15 December 2021

How do we assess digital skills?


Nowadays, digital competences are a must. The confident and critical use of digital technology is a key to supporting lifelong learning, active citizenship, employability, and inclusion. Being able to (self-) assess these competences can support people in their job and/or training search, and NGOs, and educational institutions in designing specific programs to address the real learning needs, as well as allow governments and employers to plan initiatives that can bridge the information gap between job seekers and employers.

The European Commission launched a new digital skills self-assessment tool to help learners and professionals understand their level of digital skills based on the digital competence framework. You can read more details about the new self-assessment tool in the official announcement here. It is also available on Europass and Digital skills and Jobs platform

The Digital Competence Framework for Citizens (DigComp) identified the key components of digital competence in 5 key areas, which are the main aspects that can be self-assessed through this tool:
  • Information and data literacy: the set of skills needed to search for, access, and navigate between different types of digital content (files, websites, etc.). This also includes being able to compare different sources of information and understand which ones are reliable. The ability to store, manage, and organise folders and various types of files is part of this competence area as well.
  • Communication and collaboration: the set of skills needed to use digital technologies to interact, communicate and collaborate with other people. This also includes being able to participate in society through use of public and private digital services. The ability to manage one’s identity and reputation on the web is part of this competence area as well.
  • Digital content creation: the set of skills needed to create and edit various types of digital content, including text and multimedia files. This includes skills necessary to improve and integrate different kinds of information and content together. The ability to understand how copyright and licenses work and how to develop instructions for a computing system are part of this competence area as well.
  • Safety: the set of skills needed to protect devices, content, personal data and privacy, while understanding risks and threats of digital environments. This also includes skills necessary to protect physical and psychological health and to be aware of digital technologies for social well-being and inclusion. The awareness of the environmental impact of using digital technologies is part of this competence area as well.
  • Problem-solving: the set of skills to identify needs and technical problems, and to select appropriate technological responses to solve them. This also includes the skills necessary to use digital tools to innovate processes and products. The abilities to understand which digital competences need to be improved and to keep up-to-date with the digital progress are part of this competence area as well.
Nevertheless, it is important to emphasize that digital competences must be considered, developed and improved in combination with other key competences, such as entrepreneurial and ‘green’ competences, that are essential for ‘personal fulfillment, a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, employability, active citizenship, and social inclusion. 

To find more about GEYC's work in the digital field please check the dedicated page here