Welcome to our Digital Skills and Digital Literacy piece.

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Job Skills

Assessing graduate digital skills requires a specific tool that questions graduates on their emotional intelligence. Welcome to our digital skills tests.

Digital Literacy. Young people in a line busy on different devices.

Graduate digital skills tips

We define graduate digital skills as:

The ability to use information as well as communication technologies in order to find, evaluate, communicate, and create information.

digital skills and digital literacy

Our client Alison’s top ten skills for 2021.

What is graduate digital literacy?

The word literacy is usually a word associated with skills such as reading and writing. However, adding the term digital to it changes things up quite a bit. While reading and writing are still at the heart of digital literacy, the term deals with a lot more.

What is graduate digital literacy?

The term digital literacy is misleading. Instead, digital literacies are the term that should be adopted as digital literacies better describes the many areas of what reading and writing are in the 21st century. Digital literacies involve many opportunities to use digital tools, texts as well as multimodal representations for creation, design, play and problem-solving.

Companies know that it isn’t practical to have a single measure for assessing digital literacy of workers at different levels. However, most companies have adopted the approach of creating a general measure in order to assess basic competencies. It isn’t possible for a company to look deeply into each candidate’s skill set without a significant time investment. For now, a general approach is the way companies have opted for. A general approach serves as a gate to separate young graduates who qualify and those who don’t.

Graduate digital skills

Graduate Digital Literacy. Graduate at graduation.

Why graduate digital literacy and digital skills are so important

Technology has changed the ways we communicate and receive information in more ways than one. Digital literacy is quite a broad term. In fact, many experts choose to shy away from the term simply because of how broad the term is.

Graduate digital literacy requires technical skills in addition to cognitive skills.

Hiller Spires, a professor of technology and literacy at North Carolina State University, interestingly described digital literacy as falling into three buckets. The first bucket is

  • Searching for and consuming digital content.
  • Creating digital content.
  • Communicating or sharing this digital content.

Graduate digital skills

How the Civil Service assesses digital skills

For each job role level (for example, content designer, senior content designer, head of content) in the Digital, Data and Technology Profession Capability Framework, you will find a list of skills, each of which has a skill level assigned to it.

These 4 skill levels tell you about the level of expertise required for the job role at that level:

  • Awareness. You know about the skill and have an appreciation of how it is applied in the environment.
  • Working. You can apply your knowledge and experience of the skill, including tools and techniques. You can adopt those most appropriate for the environment.
  • Practitioner. You know how to share your knowledge and experience of this skill with others, including tools and techniques. You can define those most appropriate for the environment.
  • Expert. You have both knowledge and experience in the application of this skill. You’re a recognised specialist and adviser in this skill including user needs, generation of ideas, methods and tools. You can lead or guide others in best-practice use.

Graduate digital literacy

Some people would argue that consuming digital content is the same as reading printed media. The only thing that people need to know on an e-reader is how to power the device on and flip the pages back and forth. Even though an e-reader is digital, it isn’t very different from a printed book. This kind of digital reading has been described by Donald Leu, an education professor at the University of Connecticut, like offline reading.

Leu has compared the aforementioned type of reading to online reading. He has said that reading text through the internet requires a lot of extra skills. Reading the text online ensures that the experience is different for everyone as there are videos, audio clips, hyperlinks, and so on to take into account.

digital literacy

Sharing and communicating digital content

As already mentioned, digital writing is created to be shared. The tools that people use to create such material have made it easy to do so. In a 2012 paper that North Carolina State’s Spires and Melissa Bartlett wrote, they said that the tools of Web 2.0 are participatory, collaborative, social, simple to use and are great at fostering online communities.

Digital Skills Tips

For this reason, digital writing can be a force for good. However, it can also be a dangerous tool. Deciding what to share online can have serious ramifications on a graduate’s privacy, reputation, and even safety. This is why learning about the right internet behaviour is an important part of digital literacy.

Graduate Digital Literacy. Business owner on tablet.

Graduate digital skills

Creating literacy content

The term digital literacy encompasses content creation too. Digital formats such as email, blogs, tweets, and so on all fall under content creation. Digital authorship has been described by Renee Hobbs, a professor of communication studies at the University of Rhode Island, as social power. Hobbs has said that digital content creation is a process which is both collaborative and creative. The process is wrought with risk-taking and experimentation. She has said that print-writing involves more risk because digital writing is created so that it can be shared.

Graduate digital literacy

As we move into an ever-increasing digital world, digital literacy will become more critical. Companies are still looking into how they can adapt to this new skillset.

Education Jobs

Graduate travelling as a form of education:

1. Language Skills

Learning more than one language is essential in the world today and even more for travellers but it does not come easy as our ability to store new information decline as we age. While English is spoken in most parts of the world, there are several places where you may have to struggle with the language barrier. Most travellers tend to do a bit of language studying, to familiarize themselves with the basics. This will help to not only communicate better with locals but to also be exposed to a new language and tribe. See this as an easy way to pick up new languages!

2. Financial Responsibility

Travelling comes with expenses and it teaches financial responsibility in the long run. To plan for a trip, you need to prepare a budget, work on your spending habit and learn to save. While all these might not come easy, it teaches you discipline and financial responsibility, which reflects in other areas of your life. The lessons from this are forever valuable to helping you live a financially stable life.

3. Learn about Cultural Differences

Learning about the diversity of culture helps you understand better how the human mind works. Travelling exposes you to new people, their way of life, personalities, tradition and more that you will have to deal with pending the time you spend with them. With time, you will gradually learn about your similarities and differences and what makes them unique. This will help create a level of tolerance between yourself and other people from different walks of life, as you will have a better understanding of humans in general.

Now we focus on options for designing and for using graduate assessments.

Digital skills

Graduate Assessment Design and Use

Graduate Interview tips

A well conducted interview should form the basis of every selection process, but it does have limitations because no matter how skilled the interview process is, it can still only collect self-reported information from the candidate, for example:

The panel might ask a candidate to give examples of problems they have tackled and explore their knowledge of problem solving techniques, but an assessment exercise which allows the candidate to demonstrate this ability in practice is likely to be more informative.

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Safer and Fairer Graduate Tests

Additional methods of assessment can, therefore:

  1. improve the quality and quantity of information on which to base the selection decision
  2. allow candidates to demonstrate how they meet requirements, rather than relying on self-report and performance at interview.

No perfect method of assessment exists, but the most effective way of predicting job performance is to use a mix of assessment methods and look at the results in an integrated way to build up a picture of the candidate. At the simplest level, this may involve no more than looking at examples of candidate’s past work (e.g. for a post which requires experience in producing clear and concise Committee reports, or information leaflets, publicity materials or instruction manuals). At its most complex and sophisticated it might be a full Assessment Centre using a range of tests and exercises for Senior Management positions.

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Digital Literacy and Digital Skills

Graduate Assessment Panel Interviews

Panels need to decide if it is appropriate to use additional assessment techniques beyond the interview. Think about the job level, the pool of candidates you need to attract and the criteria you need to assess against. For many jobs, the interview alone will be the most appropriate approach.

Digital skills tips

  • For many basic level operative and clerical jobs, particularly where there is a constant need to recruit, the best method is to use the Fast Track to Interview approach, where all interested job seekers are automatically invited to interview, helped if necessary to complete a simplified application form and interviewed against the person specification without delay as the only method of assessment.
  • Recruitment initiatives targeting jobs to unemployed residents should not use methods of assessment beyond the interview, unless this is strictly essential. The interview should be conducted in as informal and encouraging way as possible.
  • It is not appropriate to use a battery of assessment techniques for jobs requiring basic level skills. Rather than enhance the outcome, this is more likely to put potential applicants off.
  • Never use assessment tools for their own sake. Selection decisions will only be enhanced if the assessment tool is really needed to get at information that cannot be obtained otherwise.
Graduate assessment quality standards. Man looking at laptop.

Graduate Test Quality Standards

In all cases ensure that:

Never just reuse tests or exercises without reviewing their effectiveness in the past.

  • Firstly, the choice and construction of each assessment method flows from the requirements of the job;
  • Secondly, the Job description and Person Specification have been reviewed and are up-to-date
  • Thirdly, tasks in assessment exercises compare with tasks found in the job;
  • Fourthly, tests and exercises assess requirements for the job, at the right level to do the job
  • When using a newly devised test or exercise, wherever possible pilot it with a group of existing employees in the area of work.
  • Always offer feedback on test and exercise results.
  • Never just reuse tests or exercises without reviewing their effectiveness in the past.

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Our Job Skills Resources

Digital Job Skills graduate employers value most

  • Resilience
  • Persistence
  • Influence
  • Ability to Learn
  • Communication Skills


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For more practice try our Paper & Pencil Tests with Answers on a separate sheet available for download:
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11 Plus Non-Verbal Reasoning Practice Test One£3.49 – 11 Plus Non-Verbal Reasoning Practice Test Two
Verbal Reasoning 11 plus Practice Test One
11 Plus Verbal Reasoning Practice Test Two
Free – 11 Plus Maths Practice Test One.

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Make sure to go through the answers at the end. Have a look at the steps in getting to the correct answer and make sure you understand. Try the test again.

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