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D2S Courses Guidelines for Students

Digital Soft Skills Guideline

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

What are Digital Soft Skills?

From this definition, you can immediately see that Digital Soft Skills:

are important 21st century skills



include very different types of skills


apply to all of your life contexts

“Digital Soft Skills are competences that allow individuals to successfully be, act, learn, work, and engage with others in a digital context. They include personal, social and methodical competences and can be acquired through a range of different learning experiences and methods.” (D2S 2022)

can be learned and practiced in different ways.



We have created resources that will allow you to:


Find out what digital soft skills are important for you (in your studies, in the workplace, and in everyday life)

Assess for yourself what you already know and what you don’t know

Develop your skills through the D2S course offering

Receive recognition for your learning with digital badges.

The D2S program helps you understand and develop your digital soft skills.


The following section describes the D2S Framework, which is like a map that presents the types of digital soft skills we focus on. We also explain why they are important and give you some examples so you can better understand what’s involved.


Engaging with Others This is Tim. Tim is new in his job as project lead in an international company, where communication is mostly virtual. As he takes on more responsibilities and starts interacting with more team members, he is often finding himself in uncomfortable situations with colleagues. Misunderstandings and conflicts happen, and people seem to avoid working with him. He’s wondering whether he is lacking digital soft skills, and if yes, which ones. Here are some situations Tim has experienced:

  • Tim uses the MS Teams chat tool every day to communicate with his colleagues about work related tasks as well as for small talk. Tim is a very direct guy and uses pretty coarse language in online chat. Unfortunately, it happens to him more and more often that colleagues no longer answer and also react strangely to him when they meet in person.
Digital communication > Ever heard of “Netiquette”?
  • Tim has to conduct and moderate a brainstorming session for a project but his colleagues are spread all over the world. He has no idea how to carry out this task.
Digital collaboration > which tools can you use to work with peers online?
  • Tim is the lead of an international project. He doesn’t know most of the team members, who come from different countries and speak different languages, in person. He often notices that there are misunderstandings and that tasks are not carried out the way he thought was agreed.
Digital influencing & leadership > how do you lead a virtual team? Do you want to find out how Tim (and you) can develop digital soft skills to deal with these and similar situations? >> Check out the D2S Course “Engaging with others”

Developing me This is Gina. Gina has the latest smartphone. She spends most of her free time on the phone, mostly on Tik-Tok, Instagram and Snapchat, and she likes to dream of having a rich social life with lots of parties and shopping and visiting amazing parts of the world, just like the influencers she follows. Gina rarely posts herself, and when she does, she is very careful to present herself as cool in all circumstances. She thinks she has great digital soft skills as she is such an active user of digital tools. Here are some situations Gina has experienced:

  • While Gina is looking at her smartphone, Google proposes a newspaper articles about the so-called “Pizzagate”. Without questioning the article, she forwards it to friends. Unfortunately, this unreflective action contributes to fake news spreading like a wildfire.
Digital literacy > Beat fake news and be smart about what you believe!
  • Gina types her name into Google. She is very surprised that the results show photos of her that she can't even remember having been taken. They are not very flattering as they show her drunk at a party. She’s quite upset and not sure what to do.
Digital identity > Who does Google say you are? And how can you control this?
  • Gina sits on her sofa all evening and scrolls up and down on her mobile phone. She gets lonely at times, and she also sleeps very badly and gets frequent headaches. Sometimes she wishes she could be 8 years again and just hang out with her friends at the playground and have some fun.
Digital well-being > Do you have a life outside Instagram? Do you want to find out how Gina (and you) can develop digital soft skills to deal with these and similar situations? >> Check out the D2S Course “Developing me”

Acting Now This is Sara. Sara is a student who uses the internet all the time for her studies. She always finds heaps of resources when she searches for stuff, but lately she has a strange feeling that using the first information that comes up in a Google search might not be enough. Her lecturers often comment that she should be more critical, and that just copying things is not sufficient. She is keen to become smarter and asks herself what digital soft skills she needs to become more creative and a better problem solver. Here are some situations Sara has experienced:

  • Sara uses Google Search a lot for any kind of research. She finds it very convenient because the search results consists of the kind of information she would like to see and do not challenge her viewpoints. She always feels confirmed in her own beliefs and opinions.
Critical and analytical thinking > get out of your filter-bubble!
  • Sara has to solve a case study for her studies, where she needs to describe different stakeholder group interests and views. She has already researched some information, but all the information she finds says the same thing. She is not sure how she could go about finding other views.
Problem solving > use digital tools to find solutions!
  • Sara wants to apply for a job and therefore wants to rewrite and redesign her CV. She really wants to create something that makes her stand out of the crowd in the application process. Unfortunately, she lacks ideas on how to restructure the CV and make it look appealing and special, but still professional and neat.
Creativity > use the best of the net to spark ideas and express them creatively! Do you want to find out how Sara (and you) can develop digital soft skills to deal with these and similar situations? >> Check out the D2S Course “Acting now”

Creating the Future This is Paul. Being a responsible citizen, Paul is very conscious of environmental issues and keen to do his share to reduce his own environmental footprint. He knows that there are lots of things he can change in his daily routine, but he is not sure how to go about doing it. Can his digital soft skills help with this? Here are some situations Paul has experienced:

  • Paul owns a car. However, he only uses the car occasionally. Therefore, he is looking for possibilities or an idea how he could make his private car available for other people.
Design & future thinking > get creative and shape the world of tomorrow with digital means!
  • Paul enjoys cycling in his city. To make cycling safer in the city and to improve cycle paths, he is thinking about starting an online petition, but he has no idea where to start.
Digital citizenships > play your part as an active member of local and global communities!
  • Paul has many clothes at home that he no longer wears. However, he does not want to throw the clothes away either. He wonders how he could sell or swap his clothes.
Digital skills for sustainable development > get to know digital tools that can help save the planet! Do you want to find out how Paul (and you) can develop digital soft skills to deal with these and similar situations? >> Check out the D2S Course “Creating the Future”

These are higher-level competences that are essential for anyone to operate successfully in today’s globalized and fast-moving world. They include being flexible, reflective, and empathetic (also in an intercultural context), as well as awareness and intentional pursuit of personal growth and learning. Observe the following screen capture and reflect on the questions below: How does this image make you feel? Angry? Disappointed? If you had to teach online during the covid-19 pandemic, you probably saw a lot of this. What is your reaction? Do you force students to turn on cameras? Do you cancel the session? The D2S cross-cutting competences MOOC discusses situations such as this and, and asks us to think about how empathy can help us to deal with them.

This section describes the D2S Framework for Students:

  • First, click on the different skills areas (in the center) and competences (in the circles) to see an explanation of what these are about.
  • Then click on each of the four outer boxes to find out in more detail what these skills are and why you should bother learning them. Here you can also find examples of how they can help you in your own study, work and life.

“Developing Me” focuses on your ability to live and act in a digital space. The skills in this area focus on the development of digital literacy, identity and well-being, and are centered on awareness and competence at an individual level.

“Engaging with others” consists of skills that help you interact and work with others in the digital space. This includes communicating and collaborating with others digitally, but also being able to relate, negotiate, and lead in virtual settings.

“Creating the future” is about skills that are strategic and forward-looking, and help you understand and shape a changing world. There is a strong focus on learners and educators as key agents for sustainability and citizenship in a digital era, and the proactive design of desirable futures.

“Acting Now” are action-oriented skills that help you make effective use of digital opportunities in study, work and life. These skills include critical analytical thinking, problem solving, and creativity in digital settings or using digital tools.


Acting now

Cross-cutting Competences

Developing me

engaging with others

Creating the future











Description: The aim of the course is to enable students to analyze, investigate and find a suitable and (possibly) creative solution for a problem in the digital environment. The topic covered by the course will cover issues such as how to find information on the internet and evaluate their trustworthiness, how to analyse and manage problems and methods and techniques to promote creativity and ideas. Through your active participation in this course, you will be able to reach the following goals: Critical and analytical thinking in the digital space

  • critically analysing digital sources, information, data and evidence;
  • considering different assumptions, perspectives, and positions;
  • identifying and articulating own position and views in digital context.
  • identifying and defining a problem in a digital context;
  • developing appropriate options and strategies;
  • creatively using suitable digital technologies to solve problems.
  • thinking about a task or a problem in a new or different way;
  • using the imagination to generate new and unique ideas;
  • employing digital tools for creative thinking and acting.
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Description: The general objective of this course is to develop methodologies (both concrete and implicit) to carry out creative development processes utilizing Digital Soft Skills to bring about change with a focus on digital sustainability. Through your active participation in this course, you will be able to:

  • Define digital citizenship and identify how to be a responsible digital citizen
  • Understand principles of digital sustainability
  • Identify, evaluate and utilize digital tools that can be used to assess your digital impact
  • Understand the role of online tools to initiate change
  • Recognize the role of future thinking
  • Apply design thinking to solve problems
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Description: The general topic of this course is to develop broad competences which are considered necessary to succeed in the labor market. The course will develop skills in Intercultural Empathy, Flexible Thinking in Learning, and Reflective Practice providing students with the foundations for using Digital Soft Skills in an educational and lifelong learning setting. Through your active participation in this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify and evaluate your personal style in terms of culture, flexible thinking and reflective practice
  • Recognize the impact of culture on perceptions
  • Prioritize and apply flexible thinking when building relationships with a global mindset
  • Rehearse and apply reflective practices using digital tools
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Description: The course Developing Me is aimed at everyone who is interested in Digital Literacy, Digital Identity and Digital Wellbeing. In the first section, we will look at copyrights and licenses. Also, ethical use of information will be discussed. In the second section, we will focus on Digital Footprints and Digital Reputation. In the third section, we will concentrate on looking after your digital wellbeing in digital environments and charting your technology use. Through your active participation in this course, you will be able to:

  • know the basics of copyrights and creative common licenses
  • know the basics of open educational resources
  • understand the meaning of managing digital information and data
  • understand the meaning of research data management
  • being aware of one’s digital footprint
  • creating a successful digital identity / profile for different learning contexts
  • managing a positive digital reputation
  • understand the meaning and different aspects of digital wellbeing
  • chart your personal technology use.
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Description: This course is focused on two main topics that have been identified as important future skills and competences that students should develop: Digital communication and Digital collaboration. Within this course, you will learn tools and mechanisms that facilitate digital communication in the educational environment. In addition, we will address content that helps you find, evaluate and select tools that allow collaborative work. Through your active participation in this course, you will be able to:

  • Finding, evaluating, selecting and using appropriate communication tools and formats
  • Being able to adapt one’s message to different digital media, audiences, and purposes
  • Engaging and building relationships online
  • Finding, evaluating, selecting and using appropriate collaboration tools
  • Managing own and team priorities in digital collaboration
  • Working safely in digital teams
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Description: The aim of this course is to present an overview of Digital Soft Skills. In this Introductory MOOC course, we will cover the basics of this topic, such as the types of these skills, tools to improve them, etc. After completing the D2S Introductory MOOC course, you should be well prepared to move on to one of our more advanced D2S courses. In this course, you will learn:

  • what are digital soft skills;
  • what are core skill categories for students and teachers identified by D2S;
  • what are must-have digital soft skills;
  • what tools can be used;
  • tips to improve your current digital soft skill level;
  • some useful links for self study, if you are interested in the topic.
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Digital Soft Skills Passport Description It aims to equip all learners with digital transversal skills to live, work, learn and thrive in a world increasingly mediated by digital technologies. The D2S Passport attests to the successful completion of the full Digital Soft Skills programme, and to the acquisition of essential skills for personal and professional development with digital technology: intercultural empathy, flexible thinking, digital literacy, digital identity and wellbeing, communication, analytical thinking, problem-solving, design & future thinking. Terms Have completed the entire Digital Soft Skills course programme and passed the validation tests with a pass rate of over 80%.

How to access the D2S courses?

Here is what you need to know in order to access the D2S courses:




It is possible to choose the completion times of the course

The courses can be followed remotely, without the need to be present in person.

The D2S courses are online and hosted on a platform.


You can enroll into the D2S courses using the ULYSSEUS Moodle platform.

Moodle is a free and open-source learning management system that helps managing training and education in different contexts, using for example blended learning or distance learning in schools, universities, workplaces and other sectors. You can access the Ulysseus Moodle using your institutional account.


How to log in?

The first time you try to access, you need to follow the steps described in the box on the right.Click on each step in order to see helping illustrations.



Step 2

Click the “Login with your institution” button, located in the upper half of the page

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Go to the Ulysseus Moodle website

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Step 1

Step 3

Click the black arrow pointing down to show a list of institutions, then select yours.

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Go to the Ulysseus Moodle website Link: https://ulysseus.eu/learn/login/index.php

Click the “Login with your institution” button, located in the upper half of the page

Click the black arrow pointing down to show a list of institutions, then select yours

Going further







Why digital soft skills are essential in the future?

How to keep your digital soft skills updated in the future?

Future trends

Future trends Focusing on your digital soft skills shows you're thinking about how your practice and attitude impact others in the workplace. Essential digital soft skills are a step towards learning lots of other new things. They can improve your confidence to use technology for work, learning and daily life. Many jobs today need digital soft skills. You need them even for jobs that do not ask for high levels of qualifications or experience. Having the key digital soft skills needed can be incredibly empowering, and help you feel more confident and secure in different roles and positions. Remember to include digital soft skills in your CV as well!

How to keep your digital soft skills updated in the future? You are now well versed in digital soft skills. However, skills are not only learned by reading, but the most important thing is to practice them in different situations. When you use digital soft skills, you develop your own expertise in them. But pay attention to the fact that technology will evolve. The skills now acquired will have to be developed further.

Why are digital soft skills essential in the future? The most successful people in the future workplace will be those who develop their digital soft skills that relate to how they think, work, and relate to other people. Employers and workers require the necessary digital soft skills to take advantage of the new opportunities they are expected to face. Employers value digital soft skills because employees with soft skills can adapt quickly to different environments. As professionals, students need to stay updated.

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