Teaching digital skills in your course

Why teach digital skills?

Digital literacy incorporates the ability to search and navigate, create, communicate and collaborate, think critically, analyse information, and address safety and wellbeing using a variety of digital technologies. These skills are increasingly critical for individuals' participation in the workforce (Australian Government - Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2020).

The Library seeks to support academics to develop their student's digital literacy by offering the Digital Essentials suite of modules. The modules cover different digital capabilities for creation, communication, wellbeing, data, information, learning and functional skills. Developing students' digital and information literacy is critical to UQ's strategic plan to create game-changing graduates, who are able to thrive in the digital workplace.

Use the Teaching pathway to select modules to use in your courses to build your students' digital skills. Check the Graduate attributes tables for the attributes that have been assigned to each module.


Pathway to digital skills

The pathway will allow you to choose modules to build your students' digital capabilities in your courses. It also lists related support and resources, if you need extra help or information. Some modules will fall under multiple paths, as they cover more than one skill.

Download the Digital essentials module use spreadsheet (Excel, 20KB) to keep a record of the modules you use in your courses.

Click the plus symbol for the skill you want to teach and then choose a module to develop that skill:


Build graduate skills

University of Queensland graduates are expected to display effective communication skills, independence and creativity, critical judgement and ethical and social understanding, as well as in-depth knowledge in their field of study. Read more in the Graduate Attributes policy. Your students can gain knowledge and skills from each module that will contribute to their graduate attributes. These qualities are valued by employers, along with their discipline knowledge.

Creation and innovation

Modules Effective communication  Independence and creativity  Critical judgement  Ethical and social understanding 
Accessibility and study hacksYes  Yes
Choosing the right toolYesYes  
Finding and using media  YesYes
Writing for the webYesYes Yes
Your Intellectual Property  YesYes


Modules Effective communication  Independence and creativity  Critical judgement  Ethical and social understanding 
Working with data YesYesYes
Document your research data  Yes 

Identity, communication and wellbeing

Modules Effective communication  Independence and creativity  Critical judgement  Ethical and social understanding 
Communicate and collaborateYes YesYes
Digital wellbeing and privacyYes YesYes
Employability YesYes 
eProfessionalismYes YesYes
Social mediaYes  Yes

Information and research

Modules Effective communication  Independence and creativity  Critical judgement  Ethical and social understanding 
Information essentials YesYes 
Types of assignmentsYesYes  
Write, cite and submitYes  Yes

Learning and functional skills

The UQ systems module is to help your students become familiar with the systems they will need to use at UQ, including Learn.UQ, mySI-net, TurnItIn, email and UQ Book It. It has not been assigned any graduate attributes.

Modules Effective communication  Independence and creativity  Critical judgement  Ethical and social understanding 
Artificial intelligence   Yes
Internet essentials  YesYes
Password management  YesYes
Working with files YesYes 

What are the modules?

Digital Essentials is a suite of online modules that aim to develop key digital skills. The modules are designed to cover skills from across Jisc's six elements of digital literacy

  • Creation and innovation 
  • Data
  • Identity, communication and wellbeing
  • Information and research
  • Learning and functional skills

The modules have been co-developed with students, with participation by a range of University stakeholders, including:

  • Information Technology Service (ITS) 
  • Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation (ITaLI) 
  • Careers and Employability 
  • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Communication and Arts
  • Student Services

Using the modules in your course

The Digital Essentials modules are designed to be used in courses at the point of need. You can direct students to a particular module that links to a learning activity or assessment within your course.

Example use cases

  • UQ Systems is designed to help students learn about the online systems they will use during their studies. This module is ideal for students that are new to UQ or for foundation courses.
  • Communicate and collaborate online explores strategies for effective online communication and tools for collaboration. Students could be directed to this module prior to commencing group work or assessment.
  • Finding and using media explores how to find copyright-compliant images, audio and video. Students creating presentations, videos or other multimedia-based assessment items could benefit from completing the module.
  • Types of assignments discusses the different types of assignments students may have to complete, from written assessment through to coding and creating videos. This module will help students use effective strategies for different formats and find the tools they need to complete their assessment.

You can link directly to the module from Learn.UQ, your reading lists or embed a quiz to direct students that need assistance to the module.

Direct links

Linking directly is useful if module completion is mandatory for all students, or if the module is being used for general information.


  • For the Assessment 1: Learning blog it is important that you create accessible content. To ensure that you are familiar with accessibility principles complete the Accessibility and study hacks module and include the certificate of completion with your cover sheet
  • In this week’s tutorial we will be discussing whether internet access should be a human right. If you are not familiar with topics such as the surface/dark web, net neutrality and phishing you may like to complete the Internet essentials module.
  • Referencing your work is a key part of academic integrity. To ensure you understand why we reference, and how to do it, complete the Write, cite and submit module and upload your certificate to Learn.UQ.


You can embed a module quiz to allow students to test their study and digital knowledge and capabilities before completing a module. The students complete the module if there are concepts they need to learn more about. This is useful if some students have covered concepts that others are unfamiliar with.


Your course requires students to create a presentation, incorporating images or other material that may be under copyright. The Digital Essentials quiz could be used to check your students’ knowledge of copyright. Students who do not answer the questions correctly should complete the relevant module. The following question is an example of a quiz question that could be embedded into your Learn.UQ site, to assess student's knowledge:


A Creative Commons licence is an example of what type of licence?


  • Exclusive licence
  • Attribution licence
  • Confidential licence


The Finding and using media module has further information on Creative Commons licences.

In other units, some students may not be familiar with how they should name their assessment files, prior to submission. The self-assessment quiz may also be useful if you would like to highlight specific issues around file formats or file names, as in the following example:


You are saving a copy of your essay before submitting it. Select the best file name for your document:


  • Essay2.doc
  • EDUC1130_Assignment_2.doc
  • Education essay.doc
  • Assignment2.doc


For useful tips on file naming go to Naming conventions in the Working with Files module.

You can track your student’s completion of the modules using an online quiz. This is a short quiz that contains between six and ten questions. Students need to correctly answer all questions in order to pass. There are two versions of the quiz to allow you the flexibility to use the quiz in a way that suits your course:

  • H5P in Learn.UQ and edX(Edge)— you can link to the H5P quiz in your course to check response data and completion . You can also link it to Grade Centre. 
  • UQ Checkbox — this is an external link at the end of each module. Students use their UQ login to access the quiz and this captures their username on the certificate so that you can verify completion. This certificate can then be saved as a PDF and may form part of a learning activity or assessment requirements. The certificate can also be uploaded to their ePortfolio.

Other assessment ideas

The UQ Assessment Ideas Factory is a searchable database of assessment techniques. You can use the database to find assessment techniques that promote active learning. You can also contribute your assessment techniques to the database.

Contact us

Contact the Librarian Team for help using or linking to the modules in your courses.

For courses using edX (Edge) as a platform, contact your learning designer for advice on how you can use or link to the modules.