Framing the digitally capable university

Digital literacies as shared scholarly and professional practice


  • Fiona Salisbury
  • John Hannon
  • Jennifer Peasley



Digital Literacies Framework, international best practice


The proliferation of “literacies” in educational discourse reflect a diverse array of interests, encompassing computer, information, technical, media literacies, and also forms like academic, financial, and health literacies. As digital literacies have become a concern for the higher education curriculum, there has been a tendency to define it as a practical type of operational know-how. This paper sets out a university-wide, holistic and critical approach that breaks from the legacy of institutional framings that narrow digital literacies to a set of skills or competencies. In developing a Digital Literacies Framework, La Trobe University articulated a shared understanding of digital literacies as the capabilities and attitudes that are needed by staff and students ‘in a digitally connected world’. This marks a shift from strategies that primarily deploy institutional curriculum mapping and measurement approaches; rather it argues for an institutional approach that requires collaboration and strategic engagement of students and academic and professional staff in order to meet goals related to building digital capability. The La Trobe Digital Literacies Framework takes a whole of university perspective that integrates policy and practice, providing a rationale for the critical importance of digital literacies in domains of life, work and learning, addressing an implicit ‘Why?’ question from staff and students. The University Library coordinated the Framework development. It was a scholarly undertaking that gathered evidence and reviewed international best practice. In this endeavour, the La Trobe University Library is a leader in the implementation of a university-wide strategy for digital literacies in Australia.






ASCILITE Conference - Concise Papers