The HeDiCom framework: Higher Education teachers’ digital competencies for the future

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Educational Technology Research and Development


There is little consensus about the nature of teachers’ digital competencies in Higher Education. Moreover, existing digital competence frameworks have largely been developed for teachers in secondary education. In response to this, the current study focuses on developing and validating a framework of digital competencies for teachers in Higher Education. First, a review was conducted to determine the state of digital competence research regarding dimensions and definition of digital competence. In a next step, similarities and differences between existing digital competence frameworks were identified. Based on the outcomes of the review and the framework comparison, a framework was developed in an iterative process through expert meetings with policy makers, experts in the field of educational technology, and validated with practitioners. The new framework includes four dimensions of teachers’ digital competencies: (1) Teaching practice, (2) Empowering students for a digital society, (3) Teachers’ digital literacy, and (4) Teachers’ professional development. The resulting Higher Education Digital Competence (HeDiCom) framework will provide guidance and clearer expectations of teachers’ digital competency. Ultimately, improving teachers’ digital competencies will contribute to improving the quality of digital competencies of the students.

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