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Overview

The International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) is a computer-based international assessment of eighth-grade students' capacities “to use information communications technologies (ICT) productively for a range of different purposes, in ways that go beyond a basic use of ICT” (Fraillon, Ainley, Schulz, Duckworth and Friedman 2018). First conducted in 2013, ICILS assessed students’ computer and information literacy (CIL) with an emphasis on the use of computers as information seeking, management, and communication tools. Thereafter, increasing international recognition of the importance of students’ abilities to recognize and operationalize real-world problems using computational formulations led to the development of the Computational Thinking component within ICILS. The second cycle of ICILS was administered in 2018 and continued to investigate CIL, with the added international optional component to assess students’ computational thinking (CT) abilities, as well as how these relate to school and out-of-school contexts that support learning.

ICILS is sponsored by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) and is conducted in the United States by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This study allows the U.S. to begin monitoring U.S. student skills and experience using technology compared to that of other nations, and to provide data on factors that may influence student CIL and CT skills. The data collected through ICILS provides valuable information with which to understand the nature and extent of the "digital divide" and has the potential to inform understanding of the relationship between technology skills and experience and student performance in other core subject areas.

21 education systems around the world participated in ICILS 2013. The United States participated in ICILS for the first time in 2018, along with 12 other education systems. Among them, eight, including the U.S., participated in the optional component of computational thinking (CT).

For more information about what is assessed in ICILS, click here.