Graduate Certificate in Digital Literacy

Graduate Certificate in Digital Literacy

The Graduate Certificate in Digital Literacy is a 12-credit graduate program that enables educators, librarians and media professionals to acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies required for full participation in a read/write culture where active participation in a knowledge community requires the skillful use, creation and sharing of digital texts, tools and technologies. The program is co-sponsored by the URI School of Education and the URI Harrington School of Communication and Media. 

The program has received approval from NEASC. We encourage graduate students, educators, librarians and media professionals with interests in the intersection of communication, media studies, literacy, education and technology to apply.

Rationale for the Program

The concept of literacy is undergoing a profound transformation, as people now need new competencies to access, analyze, create, reflect and take action using digital tools, texts and technologies in all aspects of their lives: in the school and workplace, for home and leisure, and for social interaction, relationships and citizenship in a democratic society. This program is intentionally designed as an interdisciplinary program at the intersection of media studies and education in recognition of the diverse contexts in which learning occurs and the blurring boundaries between formal and informal learning.

Program Design and Learning Outcomes

The program is offered over the course of one year. Students begin the program during the summer with a face-to-face summer institute course, then complete two rigorous online courses during the fall and spring semesters, completing the program with a summer leadership course in facilitating digital literacy. Program benefits include opportunities for students to:

  • Deepen their ability to read and critically analyze the wide variety of texts available online and learn practical strategies that you can share with others
  • Gain experience in composing texts using digital media tools that facilitate the use of language, image, sound and interactivity for digital sharing in global networked spaces
  • Understand how digital media texts, tools and technologies reshape the nature of knowledge, impact personal and social relationships, and alter organizational practices in the workplace, school and community
  • Work collaboratively with educators, librarians and media professionals to design and create learning environments where digital media resources are accessed, analyzed and created in ways that contribute to learning
  • Develop and apply leadership and change management skills that enable them to promote and implement best practices in digital literacy education through direct impact in the community or workplace
  • Cultivate habits of mind that support an expanded conceptualization of literacy as it applies to digital media environments, including tenacity, reflection, creativity, flexibility, and lifelong learning.

Required Courses, Graduate Certificate in Digital Literacy

EDC 531: Teaching and Learning with Digital Technologies. This course engages students in project-based inquiry using a variety of digital tools to create challenging and engaging learning opportunities for others. 3 cr.

EDC 532: Seminar in Digital Literacy. This course focuses on understanding major theories of online and offline reading comprehension, how to assess online reading, and productive ways of teaching digital literacy skills in grades K-12. 3 cr.

EDC 534: Seminar in Digital Authorship. This course includes a range of hands-on dynamic learning experiences that integrate digital media, technologies, and best practice strategies for teaching composition and authorship in a Web 2.0 world. 3 cr.

EDC 535: Leading with Digital Literacy. This course focuses on leading and collaborating with face-to-face and digital tools to facilitate real and sustainable change in a range of educational contexts. 3 cr.


SU 15

FA 15

SP 16

SU 16

FA 16

SP 17

EDC 531: Teaching and Learning with Digital Technologies



EDC 532: Seminar in Digital Literacy



EDC 534: Seminar in Digital Authorship



EDC 535: Leading with Digital Literacy




More Information:

Professor Julie Coiro    |   Email: