Interacting through digital technologies: communication & collaboration

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GoalsClick to read  

  • Familiarise with the EU framework for digital skills: In the first training unit, readers will have the opportunity to familiarise with the DigComp framework, the EU official reference model for training and education on IT skills.
  • Understand the essentials of cooperation and collaboration in IT environments: The cooperation and collaboration pillar of the Dig Comp frameworks provides for key competences for effective and efficient cooperation dynamics in digital settings.
  • Acquire new good practices for team management and stakeholders engagement in virtual contexts: At the end of this module, readers can find for their use consolidated and robust good practices for a trust-based and reliable communication with external parties, stakeholders and tem memebers. 
Brief Introduction to DigComp 2.1

DigComp 2.1: What exploitation opportunities?Click to read  

The following content focuses on Interacting through digital technologies, a training area and competences emerged as particularly critical from the skills-gap and need assessment analysis conducted by partners throughout the first implementation cycle of NICHE.

The World Wide Web is flooded with material on how to be more proficient with digital technologies from an in-remote communication and collaboration perspective. But in the context of this training module, our primary source of reference will be represented by the latest version of the Digital Competence Framework for Citizens published by the EU Commission’s Joint Research Centre in 2016.

More specifically, we will look into the competence area no.2 Communication and Collaboration, to which Interacting through digital technologies formally belongs to.

The official EU framework for training and education on digital skillsClick to read  

The first DigComp framework came out in 2013. The latest version is the DigComp 2.1 but it will be soon replaced by the DigComp 2.2 (available later in 2022).

The DigComp 2.1 includes 21 digital competences distributed among 5 competence (“training”) areas.

For each specific competence, an 8-layer proficiency model is available that final users/teachers can rely on to track, monitor and progresses in acquiring more robust proficiency with the given competences.

The extended bibliography of DigComp Click to read  

As of today, between the official publication of the DigComp 2.1 and the release of the 2.2’s version, the European Commission extended DigComp’s bibliography with three additional resources:

                    cover                cover


Collaboration and Communication Pillar

Focusing on DigComp’s training area no.2Click to read  

In Unit 1, we presented readers to the background and general outline of the DigComp framework so as to better introduce them to the content that will come next.

The Communication and collaboration pillar is further broken down into the following competences:   


2. Communication and Collaboration

2.1 Interacting through digital technologies

2.2 Sharing through digital technologies

2.3 Engaging in citizenship through digital technologies

2.4 Collaborating through digital technologies

2.5 Netiquette

2.6 Managing digital identity


Source: DigComp 2.1, page 11


Focusing on DigComp’s competence 2.1Click to read  

As we can see, all six competences listed under the second competence area are closely interrelated each others:

• Sharing, engaging and collaborating would not be possible without first interacting through digital technologies
• Netiquette helps you to manage (and establish) your digital identity
• Etc.

In other words, among these competences there is not a “strict” hierarchal order but rather a mutual-contamination effect, in which strengthening your proficiency with one of them, strengthens your expertise with all the others.

Talking about proficiency, the DigComp 2.1 came with a very clear progression model that helps users in acquiring greater awareness on their expertise and know how.

Interacting through digital technologiesClick to read  
Good practices for interacting through digital technologies

Resources and additional recommendations to interact through digital technologies Click to read  

First and foremost, it is essential to understand and be perfectly aware of who your organisation is interacting with and why…

A data driven interaction implies the competence of decoding digital data and information so as to be better equipped to navigate the digital ecosystem and orientate the strategic long-term vision of the organisation accordingly.

The most critical business functions are now fully data-driven: finance, sales and advertising rely on web-based exchanges of communication, inputs and insights, plus numerous other parameters to assess, monitor and evaluate the performance of the organisation and how its value-equation its perceived among (potential) customers.

For instance, in branding:

The roadmap of online-based interactions with the external publicClick to read  


About targets…

…we do refer to the general cohort of social and economic actors identified as Group of Interest (aka Stakeholders) that:

• might be impacted by the business activities
• might have an impact and/or an interest on business activities
…a monitoring tool

Keep track and record the progresses you make in communication and engagement per each of the identified stakeholder category: what is their current (C) level of involvement compered to the desired (D) status? 


About the audience…



About the audience…and consistent means


Lifestyle, food or home Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram
IT, business or industry  LinkedIn and Twitter
Publishing videos YouTube, Facebook, Instagram
Publishing a poll
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Pictures Instagram and Pinterest
Studies or opinion pieces Facebook and LinkedIn
Pictures and quotes Facebook and Instagram
Infographics Pinterest
Photo collage Pinterest
Interacting and communicating through digital technologiesClick to read  

Internal communication


External communication


Social Media, Internet, Mass Media


Events, conferences and seminars. Specialized media (print)


Training, Direct mailing and targeted communication (newsletter)




Emails + meetings + telcom.

Personal emails + individual meetings + informal telcom.

What poor interaction leads to…Click to read  

Poor Team Communications

Poor Stakeholder Communications

• Misunderstanding around project goals and objectives
• Lack of or limited buy-in and commitment to the project
• Missed deadlines and conflicts between team members
• Misunderstanding around stakeholder expectations on what is considered project success
• Individual team members moving in different directions
• Conflicts between the project team and stakeholders, or between stakeholder groups
• Decreased productivity on the project leading to increased timelines and going over budget
• Failing processes
• Lack of commitment on the part of project team members in accomplishing the work of the project


• Stakeholders who may actively work against the project being accomplished
Setting the stage of online interaction: final remarks of netiquetteClick to read  

1. Writing and receiving e-mail has become one of the most recurrent activities of our daily lives. Don’t forget to follow some specific business (n)etiquette rules that allows you being effective and clear.
2. Define a clear Subject: make sure the subject line is simple, specific, but catchy.
3. Start Your Email with Greetings.
4. Be Clear and Precise: save other’s time! We spend 13 hours a week or 28 % of the workweek managing emails (McKinsey).
5. Informal vs. Formal: choose your communication style on the basis of your recipient.
6. Use (if necessary) attachments, be clear in explaining what they contain and the file format.
7. Do not avoid communicating bad news: try to propose solutions after a clear explication of the issue.
8. Write a Closing to Your Email: choose the most suitable phrase before typing your name.
9. Before sending read over your E-mail: most of the common mistakes or typos can be avoided by a careful re-reading with an eye to details.
A bad email...

…VS a good email