How to understand where your students are at with digital


We have developed some activities that can be used to understand where your students are at with digital. This activity uses the DCAF as a tool to discover which areas of digital practice your students understand, care about and need support with. It’s a great way to foster constructive discussion about the digital in general. The activities were originally developed as part of a series of focus groups that helped us refine the DCAF, but they can be used in any context or discipline.
(Printable resources for these activities can be downloaded from the bottom of this page) 




Activity 1

Students are given 27 cards (3 for each of the 9 attributes), and asked to plot them on a pre-designed map (see fig.1) . The X axis shows a spectrum from ‘sense’ to ‘nonsense’, and the Y axis shows a spectrum from ‘I care’ to ‘I don’t care’.


Students are then asked to evaluate what they think they are already good at and what they want to get better at. They do this by placing emoji stickers onto the attributes they have just stuck onto the map:

After each stage you can have a discussion, asking students to share insights to the bigger group about the way they did the mapping. The first part will typically reveal issues around language, and how much students care about the different elements of the DCAF. The second part will reveal how the students feel about their capabilities, and which areas they would like to improve on.

Activity 2

Students are asked to plot the attributes on another grid:

The aim here is to find out when and where in their learning journeys students think they would/should develop DCAF attributes, and which ones they want their course or UAL more broadly to help them with the most.

Again, having a discussion around why things have been plotted the way they have been can give you insights about students’ expectations around digital.


If you would like to run these activities you can download the materials here:

Activity 1 Map (PDF 45KB)

Activity 2 map (PDF 45KB)

DCAF element cards