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Develop your digital skills

Welcome to this guide where you will find resources to support your digital development.

Supporting student and staff digital capabilities is one of the aims of the Flexible Learning Programme and included in Our Future, the University’s strategic plan.  This guide has been developed for staff for resources to support your digital development.

Working through this resource will help you to:

  • Understand what is meant by digital skills or capabilities
  • Explore your current digital practice using the Jisc Discovery tool
  • Get help using the Discovery tool
  • Create a plan to enhance your digital capabilities
  • Access further resources to support your development

What are digital capabilities?

Digital capabilities are defined by Jisc as those required by individuals to “live, learn and work in a digital society.”

The Jisc Discovery tool can help us understand and explore our digital capabilities. This online tool will take you through a series of questions about your experience and confidence of using different digital tools and approaches. There are no right or wrong answers, the purpose of the tool is to support your development.

A student-facing version of this resource, scaffolding their use of the Jisc Discovery tool, is available in the Library’s My Learning Essentials resources. 


Access the Jisc Discovery tool

Here is what you need to know before you use the tool for the first time: 

  • Select ‘The University of Manchester’ from the list of Institutions and log in with your University username and password.
  • The first time you log in, you will be directed to set up your profile. 
  • As a member of staff, there are 3 questionnaires you can answer once you have logged in to the dashboard. These are: ‘Explore your overall digital capabilities’; ‘Accessibility and Inclusion’ and ‘Effective online teaching’.
  • It takes about 15 minutes to complete a questionnaire and this will give you a personalised, confidential report about your capabilities. In the report you will see your confidence level for each area, as well as suggested next steps and links to some resources you may wish to explore to further your development.
  • When you have completed a questionnaire, you will also have the opportunity to access a digital badge.
  • You can go to the FAQ for further help.

Review your report

Identify and reflect on the areas you would like to develop further. These might be directly related to your role or, or they may focus on a different area you would like to explore. Have a look at the ‘Next steps’ and ‘Online resources’ suggested within your report. You may find it helpful to create an action plan and revisit this annually. Further resources are also signposted below, to support your continuing development. 


Explore further resources to support your digital development

We are all continually developing our digital capabilities, this is part of life-long learning. You can revisit any of the 3 questionnaires in the Discovery tool whenever helpful and we will continue to add to the further resources available here to support your development.

Digital capabilities

Get support with Microsoft 365 and access IT Services and Support:


Learn about cyber security with these resources from IT Services and the University’s Information Governance Office:


Digital wellbeing

Online teaching and research support

Teaching and Learning

Institute of Teaching & Learning and Faculty teaching resources:

Faculty eLearning teams - book appointments and access further resources:


Other useful resources:




Frequently Asked Questions

If you experiencing any issues, please review the FAQs below. 

How do I access the Discovery tool?

  1. Click on the Login button
  2. Select The University of Manchester from the drop-down list of Institutions and click on the Continue button
  3. This will take you to a University of Manchester login page where you can login with your University username and password
  4. The first time you login you will be asked to create an account
  5. Once you have created your account you will be able to access 3 questionnaires from the dashboard.

What other resources are available in the tool?

You may also find the following resources that are included down the left side of the tool dashboard helpful: 

  • Home - this will take you back to the dashboard and the questionnaires you can access.
  • Resource Bank - Once you have completed the questionnaire, your report will include links to relevant online resources to support your further development. By clicking on the Resource bank, you can access all the resources in the tool in one place. 
  • Guide - This provides an overview of using the tool and explains what you can expect from your report.
  • Reports - You will be able to access your reports here. If you would like to take the questionnaire again, then make sure you first download and save a copy of your existing report elsewhere.
  • Glossary - When you have clicked to start a questionnaire, on the first screen you will see a link to the Glossary, this explains the terms used within the tool.

Can anyone else see my report?

No, only you can see and access your personalised reports. The University has access to an Institutional data dashboard. This collates anonymised data from completed questionnaires and benchmarks our University, again anonymously, with the Higher Education sector.

I am unable to access the Discovery tool, who can help me? 

The University has a subscription to the Discovery tool, which is provided by an external company, Jisc. Periodically, for example, during maintenance, the tool will be unavailable at times beyond the University’s control. If you are unable to log in to the tool, we recommend, in the first instance, clearing your browser cache/cookies (or using a different browser), and if you still cannot log in, trying again later, e.g., in an hour. If the issue persists, please contact IT Services.

I have an issue accessing my digital badge from Credly, what should I do?

The University has no relationship with Credly, which is an external company. If you choose to sign up to Credly in order to access a digital badge once you have completed a Discovery tool questionnaire, please do not use the same password you use to login to University services when setting up an account. Before using Credly, we recommend you read their Privacy policy and Terms of use and if you need any support with their service, please access this directly from Credly.


This resource reuses elements of 'Start to finish: Develop your digital capabilities' from My Learning Essentials. My Learning Essentials resources are developed by The University of Manchester Library, and are licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0. My Learning Essentials © The University of Manchester.

Supporting student and staff digital capabilities is one of the aims of the Flexible Learning Programme and this resource has been produced as part of this work