Capacity Building Series EBSN CBS OER on Building Inclusive Policies for Ensuring Digital Literacy and Skills

EBSN CBS OER on Building Inclusive Policies for Ensuring Digital Literacy and Skills

Building Inclusive Policies for Ensuring Digital Literacy and Skills

Digitalisation is a one of the most important developments in today’s society, a tide that will not go away and that cannot be ignored. It is a development that permeates every aspect of life and presents a challenge for society and individuals alike. As such it needs to be treated as a cross-cutting issue in adult education. Vocational training, language teaching, basic skills education should no longer be regarded independently of, and disconnected from digital skills, digitally provided learning content and tools in education.

The current OER unit focuses on policies aiming at improving digital skills as a prerequisite for social inclusion, labour market integration and educational opportunities. Everybody, especially vulnerable individuals need to advance their digital skills in order to fully participate in society, improve their prospects in the labour market, and defend their rights and interests. The results of the OECD’s PIAAC study (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies) have shown that many European adults have poor digital skills. Policy-makers and education providers need to establish effective programmes and initiatives to support the acquisition of basic digital skills for a large target group.

The current OER presents resources e.g. research papers, reports, policy briefs and guides and also contains expert views from different countries. Due to its focus on designing policies aiming at digital inclusion, basic digital skills and literacy, the current OER has references to the first unit that primarily addresses the design and implementation of integrated basic skills policies (Integrated Policy Approach in Basic Skills Provision). Besides these references, there are a number of resources presented in the current OER that focus on policy formation.


List of structural units

This introductory section provides an overview to the themes and key terms used throughout the OER. It begins by presenting only an introduction to the context for the growing need of digital skills today, the importance of digital literacy training and assessment. The chapter introduces the policy context within the EU and presents implications to designing and implementing digital inclusion programmes.

This section is dedicated to different conceptualisations and terms that are important to digital inclusion. The chapter focuses on the notion of (critical) digital literacy by the UNESCO, media literacy by the EU, and the term of digital competence as conceptualised by the DigComp initiative of the EU.

Making digital skills and competences transparent is a key aspect to this OER and (theme in general too). This section presents different assessment tools that not only support the individual learner to make their skills visible, but also inform policy-makers. The chapter introduces the DigComp 2.1 framework, the PIAAC survey and the increasingly used open badges.

It is essential that policy-makers be equipped with updated information on good practices on how inclusive literacy training programs are implemented. The final chapter consists of four cases studies from four different countries: Finland, Germany, Norway and the UK.


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The Capacity Building Series of EBSN provides free open educational resources (OERs) and massive online courses (MOOCs) through EPALE, to help the implementation of the European Commission recommendations on Upskilling pathways in EU Member States. EPALE is funded by the Erasmus+ programme, as part the European Commission’s ongoing commitment to improving the quality of adult learning provision in Europe. The project is implemented with the support of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).