Developing the digital literacies of academic staff: an institutional approach

  • Barbara Newland University of Brighton
  • Fiona Handley University of Brighton
Keywords: e-Learning, staff development, digital competency, digital leadership


Institutional engagement with digital literacies at the University of Brighton has been promoted through the creation of a Digital Literacies Framework (DLF) aimed at academic staff. The DLF consists of 38 literacies divided into four categories that align to the following key areas of academic work:

  • Learning and teaching
  • Research
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Administration

For each literacy, there is an explanation of what the literacy is, why it is important and how to gain it, with links to resources and training opportunities. After an initial pilot, the DLF website was launched in the summer of 2014. This paper discusses the strategic context and policy development of the DLF, its initial conception and subsequent development based on a pilot phase, feedback and evaluation. It critically analyses two of the ways that engagement with the DLF have been promoted: (1) formal professional development schemes and (2) the use of a ‘School-based’ approach. It examines the successes and challenges of the University of Brighton’s scheme and makes some suggestions for subsequent steps including taking a course-level approach.

Keywords: e-Learning; staff development; digital competency; digital leadership

(Published: 11 October 2016)

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2016, 24: 31501 -


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Author Biographies

Barbara Newland, University of Brighton
Assistant Head of the Centre for Learning and Teaching, Principal Lecturer in Learning and Teaching
Fiona Handley, University of Brighton
Senior Lecturer, Centre for Learning and Teaching
How to Cite
Newland B., & Handley F. (2016). Developing the digital literacies of academic staff: an institutional approach. Research in Learning Technology, 24.
Original Research Articles