Discovery tool: student guide
Getting started (logging in)
View our 'how to' video or see the step-by-step guidance below
To login go to jisc.potential.ly
- 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.
- On the login screen enter your email and password
- Click login
If you haven't used this service before select sign up
- Enter your first and last name
- Select your affiliation (student)
- Enter your email address
- Create a 8+ character password (include at least one upper and lower case character, one number and symbol)
- Click sign up
- Once registered you'll get a confirmation email and link
- Click on the link to activate your account
- The first time you open the discovery tool you will be prompted to create an account
- You'll be asked whether you were a discovery tool user before 1 August 2022. If so, click Yes. You'll then be prompted to log in to the old version of the discovery tool so that your user ID can be copied to the new platform. You'll then be returned to the new discovery tool to continue your journey
- You may be asked to confirm your role (ie student)
- 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 your course level and subject area from the lists below
Only one can be chosen from the following 7 options:
- FE Entry Level (England, Wales, NI) or FE Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 (Scotland)
- FE Level 1 or Level 2 (England, Wales, NI) or FE Level 4 or Level 5 (Scotland)
- FE Level 3 (England, Wales, NI) or FE Level 6 (Scotland)
- HE (Certificate or Diploma)
- HE (Bachelors or Honours)
- HE (Masters)
- HE (Doctoral)
If your organisation has supplied a list of subject areas, you will be able to select from this list. Otherwise you will be able to select from one of these lists.
Subject area selection list
Depending on what organisation you are studying at you will be presented with one of the following subject area lists to choose from. You can only choose one subject area from the list you are presented with, so select the one that you feel most closely relates to the course you are studying.
Further education (FE)/skills subject area list
(Based on high level Ofqual sector subject areas)
- Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care
- Arts, Media and Publishing
- Business, Administration, Finance and Law
- Construction, Planning and the Built Environment
- Education and Training
- Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies
- Health, Public Services and Care
- History, Philosophy and Theology
- Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
- Languages, Literature and Culture
- Leisure, Travel and Tourism
- Preparation for Life and Work
- Retail and Commercial Enterprise
- Science and Mathematics
- Social Sciences
Higher education subject area list
- Agriculture and related subjects
- Architecture, building and planning
- Biological sciences
- Business and administrative studies
- Computer science
- Creative arts & design
- Engineering and technology
- Historical and philosophical studies
- Mass communications and documentation
- Mathematical sciences
- Medicine and dentistry
- Physical sciences
- Social studies
- Subjects allied to medicine
- Veterinary science
To view the discovery tool content in Welsh, click on your avatar at the top right of the page and select Account settings. Select Account settings again in the left hand menu and click Choose the Language to switch to Welsh.
Your question sets
Completing the Explore your digital capabilities question set is an opportunity to evaluate your skills across 16 key areas of digital capability.
The questions are designed to help you reflect and get a better understanding of your strengths as well as any areas you might want to develop further.
Once you've completed your question set you'll get a feedback report with resources and next step suggestions on how to expand your skills across the 16 areas.
To start a question set go to the home page and select Question sets and reports for students.
You'll find three question sets to choose from:
- New Students
- Current Students (Higher Education)
- Current Students (Further Education)
If you're just starting your course begin with the New students question set and when you feel ready (or your tutor feels you're ready) take the Current students question set.
There are two versions for current students depending on whether you're in further (FE) or higher education (HE). If you're an FE student only complete the FE version. Similarly, if you're an HE student only complete the HE version.
The questions are either multiple choice or slide bar and you can revisit a question using the previous button.
Multiple choice question
Slide bar question
Each question set takes around 15 to 25 minutes to complete depending on which set you're doing.
Because it's not a test we recommend you take your time to answer all the questions. Although you can exit a question set at any point and pick up where you left off we suggest completing all the questions in one session.
Once you complete your question set you'll get a personalised feedback report.
Your feedback reports
Once you've completed a question set you'll get a personalised report that can be downloaded and saved.
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 skills gaps where you may need further support.
Rather than being an objective 'measure' of your digital capabilities the report offers guidance and tips based on your reflective answers.
The report includes:
- A graphic with an overview of your capabilities according to each area
- A visual score for each area
- A confidence level: developing to proficient for each area
- Next step guidance and tips for each area
Next steps guidance offers valuable feedback on how to expand your digital capabilities in each key area. It includes tips on what you could do next based on your answers and proficiency scores.
Suggestions may include completing an e-learning course, carrying out a survey or creating a guide.
- Recommended resources: a carousel of resources recommended for each capability area. Further resources are available in the resource bank section of the discovery tool
Saving your reports
You can download and print your question set report by clicking the PDF icon at the top of your report and using the print to pdf function.
We recommend that you retake the same question set every six months or when your organisation asks you to. That way you can chart your progress and get the most out of the resources available to you.
Your report is confidential. It's only visible to you and those you choose to share it with, such as your tutor.
Comparing your report results
If you've completed the same question set more than once you can compare the results from two reports. This can be a useful way to map your progress over a set period of time. Both sets of results are presented as a radial graph.
To compare results go to Reports in your discovery tool Folio and select the two reports you want to compare from the drop down list. One of the reports must be the most recent version. Add the date of your second report into the learning gain report filter and click Apply.
Because you can save an unlimited number of question set reports you can choose any one of your past reports to compare with your current report.
Your resource banks
The discovery tool gives you access to over 800 Jisc-curated resources plus any added by your organisation.
You'll also find resources from the Education Training Foundation (ETF), Google and Microsoft Collection.
Each resource has been carefully selected to support your digital learning experience.
Resources can be accessed in two ways:
- Resource Bank (Students)
- Question set feedback reports
The discovery tool includes a wide variety of resources:
- academic papers
- blog posts
- briefing papers
- case studies
- information sheets
- Jisc guides
- journal articles
- learning activities
- Each resource is presented as a card which you select to open
- The cards are grouped into playlists which are divided into categories
- The same card may appear in several playlists and categories where relevant
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.
Our resources are selected from a wide range of publishers including:
- 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
Resource bank for students has 13 playlists with hundreds of resources that are mapped to the different areas of the digital capability framework and other elements used in the question sets.
The playlists are housed in three main sub-banks:
- Overall digital capabilities resource bank
- New students resource bank
- Publisher collections
Overall digital capabilities resource bank
Each sub-bank contains playlist cards for the different learning areas. By selecting a playlist you'll have a choice of multiple hand-picked resources.
For example Digital creation is one of 16 playlists from the Overall digital capabilities resource bank. Inside you'll find 58 curated resources to choose from.
In the publisher collections you'll find resources from Microsoft, Google and ETF.
New students resources
We've created a special collection of resources for new students. Open the Resource bank for students and scroll down to access the New students section.
We've highlighted some key features to help you use the tool more effectively.
Create your own playlist
- You can like and bookmark category playlists and individual resource cards by clicking on the thumbs up and bookmark icons:
- When you bookmark a resource it will automatically appear in My Playlists: Favourites
Creating your own playlist allows you to keep tabs on what you've already reviewed or want to review next.
Download and share your reports and resources
- You can download/export a list of the resources you've reviewed by selecting Download my activity
- You can also share your feedback reports by selecting the share icon
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.
Write notes and reflections
- You can makes notes, add external weblinks or write a reflection by selecting Add Moment
- Each moment will automatically be saved in your Folio.
- Your Folio is a private space where key information is automatically collated along with any Notifications and Achievements
Track your progress
- A progress bar keeps track of your activity as you complete resource tasks and 'like' each resource card
Key word search
- To search for a resource you can use the search bar at the top of the screen
For instance typing in 'digital learning' will collate resources and playlists in the discovery tool with ‘digital learning’ in the title or summary.
What devices and browsers are supported?
The discovery tool will work on most devices including your mobile. 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
- Microsoft Edge
For the best user 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 1024×768 resolution using the latest version of Chrome or Safari.
Do I have to complete a question set in one session?
You can leave a question and return to it or change your answer using the next and previous buttons. You can also save and exit the questions at any point and return for another session. You will be asked to complete any questions you have missed before submitting your answers which triggers the release of your report.
What should I do once I have completed my session?
You should manually log out as the system (as currently it doesn't automatically log you out). This is important if you are using a shared device to ensure your responses can't be viewed by others.
Will there be an option for me to indicate if a question isn't relevant to me?
All the questions in the question sets require an answer but you have the option to select None of these if you feel a question doesn't apply to you. Answering all the questions is important because it enables the discovery tool to tailor your feedback and next step suggestions with more accuracy. The questions and the scoring are there to give feedback and not to judge performance.
Can anyone else see my reports?
Your reports are confidential and only accessible to you unless you choose to share them with others such as your tutor.
Do I need to tell anyone about my results?
You may decide to share your results with your peers and certain staff members. However, the curated resources will allow you to further enhance your knowledge and skills if you want to work at your own speed.
How do I claim a digital badge for completing a question set?
Individual users can claim a 'completed' Jisc discovery tool digital badge once they've completed a question set and read their feedback report. The digital badge request 'button' 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.
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 tutor. 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.
Is there a glossary to help me understand more about building digital capabilities?
We've put together a glossary of all the key terminology regarding digital capabilities. The glossary may be helpful when reviewing resources, writing reflections or completing coursework.