EU Science Hub

Self-assessment tool for digitally competent schools and Higher Education Institutions (SELFIE)

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is developing a sound, reliable and validated self-assessment tool for schools' progress towards digital age learning. It is based on the Digitally-Competent Educational Organisations (DigCompOrg) conceptual framework that offers a fine-grained description of what it takes to educational organisations of any kind to be digitally competent. DigCompOrg is made up of 74 descriptors validated so far by experts, stakeholders and policy makers.

To further support European schools who want to reflect on their take up of digital technologies for better learning outcomes, the JRC - in collaboration with the Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC) - is developing SELFIE, a self-assessment tool that will be piloted in a number of European countries.

The idea is that, every year, schools reflect on their current take up of digital technologies for innovative and effective learning by taking a snapshot of where they stand and then reflect and decide how they want to improve for the next year.

SELFIE is going to be an evidence-based tool, bringing together theory and practice

What are the key premises of SELFIE?

  • The focus is on the effective use of technologies for ´effective digital-age learning´, not for administration etc.
  • Through SELFIE we would like to facilitate (and celebrate) progress, not excellence. In other words, not each school can be/should be at the highest level in all SELFIE indicators
  • Self-evaluation allows for understanding each school‘s strengths and weaknesses and planning for improvement
  • The basic assumption behind SELFIE, backed by our findings from SCALE CCR study, is that a ´digitally-capable school´ that promotes digital-age learning follows both top-down and bottom-up innovation and it is responsive and supportive of the development of its members
  • That is why SELFIE involves all key actors: leaders, teachers, students
  • Last but not least, SELFIE do not follow an 'one-size-fits-all' approach, but it will be fully customisable.

What can SELFIE offer to European schools?

  • A validated tool for self-reflection based both on research AND practice
  • A self-assessment that involves all key actors, school leaders, teachers AND students
  • A snapshot of the current state of development through a specific report for each school, including graphs and recommendations
  • This report is accessible only by the school and can be the basis for internal dialogue and for developing schools' action plan
  • A self-assessment process that is fully owned by the school, as it decides if and with whom to share the results. In other words, feedback provided through SELFIE is completely anonymous and it is treated confidentially. No personal data are collected and no individual responses are shared with others, inside or outside the school. Also, no individual or school will be identifiable in the published reports.

How SELFIE tool will be tested?

  • More than 400 Schools from Spain (ES), Italy (IT), Estonia (EE), Belgium (Flanders - BE), Denmark (DK), Ireland (IE), Greece (EL), Cyprus (CY), Malta (MT), Finland (FI), Serbia (RS) and Georgia (GE) and Northern Ireland (UK) will participate in SELFIE school pilots. In collaboration with UNESCO's Institute for Information Technologies in Education, some Russian schools will also test SELFIE tool.
  • Participating schools offer ISCED* 1 (primary education), ISCED 2 (lower secondary education) and ISCED 3 – (upper secondary general education and upper secondary vocational education).
  • In the case of ISCED 1 schools, only students in their final/upper year of study (i.e., 11-12 years old) will participate in the SELFIE pilots. For ISCED 2 only students in their final/upper year of study will participate (i.e., 15-16 years old), while for ISCED 3 schools, students in their second year of study (16-17 years old) will take part.

What is next? 

  • SELFIE team has developed the prototype SELFIE tool in English, based on DigCompOrg conceptual model and a user consultation survey, where more than 5000 school leaders, teachers and students from 5 EU countries provided their input about the tool
  • The prototype is being tested and fine-tuned, so to start by 9 June the translation/adaptation process for the pilot implementation in 14 European countries.
  • Early September, SELFIE national coordinators will conduct webinars/seminars so to present the tool to school coordinators in each country and explain the pilot process
  • The pilot implementation is planned for last week of September and first week of October 2017
  • Additional research (e.g. focus groups, case studies…) about the tool will be conducted during October
  • The consolidated SELFIE tool for schools is expected to be ready by the end of 2017

What about Higher Education Institutions?

External partners have volunteered to adapt and test the DigCompOrg framework for Higher Education Institutions and to develop a similar self-assessment tool. The Irish National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education aims to use the same design principles and an adaptation of SELFIE tool for schools to run a pilot implementation in the academic year 2017-2018. Universities from Spain, Finland and Greece have expressed their interest to pilot the tool in their own context.