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1.1 Explain the differences between analog and digital communications

Unit aims

This unit aims to develop knowledge and understanding of digital communications technology. It examines a range of concepts that explore what digital communications are and the impact they have on organisations and society.

Unit level


Unit code




Credit value


Unit grading structure

Pass, Merit and Distinction

Assessment guidance

In order to achieve this unit learners must produce work which demonstrates achievement of the learning outcomes at the standards provided by the assessment criteria.

Learners will be expected to research new and emerging trends in digital communications technologies providing examples to illustrate the points made. In addition, learners will explore the impact that digital technologies have on society and within the workplace. Issues such as accessibility, security and portability will also be addressed. Learners will be required to have a knowledge and understanding of blogging software, digital content and social networking.

Learning outcomes

The learner will:

Assessment criteria

The learner can:







1. Understand a range of digital communications technologies

1.1 Explain the differences between analog and digital communications

1.2  Evaluate new and emerging trends in digital communications technologies

1M1 Evaluate the use of digital communications technologies in a named organisation



2. Understand the impact of digital communications within different environments

2.1 Explain how digital communications have impacted on communications procedures within the workplace

2.2 Analyse the societal impact of digital communications tools

2.3 Discuss the impact of digital communications technology on oral and written communications


2D1 Analyse end user opinions on the impact of digital communications on their job roles and the working environment

3. Understand issues of accessibility, security and portability in digital communications

3.1 Assess the barriers that exist in terms of accessibility to digital communications

3.2 Discuss how individuals and organisations can protect themselves against digital communications security threats

3.3 Assess the importance of portability as a factor of digital communications growth


3D1 Analyse issues with a breach of digital security in a named organisation and the action taken

4. Understand blogging, digital content management and social networking platforms

4.1 Explain the use of blogging software

4.2 Discuss the features of content management

4.3 Outline the benefits and drawbacks of using social networking platforms

4M1 Evaluate the design of a blog and identify how it could be improved






Indicative Content

Understand a range of digital communications technologies

• Analog and digital communications: How analogue waves are recorded as opposed to being sampled and converted into a digital format.

Advantages of sustainability and longevity of digital formats.

• Digital communications examples: Provide examples of different types of digital communications. Some examples include: email, video conferencing, Skype, instant messaging, text messaging and mobile phones.

• New and emerging trends: Virtual environments for research, teaching and learning. Interactive workspaces and virtual offices. The growth in mobile workers and changes to traditional work environments. Examples include: Ambient Knowledge, Immersive Technology and Bürolandschaft (office landscaping to accommodate mobile workers).

Understand the impact of digital communications within different environments

• Digital communications in the workplace: How digital media has streamlined certain office procedures such as invoicing and payments, digital marketing tools, meetings and collaborative software and on-line trading via e-commerce facilities.

• Societal impact: Greater choice and flexibility in terms of consumer buying power and breaking down barriers associated with supply and demand of goods and services. Enhanced global communications, bringing people together through email, Skype, Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Snap Chat and other digital media applications. Isolation of vulnerable groups such as children and teenagers as they become more dependent on digital communications in oppose to face-to-face interaction. Health and well-being issues of becoming more insular and less mobile.

• Written and oral communications: use of texting and emojis. Move away from formal English language and phrases to more informal styles of communication. Decline of more traditional written formats such as letter writing, with more modern methods such as emails.

Understand issues of accessibility, security and portability in digital communications

• Barriers: Cost - need to constantly upgrade to new faster machines and devices, operating systems and storage. Limited by geography and networks, access to wi-fi and the internet. Some sectors of society still lack technological skills and knowledge to understand how to use the required hardware, software and applications. Time zones still an issue for virtual meetings across different continents. Resistance to change within a workforce due to fear of being replaced by technology and making job roles redundant.

• Security threats: Protection of mobile devices with anti-virus software, passwords and log-in shields. Advancements in terms of voice recognition to access secure data and passkeys for banking. Use of payment systems such as PayPal in oppose to typing in bank details onto a mobile device. Network security, firewalls, administrators, IT policies, download and portable device restrictions in organisations to combat potential security threats

• Portability and growth: Assess the importance of having digital communications ‘on the go’. The need to be available 24/7. The impact of accessibility and expectation of being available 24/7. No defined barriers between work-life and social-life with constant notifications, updates, emails and software accessibility on portable devices such as mobile phones.

• Portability: The ability to work from any location including home or whilst travelling thus saving time and transport costs. Being able to work easily and more flexibly with people in different time zones, creating a 24/7 productive environment.

• Breach of digital security: Unauthorised access to data, applications, services, networks and/or devices by bypassing underlying security mechanisms. Sensitive, protected or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen or used by an individual unauthorised to do so

Understand blogging, digital content management and social networking platforms

• Blogging software: Blogging tools such as: WordPress, Wix, Yola, Tumblr or Contentful etc.

• Blogging evaluation: Comment on the layout, content and design. Is the blog ‘fit for purpose’? Is it appealing in terms of audience views, does it allow comments, is it updated regularly?

• Content management: Discuss the features in terms of what content management is and does. Understand the processing and technologies that supports the collection, managing, and publishing of information. Explanation of how it becomes ‘digital content’.

• Social media platforms: Drawbacks to include issues of spam, privacy and cyber-bullying. In addition to security threats, viruses and hackers. Other issues related to costs and the global social divide between countries that do and do not have access.

• Benefits to include global communication networks, developments and advancements in teaching, learning and innovation.

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