ICILS 2013 Framework

Assessment or survey framework

Definition: Computer and information literacy (CIL) referred to an individual’s ability to use computers to investigate, create, and communicate in order to participate effectively at home, at school, in the workplace, and in society.

The CIL construct included the following elements:

  • Strands – the overarching conceptual categories for framing the skills and knowledge addressed by the CIL instruments.
  • Aspects – the specific content categories within a strand.


Strand 1: Collecting and managing information


  • Embraced the receptive and organizational elements of information processing and management.
  • Included the fundamental and generic skills and understandings associated with using computers.

This strand comprised three aspects:

  • Knowing about and understanding computer use:
    • A person’s declarative and procedural knowledge of the generic characteristics and functions of computers.
    • Focused on the basic technical knowledge and skills that underpin our use of computers in order to work with information.
  • Accessing and evaluating information:
    • The investigative processes that enable a person to find, retrieve, and make judgments about the relevance, integrity, and usefulness of computer-based information.
    • The necessary process of filtering the vast array of information sources and information available online before a user can make use of them.
  • Managing information:
    • The capacity of individuals to work with computer-based information.
    • The ability to adopt and adapt information classification and organization schemes in order to arrange and store information so that it can be used or reused efficiently.


Strand 2: Producing and exchanging information

Explanation: Focused on using computers as productive tools for thinking, creating, and communicating.

This strand comprised four aspects:

  • Transforming information:
    • The ability to use computers to change how information is presented so that it is clearer for specific audiences and purposes.
    • Typically, the use of the formatting, graphics, and multimedia potential of computers to enhance the communicative effect or efficacy of (frequently text-based or numerical) information.
  • Creating information:
    • The ability to use computers to design and generate information products for specified purposes and audiences.
    • These original products may be entirely new or may build upon a given set of information to generate new understandings.
  • Sharing information:
    • The understanding of how computers are and can be used, as well as the ability to use computers to communicate and exchange information with others.
    • Specifically, the knowledge and understanding of a range of computer-based communication platforms, such as e-mail, wikis, blogs, instant messaging, sharing media, and social networking websites.
  • Using information safely and securely:
    • An understanding of the legal and ethical issues of computer-based communication from the perspectives of both the publisher and the consumer.
    • Also, risk identification and prevention as well as the parameters of appropriate conduct.
    • Specifically, the responsibility of users to maintain a certain level of technical computer security, such as using strong passwords, keeping virus software up to date, and not submitting private information to unknown publishers.
Contextual or background framework

The contextual framework of ICILS distinguished the following levels:

  • The individual included:
    • Characteristics of the learner
    • Processes of learning
    • Learner’s level of CIL
  • Home environment related to a student’s background characteristics, especially in terms of the learning processes associated with:
    • Family
    • Home
    • Other immediate out-of-school contexts
  • Schools and classrooms:
    • Encompassed all school-related factors
    • Given the crosscurricular nature of CIL learning, distinguishing between classroom level and school level was not useful.
  • Wider community described the wider context in which CIL learning took place:
    • Local community contexts (e.g., remoteness and access to Internet facilities) as well as characteristics of the education system and country
    • Global context, a factor widely enhanced by access to the World Wide Web


The status of contextual factors within the learning process was also important; these could be classified as either antecedents or processes:

  • Antecedents:
    • External factors that conditioned the ways in which CIL learning takes place and therefore not directly influenced by learning-process variables or outcomes
    • Level-specific and possibly influenced by antecedents and processes found at higher levels
    • Examples of antecedent variables: the socioeconomic status of the student’s family and the school intake along with home resources.
  • Processes:
    • Factors that directly influenced CIL learning
    • Constrained by antecedent factors and factors found at higher levels
    • Contained variables such as opportunities for CIL learning during class, teacher attitudes toward using ICT for study tasks, and students’ use of computers at home

Both antecedents and processes needed to be taken into account when explaining variation in CIL learning outcomes:

  • Antecedent factors shaped and constrained the development of CIL.
  • The level of (existing) CIL learning could influence process factors; for example, the level and scope of classroom exercises using ICT generally depended on students’ existing CIL-related proficiency.