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The International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) is a computer-based international assessment of 8th-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 et al. 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 (CT) component within ICILS. The second cycle of ICILS was administered in 2018; it continued to assess CIL and assessed CT in the newly added optional assessment component. Following the previous cycles, ICILS 2023 will continue measuring international differences in students’ CIL and CT (as an optional component) with an emphasis on the use of computers to investigate, create, participate and communicate at home, at school, in the workplace and in the community, as well as international differences in approaches to writing software programs and applications.

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). The study allows the United States to monitor U.S. students’ skills and experience using technology, compare U.S. students’ skills internationally, and provide data on factors that may influence students’ CIL and CT skills. The data collected through ICILS provide valuable information with which to understand the nature and extent of the “digital divide” and inform our understanding of the relationship between technology skills and experience and student performance in other core subject areas.

Twenty-one education systems around the world participated in ICILS 2013. The United States participated in ICILS for the first time in 2018, along with 13 other education systems. More than 30 education systems plan to participate in ICILS 2023.

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