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RMIT University Library - Learning Lab

Digital literacy skills


Digital literacy skills

Your ability to use technology skillfully and confidently, also known as digital literacy, is essential for success in tertiary studies.

Strong digital literacy skills facilitate better study, work and lifelong learning. These skills are valuable for a range of activities, including:

  • Learning and development
    Most of your course and support materials will be available online, usually accessed through a Learning Management System (LMS) like Canvas or Blackboard. The LMS will offer course materials, readings, video content, discussions, and manage your online assessment. Being comfortable in this online environment is critical to your success in your studies.
    You can use other educational websites such as simulations, learning activities, or the library website. You'll also use digital tools like videoconferencing and discussion boards to interact with your classmates and teachers.

  • Communication, collaboration and participation
    You’ll participate in a variety of networks and platforms for work together with your peers. When working in groups, you could use project management tools and shared documents. To share information and participate in discussions, you might use social media platforms like wikis and blogs.

  • Digital creation, problem solving and innovation
    You can create digital resources including websites, images and video.

Information literacy

The ability to find and evaluate information for relevance in a timely manner is important. Knowing when information is reliable, credible and suitable for assessments will improve the quality of your work. Navigating online resources such as databases with effective search strategies will help to locate credible information sources. This will enable you to produce better work and achieve higher marks.

Methods to develop your information literacy

When searching the web, it’s important to think critically about what you’re reading. Be careful about misinformation and baseless opinions.

There are different methods for determining the quality and reliability of a resource. These include the SIFT and CRAAP methods. Consider one for your practice—they both offer helpful approaches to testing the integrity of information you find online.


The SIFT (Four Moves) method is great for investigating online content. Its steps include:

  • Stop
  • Investigate the Source
  • Find Better Coverage, and
  • Trace claims, quotes and media to the original context.


The CRAAP method is a checklist you can use to evaluate your source. It explains how you can determine its quality and appropriateness. The criteria includes:

  • Currency
  • Relevance
  • Accuracy
  • Authority
  • Purpose

Researching your assignment

Information literacy is part of the research process. When looking for information for an assignment, applying these skills will mean that you can find more relevant and valuable information, and this can deepen your knowledge of the subject.

Digital identity and wellbeing

When you use social media, remember that your profile can be seen by many people, including future employers. The way that you interact, and the information you present online makes an impression. Be careful about how you engage with online networks, ensuring that anything you contribute is not discriminatory, defamatory or embarrassing.

Ensure your privacy and security online with tactics to protect against threats like phishing1 and hacking2. Some of these include:

  • Strong passwords
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Not using public wifi
  • Updating device and network security
  • Using a VPN
  • Not sharing personal information on email or other unsecured channels

It’s also important that you manage your use of technology to prevent it from interfering with other activities or affecting your mental health. Overuse of social media, for instance, can lead to anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. Engaging with technology in a thoughtful and balanced manner can greatly reduce these harmful effects. Find out more about online safety risks at the eSafety Toolkit for Universities.

1 Phishing: the fraudulent practice of sending emails or other messages purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
2 Hacking: the gaining of unauthorized access to data in a system or computer.
Source: Oxford Languages

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