Digital Practice Baseline

Download the form via the following link (right-click and “Save link as…”):

Digital Practice Programme Baseline

NB. To complete the form: Download and Save it, do not open the form in a browser, or you may have problems completing it. Where possible, open and complete the form using Adobe Acrobat.

Once completed and saved, attach the form to an email and send to with the Programme Code as the email subject line. The form doesn’t have to be completed in one sitting.

Find out more about the Digital Practice Baseline on the TEL Intranet Site (log-in required).


What is the Digital Practice Programme Baseline?

As endorsed by the TEL Strategy, the University introduced Digital Practice Programme Baselines in 2018 as a framework to benchmark practice and support enhancements to the student digital learning experience. The baseline process achieved sector recognition in 2018, winning the the European Blackboard Catalyst Awards for Teaching and Learning.

The baseline self-review form is to be completed by Programme Leaders/Teams to annually benchmark their digital practice and develop enhancement plans. A designated Learning Technologist is available in each College to facilitate staff through this process.

Is There Any Staff Training Provided to Help me Meet the Requirements of the Digital Practice Baseline?

Yes, support on using this tool and advice about how technology can be used to improve the digital practices within a programme is provided by the Technology Enhanced Learning Team ( ext.1865). The team are available to facilitate sessions with programme teams to aid their self-review process and enhancement plan development. This online Digital Practice Handbook is also available to provide support and guidance, in an easy to navigate environment to help answer your questions and queries on digital practice development.

The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) also facilitate staff development sessions through the DELTA scheme, offering bespoke College sessions to support staff as they develop their professional method and practice.

There will also be designated staff development sessions on offer throughout the academic year, specifically linked to the different criteria as outlined in the baseline. Find out more about our forthcoming sessions and book your place here.

For inspiration on innovative practice, as delivered by academic colleagues throughout the Institution, please also visit our blogs:

Why is the Digital Practice Programme Baseline Important?
The digital practice baseline benchmarking tool has been developed to support academic staff to enhance digital practice within their programmes and modules. It draws upon internal strategies (e.g. TEL Strategy, Learning and Teaching Strategy) and strategic approaches in the sector (e.g. the work of Jisc and the NUS who collaborated to develop the ‘Jisc NUS Benchmarking tool – the student digital experience’).

How will the Digital Practice Programme Baseline Impact the Student Experience?

Digital practice will be embedded in all programmes, at all levels, to achieve a blended learning experience for all students, targeting the development of a pervasive digital curriculum that provides a consistently high quality digital student experience. There is an ongoing focus, as outlined in the TEL Strategy, on creating a transformative student experience, including the development of digital capabilities (see video below) that will prepare students for the digital economy and help them to contribute to society in a meaningful way.


Is the Digital Practice Baseline Linked to TEF Metrics?

Yes, the following table outlines the sections in the Digital Practice Baseline and their relationship to the TEF metrics.

TEF Metric Digital Practice Baseline Section
TEF (NSS) ‘Teaching on my Course’ 1. Digital Course Material
2. Inclusivity and Accessibility
TEF (NSS) ‘Assessment & Feedback’ 3. Assessment & Feedback
4. Communication & Key Information
TEF (NSS) ‘Academic Support’ 2. Inclusivity and Accessibility
4. Communication & Key Information
TEF – (Highly Skilled) Employment and Further Study 5. Industry-Readiness
6. Student Voice

Who's Responsibility is it to Ensure that the Baseline Criteria are Met and How Often do we Need to Complete it?
The baseline self-review form is to be completed by Programme Leaders/Teams to annually benchmark their digital practice and develop enhancement plans.

Does every module in my Programme Need to Meet the Baseline Criteria?

No, the baseline is very much focussed on helping you to deliver a consistent and authentic digital experience for students across all modules on a programme of study. It may sometimes be the case that some modules have no pedagogic requirement for particular criteria, but it is an expectation that there will be consistent and appropriate digital practice at programme level which can be articulated through the baseline criteria.

What do the Different Levels Mean?

Foundation: Acknowledges the level that all programmes should currently be achieving. It is a foundation requirement for any programme delivered at the University of Derby.

Silver: This level identifies that there are elements within a programme which promote digital practice. There will be some evidence of active digital learning extending across a programme. All programmes need to develop their digital practice to fulfill this baseline.

Gold: This level demonstrates a consistent and embedded approach to digital practice across a programme. Active digital learning will be evident across the programme and their will be evidence of student partnerships where students work with staff in order to create digital change.

Is there a ‘Digital Enhancement Plan’ Built into the Form, or is this Something Additional and Separate?

The form has the space to capture any short and medium term actions and this will provide the foundations of a basic Digital Enhancement Plan. It is envisaged that these actions will also inform wider curriculum development (continual monitoring, PPC), but that would be at the discretion of College priorities and individual programme design schedules.

We are in the process of further embedding the baselines within these quality processes and the intention is that during continual monitoring processes, programme teams will be asked about the key enhancement actions they are prioritising and how they are being delivered.