digital-capability/individual-digital-capabilities/ whereas the DigiCompEdu framework maps digital skills onto the specifc competenices required by educators and sits alongside other frameworks for citizens (DigComp), educational organisations (DigCompOrg), consumers (DigCompConsumers), HE Institutions(OpenEdu) and entrepreneurship (EntreComp). Some of the language is more appropriate to compulsory education e.g. “parents”.

The DigiCompEdu framework has a separate section for Assessment which is not considered separately from teaching and learning in the JISC framework. However, the JISC framework includes a section on underpinning ICT/Digital proficiency which is considered separately for either educators or learners in the DigiCompEdu framework.

There is limited consideration of accessibility and inclusion in the JISC framework but they have since developed an additional tool focused solely on this area.


JISC: 1. ICT proficiency


Digital proficiency

  • The use of ICT-based devices, applications, software and services
  • The confident adoption of new devices, applications, software and services and the capacity to stay up to date with ICT as it evolves. The capacity to deal with problems and failures of ICT when they occur, and to design and implement ICT solutions
  • An understanding of basic concepts in computing, coding and information processing

Digital productivity

  • The use of ICT-based tools to carry out tasks effectively, productively and with attention to quality
  • The capacity to choose devices, applications, software and systems relevant to different tasks having assessed their benefits and constraints; and to adopt and (where necessary) adapt digital tools to personal requirements such as accessibility
  • The capacity to work fluently across a range of tools, platforms and applications to achieve complex tasks
  • An understanding of how digital technology is changing practices at work, at home, in social and in public life

Empowering Learners: Accessibility and inclusion

  • To ensure accessibility to learning resources and activities, for all learners, including those with special needs. To consider and respond to learners’ (digital) expectations, abilities, uses and misconceptions, as well as contextual, physical or cognitive constraints to their use of digital technologies.

JISC: 2. Information, data and media literacies

Facilitating Learners’ Digital Competence: Information and media literacy

  • To incorporate learning activities, assignments and assessments which require learners to articulate information needs; to find information and resources in digital environments; to organise, process, analyse and interpret information; and to compare and critically evaluate the credibility and reliability of information and its sources.

Information literacy

  • The capacity to find, evaluate, manage, curate, organise and share digital information
  • The capacity to interpret digital information for academic and professional/vocational purposes, and to review, analyse and re-present digital information in different settings. A critical approach to evaluating information in terms of its provenance, relevance, value and credibility
  • An understanding of the rules of copyright and open alternatives eg Creative Commons, and of the ability to reference digital works appropriately in different contexts

Digital Resources: Selecting digital resources

  • To incorporate learning activities, assignments and assessments which require learners to articulate information needs; to find information and resources in digital environments; to organise, process, analyse and interpret information; and to compare and critically evaluate the credibility and reliability of information and its sources.

Digital Resources:Managing, protecting and sharing digital resources

  • To organise digital content and make it available to learners, parents and other educators. To effectively protect sensitive digital content. To respect and correctly apply privacy and copyright rules. To understand the use and creation of open licenses and open educational resources, including their proper attribution.

Data literacy

  • The capacity to collate, manage, access and use digital data in spreadsheets, databases and other formats, and to interpret data by running queries, data analyses and reports. The practices of personal data security
  • An understanding of: how data is used in professional and public life; legal, ethical and security guidelines in data collection and use; the nature of algorithms; of how personal data may be collected and used

Media literacy

  • The capacity to critically receive and respond to messages in a range of media – text, graphics, video, animation, audio – and to curate, re-edit and repurpose media, giving due recognition to originators. A critical approach to evaluating media messages in terms of their provenance and purpose
  • An understanding of digital media as a social, political and educational tool and of digital media production as a technical practice

JISC: 3. Digital creation, problem-solving and innovation

Digital creation

  • The capacity to design and/or create new digital artefacts and materials such as digital writing, digital imaging, digital audio and video, digital code, apps and interfaces, web pages
  • An understanding of the digital production process and the basics of editing and coding

Digital Resources: Creating and modifying digital resources

  • To modify and build on existing openly-licensed resources and other resources where this is permitted. To create or co-create new digital educational resources. To consider the specific learning objective, context, pedagogical approach, and learner group, when designing digital resources and planning their use.

Facilitating Learners’ Digital Competence: Digital content creation

  • To incorporate learning activities, assignments and assessments which require learners to express themselves through digital means, and to modify and create digital content in different formats. To teach learners how copyright and licenses apply to digital content, how to reference sources and attribute licenses.

Digital research and problem-solving

  • The capacity to: use digital evidence to solve problems and answer questions; collect and collate new evidence; evaluate the quality and value of evidence, and to share evidence and findings using digital methods
  • An understanding of digital research methods and of different data analysis tools and techniques

Facilitating Learners’ Digital Competence: Digital problem solving

  • To incorporate learning activities, assignments and assessments which require learners to identify and solve technical problems, or to transfer technological knowledge creatively to new situations.

Digital innovation

  • The capacity to adopt and develop new practices with digital technology in different settings (personal and organisational, social and work-based). The capacity to use digital technologies in developing new ideas, projects and opportunities
  • An understanding of innovation, enterprise and project management in digital settings

JISC 4. Digital communication, collaboration and participation

Facilitating Learners’ Digital Competence: Digital communication and collaboration

  • To incorporate learning activities, assignments and assessments which require learners to effectively and responsibly use digital technologies for communication, collaboration and civic participation

Digital communication

  • The capacity to: communicate effectively in digital media and spaces such as text-based forums, online video, audio and social media; design digital communications for different purposes and audiences; respect others in public communications; maintain privacy in private communications; identify and deal with false or damaging digital communications
  • An understanding of the features of different digital media for communication and of the varieties of communication norms and needs

Professional Engagement: Organisational communication

  • To use digital technologies to enhance organisational communication with learners, parents and third parties. To contribute to collaboratively developing and improving organisational communication strategies.

Digital collaboration

  • The capacity to: participate in digital teams and working groups; collaborate effectively using shared digital tools and media; produce shared materials; use shared productivity tools; work effectively across cultural, social and linguistic boundaries
  • An understanding of the features of different digital tools for collaboration, and of the varieties of cultural and other norms for working together

Professional Engagement: Professional collaboration

  • To use digital technologies to engage in collaboration with other educators, sharing and exchanging knowledge and experience, and collaboratively innovating pedagogic practices.

Digital participation

  • The capacity to: participate in, facilitate and build digital networks; participate in social and cultural life using digital media and services; create positive connections and build contacts; share and amplify messages across networks; behave safely and ethically in networked environments
  • An understanding of how digital media and networks influence social behaviour

Professional Engagement: Digital Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

  • To use digital sources and resources for continuous professional development.

JISC 5: Digital learning and development

DigiCompEdu: Teaching and Learning

Digital learning

  • The capacity to: participate in (and benefit from) digital learning opportunities; identify and use digital learning resources; participate in learning dialogues via digital media; use learning apps and services (personal or organisational); use digital tools to organise, plan and reflect on learning; record learning events/data and use them for self-analysis, reflection and showcasing of achievement; monitor own progress; participate in digital assessment and receive digital feedback; manage own time and tasks, attention and motivation to learn in digital settings
  • An understanding of the opportunities and challenges involved in learning online – and of own needs and preferences as a digital learner (eg access, media, platform and pedagogy)

Collaborative learning

  • To use digital technologies to foster and enhance learner collaboration. To enable learners to use digital technologies as part of collaborative assignments, as a means of enhancing communication, collaboration and collaborative knowledge creation.

Self-regulated learning

  • To use digital technologies to support learners’ self-regulated learning, i.e. to enable learners to plan, monitor and reflect on their own learning, provide evidence of progress, share insights and come up with creative solutions.

Empowering Learners: Differentiation and personalisation

  • To use digital technologies to address learners’ diverse learning needs, by allowing learners to advance at different levels and speeds, and to follow individual learning pathways and objectives.

Empowering Learners:Actively engaging learners

  • To use digital technologies to foster learners’ active and creative engagement with a subject matter. To use digital technologies within pedagogic strategies that foster learners’ transversal skills, deep thinking and creative expression. To open up learning to new, real-world contexts, which involve learners themselves in hands-on activities, scientific investigation or complex problem solving, or in other ways increase learners’ active involvement in complex subject matters.

Digital teaching

  • The capacity to support and develop others in digitally-rich settings to teach, to work in a teaching or curriculum team, to design learning opportunities, to support and facilitate learning; be proactive in peer learning – all while making effective use of the available digital tools and resources
  • An understanding of the educational value of different media for teaching, learning and assessment, and of different educational approaches and their application in digitally-rich settings


  • To plan for and implement digital devices and resources in the teaching process, so as to enhance the effectiveness of teaching interventions. To appropriately manage and orchestrate digital teaching strategies. To experiment with and develop new formats and pedagogical methods for instruction.


  • To use digital technologies and services to enhance the interaction with learners, individually and collectively, within and outside the learning session. To use digital technologies to offer timely and targeted guidance and assistance. To experiment with and develop new forms and formats for offering guidance and support.


Assessment strategies

  • To use digital technologies for formative and summative assessment. To enhance the diversity and suitability of assessment formats and approaches.

Analysing evidence

  • To generate, select, critically analyse and interpret digital evidence on learner activity, performance and progress, in order to inform teaching and learning.

Feedback and planning

  • To use digital technologies to provide targeted and timely feedback to learners. To adapt teaching strategies and to provide targeted support, based on the evidence generated by the digital technologies used. To enable learners and parents to understand the evidence provided by digital technologies and use it for decision-making.

JISC: 6. Digital identity and wellbeing

Digital identity management

  • The capacity to: develop and project a positive digital identity or identities and to manage digital reputation (personal or organisational) across a range of platforms; build and maintain digital profiles and other identity assets such as records of achievement; review the impact of online activity; collate and curate personal materials across digital networks
  • An understanding of the reputational benefits and risks involved in digital participation

Professional Engagement: Reflective practice

  • To individually and collectively reflect on, critically assess and actively develop one’s own digital pedagogical practice and that of one’s educational community.

Digital Wellbeing

  • The capacity to: look after personal health, safety, relationships and work-life balance in digital settings; use digital tools in pursuit of personal goals (eg health and fitness) and to participate in social and community activities; act safely and responsibly in digital environments; negotiate and resolve conflict; manage digital workload, overload and distraction; act with concern for the human and natural environment when using digital tools
  • An understanding of the benefits and risks of digital participation in relation to health and wellbeing outcomes

Facilitating Learners’ Digital Competence: Responsible use

  • To take measures to ensure learners’ physical, psychological and social wellbeing while using digital technologies. To empower learners to manage risks and use digital technologies safely and responsibly.