Skip to content
Our how-to guide is here to help you get the most out of the discovery tool. It provides a quick overview of all the tool's essentials to help you get started.

Getting started (logging in)

View our 'how to' video or see the step-by-step guidance below

To login go to

  • Start typing the name of your organisation in the search box
  • Click on the name of your organisation when it appears
  • Select Continue

If your organisation uses single sign on (SSO), you will be prompted to authenticate via this method

If your organisation isn’t using SSO, you will be able to authenticate using your email and password

screenshot showing the login screen where you enter your email and password

  • On the login screen enter your email and password
  • Click login

If you haven't used the service before, select sign up

screenshot of the new user sign up screen where you enter your name affiliation email and unique password

  • Enter your first and last name
  • Select your affiliation (staff)
  • Enter your email address
  • Create a unique 8 + character password (include at least one upper and lower case character, one number and symbol)
  • Click sign up
screenshot of the notification you receive once you've created your account

  • You'll be sent an email link which you need to click on to activate your account
  • Once verified, you will be able to sign in using your email and password

Account setup

  • The first time you open the discovery tool you will be prompted to create an account
  • You may be asked to confirm your role (ie staff)
  • You'll then be asked to provide some further information to complete your account setup:
    • You may or may not need to enter your name, based on your method of logging in
    • Select the area of work/role that best matches your position
    • If you select academic/training or research as your area of work/role you will be able to select a subject area
    • If your organisation has provided a list of departments, you will be able to select your specific department
screenshot of the discovery tool create an account screen”

Welsh language

To view the discovery tool content in Welsh, click on the languages icon at the top of the homepage.



Question sets

The discovery tool has several different question sets for staff.

We've designed the questions to help you consider your capabilities in relation to your current role within your organisation.

The questions also take into account digital skills and knowledge picked up in previous roles or acquired outside of work.

Once you've completed a question set you'll get a feedback report with tips and suggested resources on how you can develop your skills further.

To access the sets go to Question sets and reports for staff on the home page.

question sets and reports for staff thumbnail from the jisc discovery tool, the image shows a white icon of a person with a thought bubble on a blue background

You'll find seven question sets in total:

  1. Effective digital teaching
  2. Teaching in FE and skills
  3. Teaching in HE
  4. Library and learning resources
  5. Accessibility and inclusion
  6. Overall digital capabilities
  7. Leading for digital change

Completing a question set

  • Each question set is tailored to a particular sector and set of skills (mapped to the individual digital capability framework)
  • Overall digital capabilities is general and therefore relevant to all sectors including students
  • Completing a question set should take 15 to 25 minutes depending on the chosen set
  • Answers are captured in two ways:

Multiple choice

screen shot of one of the multiple choice questions with 2 answers highlighted

Slide bar

screen shot of one of the slider questions. The slider is scaled from 'not at all confident' to 'completely confident'

  • You can leave a question and return to it or change your answer using the next and previous buttons
  • You can save and exit the questions at any point and pick up where you left off on your return
  • All the questions need to be completed before the answers can be submitted, as this triggers the release of the report

Feedback reports

Once you've completed a question set you’ll get a personalised report that can be downloaded and saved.

Example of a discovery tool report. Image shows title of the question set (effective digital teaching) and an introduction to the report's content, described below.

The purpose of the feedback report is to help you reflect on your digital capabilities in order to identify your key strengths as well as any areas you might consider developing further.

Rather than being an objective 'measure' of your digital capabilities the report offers guidance and tips based on your reflective answers.

Each report comprises:

  • A graphic with an overview of your capabilities according to each area
Example of competency graph from an overall digital capabilities report. The diagram shows a user's confidence level in 15 areas of digital capability, with colour coding to match the 6 top-level areas of the digital capability framework

  • A visual score for each area
Example of guidance text from a user's report. The guidance text has a description of the capability area (in this example, digital creation) and a wheel chart showing a user's confidence level

  • A confidence level: capable to proficient for each capability area
Screenshot showing a confidence level score for one capability area

  • Next step guidance and tips for each capability area
Screenshot showing next step guidance for one capability area in the feedback report

Next steps guidance offers valuable feedback based on your answers and proficiency scores. It includes practical suggestions on what you could do next in order to expand your capabilities further.

  • Recommended resources: a carousel of resources recommended for each capability area. Further resources are available in the resource bank section of the discovery tool
creenshot of the resources carousel in the discovery tool, image shows four resource cards in a row in the area of

Saving your reports

You can download and print your question set report by clicking the pdf icon at the top of your report.

Your report is confidential and only visible to you and those you choose to share it with, such as your line manager.

Comparing your report results

If you’ve completed the same question set more than once you may want to compare your reports. This can be a useful way to map your progress over a set period of time. Both sets of results will be available to view on the radial graph for this purpose.

To compare results select the two reports you want to compare from the drop down list and click apply.

screenshot of the compare reports drop down function

Because you can save an unlimited number of question set reports you can choose any of your past reports to compare with your current report.

Finding your previous reports

You can find your previously completed reports in the 'My content' bookmark at the top of the Homepage. You can also retake any question set you have previously completed from this page


Resource banks and publisher collections

The discovery tool gives you access to over 950 curated resources.

  • Each resource supports the digital capability framework and individual question sets
  • Your organisation can add its own resources which will appear alongside the Jisc resources
  • The addition and upkeep of organisational resources is the responsibility of a designated staff member/admin from your organisation
screenshot of the resource bank for staff card

Resources in the discovery tool can be accessed in two ways:

  1. Resource bank for staff
  2. Question set feedback reports

screenshot of a resource card: Copyright law

Each of the 950+ resources are presented as resource cards.

When opened each card has a short description plus link(s) to the relevant external resources.

Resource types include:

  • academic papers
  • animations
  • blog posts
  • books
  • briefing papers
  • case studies
  • courses
  • games
  • information sheets
  • Jisc guides
  • journal articles
  • learning activities
  • reports
  • toolkits
  • videos

Resources are sourced from a wide range of publishers:

  • National and international bodies (Jisc, Nesta, SCONUL, EU bodies)
  • Professional bodies (CILIP, AoC, UUK)
  • Educational institution resources produced for staff or students but which could be of interest to a wide range of users
  • Websites or blogs authored by academics
  • Websites or blogs authored by education specialists
  • Networks of educators or specialist collaborators (eg supporting citizenship, research, innovation)
  • Wikipedia and Wikiversity
  • Commercial companies (such as Microsoft, Adobe, Google)
  • Publisher collection resources are free to access. Prior registration may be required

The resource banks

The resource bank for staff holds four sub-banks with over 950 resources that relate to the staff question sets.

You'll also find three additional sub-banks with resources from selected publishers: ETF, Google and Microsoft.

Resources are added regularly to ensure existing content takes account of emerging technologies and trends and fully reviewed twice yearly to ensure content remains current.

Resources appear in more than one resource bank and more than one question set report where applicable.

Overall digital capabilities resource bank is mapped to the Jisc building digital capabilities framework (individual) and the Overall digital capabilities question set.

screenshot of the overall digital capabilities resource bank

Resources in the Overall digital capabilities resource bank are presented in 18 separate playlist categories.

Each category relates to one of the 15 digital capabilities framework elements (plus an additional 3 elements relevant to students) and has around 40 resource cards in each.

A further three playlist categories are included to help staff build their students’ digital capabilities in more practical ways such as Digital skills for work and Preparing for digital learning.

screenshot of the playlist card digital skills for work

Teaching resource bank is mapped to eight areas of digital activity.

screenshot of the teaching resource bank card
  • Planning and preparation
  • Learning resources)
  • Accessibility and diversity
  • Face to face teaching
  • Teaching online
  • Supporting digital capability
  • Assessment and feedback
  • Reflection and CPD

Library and learning resource bank is mapped to seven areas of activity.

screenshot of the library and learning resources staff resource bank card
  • Digital library services
  • Digital library systems
  • Digital content and resources
  • Supporting digital research
  • Supporting digital teaching and learning
  • Accessibility and learning
  • CPD and reflection

Accessibility and inclusion resource bank is mapped to seven areas of activity.

screenshot of the accessibility and inclusion resource bank card from the discovery tool
  • Accessibility and effective working
  • Accessibility and producing content
  • Accessibility and resources
  • Accessibility and problem solving
  • Accessibility and relationships
  • Accessibility and supporting others
  • Accessibility and self development

Effective digital teaching resource bank is mapped to seven areas of activity.

screenshot of the effective digital teaching resource bank card
  • Knowledge and ideas
  • Critical engagement
  • Knowledge application
  • Dialogue and discourse
  • Collaboration
  • Content creation
  • Supporting online learners

Leading for digital change resource bank is mapped to eight areas of activity

leading for digital change resource bank image tile
  • Digital mindset
  • Digital vision
  • Digital planning
  • Digital practice
  • Digital intelligence
  • Digital capabilities and personal development
  • Digital partnerships
  • Digital access and participation

Digital skills in AI and generative AI resource bank is mapped to seven areas of activity

Digital skills in AI resource tile
  • Responsible AI
  • AI and digital proficiency
  • AI and digital productivity
  • AI and digital communication
  • AI and collaboration and participation
  • AI and information and data literacy
  • AI and digital creativity

Publisher collections: ETF, Microsoft and Google

The discovery tool Publisher collections has three sub-banks with resources from:

  • Education Training Foundation (ETF)
  • Google Applied Digital Skills
  • Microsoft Collection.
screenshot of the microsoft google and etf resource bank cards

ETF resource bank is mapped to six areas of activity from the Digital Teaching Professional Framework .

  • Planning your teaching
  • Approaches to teaching
  • Assessment
  • Accessibility and inclusion
  • Self development
  • Subject-specific and industry specific teaching

Google Applied Digital resource bank is mapped to seven areas of activity

  • ICT proficiency
  • Digital communication, collaboration and participation
  • Information, data and media literacies
  • Digital creation, problem solving and innovation
  • Digital learning
  • Digital identity and wellbeing
  • Digital skills for work

Microsoft Collection is mapped to six areas of activity.

  • ICT proficiency
  • Information, data and media literacy
  • Digital communication, collaboration and participation
  • Digital learning and teaching
  • Digital creation, problem solving and innovation
  • Digital identity and wellbeing


We've provided a glossary of all the key terminology in relation to the building digital capabilities framework and subject elements.

Navigation tips

We've highlighted some key features to help you use the tool more effectively.

Saving Playlists

  • You can save category playlists by clicking on the bookmark icon. You can like individual resource cards by clicking on the thumbs up icon:


  • When you save a playlist it will automatically appear in the saved area of 'My content'

saved content

Saving playlists allows you to keep tabs on what you've already reviewed or want to review next.

Download and share resources

  • You can share playlists by selecting the 'share' icon

sharing playlists

  • You can download your question set feedback reports to keep or share as a pdf


Compare your reports

  • Saved reports can be compared using the report overlay functionality - you can choose any one of your completed reports and compare it with your most recent report.
compare report drop down menus showing two date parameters

Write notes and reflections

  • You can makes notes, add external weblinks or write a reflection either by clicking the '+ New post' icon at the top of the Homepage or from within the 'My profile' page and selecting 'Add a new post'

my profile

posts profile

  • Each post will automatically be saved in your 'profile' content
  • Your profile is a private space where key information is automatically collated along with any Notifications and Badges you earn

Track your progress

  • A progress bar keeps track of your activity as you complete resource tasks and 'like' each resource card
screenshot of the progress bar showing a visual completion percentage

Key word search

  • To search for a resource you can use the search bar at the top of the screen
screenshot of the search content box located top left on the discovery tool dashboard

For instance typing in 'digital learning' will collate resources and playlists in the discovery tool with 'digital learning' in the title or summary:

screenshot of the search bar tool showing the different resource options that appear when you search under digital learning


How does the building digital capability service's discovery tool differ from the digital experience insights service?

The discovery tool primarily benefits individuals through a reflective process, with understanding of their own digital capabilities and resources. The insights service primarily benefits organisations with data about how users experience the digital environment and curriculum. For more information on the digital experience insights service see the service website.

What will students see when they first sign in to the discovery tool?

The content of the tool varies depending on whether it's a staff or student account.

For an overview of what staff and students will see when they first log in - please have a look at the following guide:

Discovery tool: student guide

Why do discovery tool users have to set up an individual account?

Having an individual account enables users to:

  • Return to completed assessments and reports
  • Access resources in their reports
  • Retake assessments at intervals

It also allows Jisc to provide organisations with anonymised data about completion rates and staff/student development needs by department.

Please note - individual identities are not recorded with their answers, and individual reports are never shared by us.

Can I see and give feedback on the content of questions and reports?

All the question set content is available in Word format in the BDC community Teams channel (if you have a BDC subscription you can join the community by filling in this form) Viewing them in this format might be useful to give you an insight into the process but we don't recommend you use the questions in this format with end-users. We don't currently offer the report content as individual reports are unique as well as confidential. Please send us any feedback you have about the questions and report content to us at with 'digital capability' in the subject line.

What criteria are used for including resources in the discovery tool?

Resources reflect the content of the question sets included in the discovery tool. They are all free to use although some may require users to register. Each question set will deliver selected resources in individual reports. There is also an option to browse all resources connected to each question set. Resources include content such as reports, Jisc guides, courses, guides, web sites, videos, toolkits and wiki pages. These are published by a wide range of organisations, companies, educational institutions and individuals.

Are the resources that are recommended free?

The discovery tool resources are free although some external providers may require users to register a free account before they can access them.

How many reports can be saved?

Question sets can be retaken as many times as the user chooses and reports downloaded and saved in the 'My content' folder where they can be accessed for future reference.

What is the 'My content' used for?

My content is like a private folder where users can keep any notes or reflections they make while using the tool. Reflections on resources are created by selecting the 'add a post' button. My content also keeps a record of your user history and a list of already completed question sets and viewed resource cards.

How do digital badges work within the tool?

Individual users can claim a 'completed' Jisc discovery tool digital badge once they have completed a question set and read their feedback report. The digital badge request form link can be found at the very end of the feedback report for each question set. From the date of request it will take up to 14 working days for the user to receive their email that will enable them to download/use their digital badge. The badges are delivered using Credly's digital credentialing platform.

example of the digital badge that's awarded when a question set has been completed

What if I disagree with the results?

The discovery tool isn't a test so there are no right or wrong answers. Its purpose is to help you think about the different elements of digital capability in relation to you and your work. It's designed to help you improve your skills at your own speed.

Can I do the questions again?

Yes, the same question set can be repeated as many times as you wish. We'd suggest you repeat the questions every six months or when directed by your line manager. Repeating the same question set is useful because it lets you see how your digital capabilities have changed over time - particularly if you have been working to improve a particular area.

Questions about technical aspects

What devices and browsers are supported? is a web-based platform designed for easy access, sign-up and use. The discovery tool should run on most devices with a browser and internet connection. You shouldn’t need to download any software or browser you don’t already have.

The discovery tool has been tested with both Windows and Apple Mac desktops plus a variety of tablets and mobile devices (Android, iOS) with the following browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Safari

For the best experience, we recommend completing the questions and viewing the report and resources on a full-sized screen on either a desktop, laptop or tablet at 1024x768 resolution using the latest version of Chrome or Safari.

Is the discovery tool fully accessible?

The discovery tool has been designed with accessibility in mind and we want as many people as possible to be able to use it. You can read the full accessibility statement on our website.