The Professional Literacy Suite

The Professional Literacy suite

The Professional Literacy Suite  (PLS)  is the first suite of online digital and professional literacy modules created at a course-wide level at Deakin University. The PLS contains three separate modules embedded in first and third year. The suite comprises:

  • Essential Digital Literacy
  • Introduction to Professional Identity
  • Professional Literacy

The suite is scaffolded across the Bachelor of Commerce, being implemented as part of the major course review.


                    Winner of the ASCILITE Innovation Award 2018 – awarded in recognition of outstanding innovation in the development of a major professional development initiative which promotes the exemplary and research informed use of technologies for teaching and learning in tertiary education


Winner of the 2019 Deakin University: Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Learning: WJC Banks Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Learning



An exemplar in the 2020 Educause Horizon Report for the use of Adaptive technologies. 

How the Modules work

All of our digital literacy modules work in a similar manner. They are all embedded in compulsory units as a zero credit point hurdle requirement attached to an assignment dropbox in the CloudDeakin unit sites. Students are required to do a short self-assessment survey about different aspects of digital literacy and are asked to rate their confidence levels in these areas as not confident, confident or extremely confident. After completing the module they are then required to reflect on how their skills have increased by completing a post-self-assessment, with the same questions, but with additional qualitative questions added. Each section is locked, with conditional releasing applied to ensure students move through each section in order. At the end of T1 2019  12,549 students have completed the modules.

Essential Digital Literacy 

Essential Digital Literacy was first introduced in T1 2016 to the Bachelor of Commerce. It is embedded into a compulsory first-year unit MMK101 – Marketing Fundamentals, which is also compulsory on the Bachelor of Business. Since then it has been re-contextualised for the Bachelor of Property and Real Estate, sitting in a compulsory first-year unit MMP111 – Introduction to Property. At the end of T3 2019, the module has run for three years over 12 trimesters and 9862 students have completed it. The module has three sections: Find, Use and Share (Disseminate) based around Deakin University’s Digital Literacy definition and framework.

The module uses a scenario-based approach, where a threaded narrative guides students through the module’s content and activities, connecting each section together in a logical way. The scenario was contextualised to an authentic work-based setting where the student takes on the role of an employee in a consulting firm and uses activities to encourage active learning.   Each of the three major sections includes a short multiple quiz where the students are required to get 80% to move on to the next section, having multiple attempts to complete.

Essential Digital Literacy is built using Tumult Hype     

To explore the modules, click on the images or links below.


             Finding Information                         Using Information                                Sharing Information

Introduction to Professional Identity

Introduction to Professional Identity was introduced in T1 2018 in MWL101 – Professional Insights. At the end of T3 2019, the module has run for a year over 6 trimesters and 3106 students have completed it. It guides students through the importance of creating and managing a professional identity. It makes them think about what prospective employers may see and consider how their current online profile represents them. Students look at the Deakin Talent portal and LinkedIn to get them started and also gain an understanding of becoming a Deakin Alumni.

Introduction to Professional Identity is built using Smart Sparrow adaptive technology  

To explore the module, click on the image or link below.


      Introduction to Professional Identity

Professional Literacy

The Professional Literacy module was designed and developed for third-year students transitioning into the workforce. It takes their current digital literacy skills, refreshes and extends them teaching them why they are important and how to use them in the workplace. This module is embedded across the Capstone units of the BCom majors and was introduced in T2 2018 with 2913 completions to the end of T3 2019

It is made up of three sections:

  • Workplace Information Sources – where to find information when you don’t have full access to the library, Alumni access
  • Evaluation and Ethical use of Information – Copyright for the workplace, using the CRAAP test to evaluate and think critically about information
  • Managing and Sharing Information – How to keep up to date and share information in the workplace – alerts, data visualisation

Professional Literacy is built using is built using Smart Sparrow adaptive technology  .  This lesson uses a new Smart Sparrow adaptivity feature and  ‘Class’ and ‘Grades integration’ tools in CloudDeakin (CD) enabling the identification of prior student completion facilitating mass implementation, scaled across the Faculty and University.

To explore the module, click on the image or link below.

             Professional Literacy

Moving forward

The Professional Literacy Suite has now been scaffolded across the Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Property and Real Estate and will now scaffolded across other courses in the Deakin Business School in the future. The aim is to implement across all courses in the Deakin Business School to provide all students with the same opportunities.

Got a Question? Send us an email to or

Publications, conferences and awards can be viewed here.

back to top