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For Educators and Students

Digital Soft 


Context and purpose of the framework.

The Digital Soft Skills Framework for educators and students has been developed as part of the Digital Soft Skills @Ulysseus (D2S) project, a joint initiative of the Ulysseus European Universities Alliance with co-funding from the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

The overall purpose of the project is to enhance the digital soft skills of both educators and students. To this end, the project will develop a series of outputs, including the D2S framework, a D2S self-assessment tool, and a series of courses for both educators and students to allow them to develop their digital soft skills



A skill is a specific learned ability that one needs to perform a given job well; a soft skill is a non-technical skill that is less rooted in specific vocations. For the purpose of this project, we choose to leave a degree of flexibility in conceptualizing digital soft skills, distinguishing between two key dimensions:

Technological (or “hard”) dimension

Relates to using technology and includes traditional ICT skills.

“Soft” dimension

Relates to social, emotional, and interpersonal effects of using technology.

The D2S Framework

Relies on four key aspects that encompass core digital soft skills, both for teachers and for students. Four categories of skills. In each category we limit our focus to three soft skills that also reflect the degree of fluency/proficiency. We believe that the advanced digital soft skills address the needs of both higher education students and teachers as users and actors of digital education, as well as more broadly as digital citizens. An extra layer – Personal Development – combines both digital education related skills, but also more general digital citizens skills and professional skills.

Developing Me
Acting Now
Engaging with Others
Creating the Future
Three Competencies

Broader Competences

The circle surrounding the four categories highlights broader competences, which are considered as necessary to succeed in any modern education setting, and in which the digital soft skills are embedded, alongside knowledge and attitudes. These are Flexibility in Learning, Reflective Practice, and Intercultural Empathy. An extra layer – Personal Development – combines both digital education related skills, but also more general digital citizens skills and professional skills.

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Flexibility in Learning
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Reflective Practic
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Intercultural Empathy

Digital Soft Skills

For Educators.

The Framework for Teachers adds one further layer of overarching critical teaching practice. Also, the digital soft skills and the three broader competences closely relate to pedagogical competences, such as the ones provided in the European Framework for the Digital Competency of Educators1 or the EdDiCo project2.


Digital Soft Skills

For Students


Developing me

  • Digital safety

    · Including dealing with risks and challenges in digital contexts (e.g. addiction, bullying, etc.)

Engaging with others

  • Digital influencing (leadership)

    Engaging and building relationships online

    Negotiating with others in online spaces

    Understanding a variety of perspectives

    Empowering learners through their active and creative online engagement (for Educators)

Acting Now

  • Creativity

    Thinking about a problem in a new or different way

    Using the imagination to generate new and unique ideas

    Employing digital tools for creative thinking and acting

    Design activities that increase students' creative expression(for Educators).

Creating the Future

  • Design and Future thinking

    Innovation / Design thinking

    Combining tinkering with formal learning of new technologies

    Ability to change and be forward-looking, to develop the currently given situations into other, new and unknown future concepts and to approach them creatively.

    Ability to embrace innovation as an integral part of any organisational subject and process

    Using methods to carry out creative development 

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