ICILS 2013 Fact Sheet

Long title
International Computer and Information Literacy Study
Frequency of data collection
Every 5 years
  • April 2010 to September 2011: framework development
  • April 2010 to July 2011: instrument development
  • February–April 2012: field test (Northern and Southern Hemispheres)
  • March–May 2013: data collection (Northern Hemisphere)
  • September–October 2013: data collection (Southern Hemisphere)
  • November 2014: release of international reports
  • March 2015: release of international database
  • Ascertain student preparedness for study, work, and life in the digital age.
  • Measure international differences in students’ computer and information literacy (CIL), i.e., their ability to use computers to investigate, create, and communicate in order to participate effectively at home, at school, in the workplace, and in the community.
  • Collect a rich array of data from students in the study’s target grade in order to enable investigation of the factors that influence student CIL.
  • Provide education systems and policymakers with an important source of data on the contexts and outcomes of CIL-related education programs.
Research questions

ICILS 2013 addressed four research questions:

  • What variations exist between countries, and within countries, in student computer and information literacy?
  • What aspects of schools and education systems are related to student achievement in computer and information literacy with respect to the following subquestions?
  • What characteristics of students’ levels of access to, familiarity with, and self-reported proficiency in using computers are related to student achievement in computer and information literacy?
  • What aspects of students’ personal and social backgrounds (such as gender, socioeconomic background, and language background) are related to computer and information literacy?
Assessment domain(s)
  • Computer literacy
  • Information literacy
Study framework (summary)

The computer and information literacy (CIL) framework

The CIL construct is based on two structural elements:

  • Strands – the overarching conceptual categories used to frame the skills and knowledge addressed by the CIL instruments;
  • Aspects – the specific content categories within a single strand.


Strand 1: Collecting and managing information

  • Focuses on the receptive and organizational elements of information processing and management
  • Has three aspects:
    • Knowing about and understanding computer use
    • Accessing and evaluating information
    • Managing information

Strand 2: Producing and exchanging information

  • Focuses on using computers as productive tools for thinking, creating, and communicating.
  • Has four aspects:
    • Transforming information
    • Creating information
    • Sharing information
    • Using information safely and securely


The contextual framework

  • The individual:
    • Characteristics of the learner
    • Processes of learning
    • Learner’s level of CIL
  • Home environment – 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 (at both classroom and school level)
  • Wider community:
    • Local community contexts (e.g., remoteness, Internet access)
    • Characteristics of the education system and country
    • Global context
Participating entities

Overall participating entities

18 countries and 3 benchmarking participants


Countries (18)

Australia, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong (SAR), Republic of Korea, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Switzerland, Thailand, and Turkey


Benchmarking participants (3)

City of Buenos Aires (Argentina), Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada), and Ontario (Canada)

Target population and sample (summary)

Target population

The ICILS target population comprises students in their eighth year of schooling. In most education systems, the eighth year of schooling is Grade 8, provided that the average age of students in this grade is 13.5 years or above. In education systems where the average age in Grade 8 is below 13.5, Grade 9 is defined as the ICILS target population.

The population for the ICILS teacher survey was defined as all teachers teaching regular school subjects to the students in the target grade at each school sampled.

ICILS also administered separate questionnaires to principals and designated ICT-coordinators in each school.



ICILS collected data from almost 60,000 Grade 8 (or equivalent) students in more than 3,300 schools from 21 countries or education systems within countries. These student data were augmented by data from almost 35,000 teachers in those same schools and by contextual data collected from school ICT coordinators, school principals, and the ICILS national research centers.


Data collection techniques and instruments (summary)


  • Test of CIL
  • Student questionnaire
  • National context survey (one per country, completed by staff in national centers)


Online with paper-based option

  • Teacher questionnaire
  • School questionnaires (principal and ICT coordinator)
Study director(s)

IEA Amsterdam

Keizersgracht 311

1016 EE Amsterdam

The Netherlands

Tel. +31 20 625 3625

Fax +31 20 420 7136

E-mail secretariat@iea.nl



IEA Hamburg

Überseering 27

22297 Hamburg


Tel. +49 40 48500 500

Fax +49 40 48500 501

E-mail icils@iea-hamburg.de



Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)

19 Prospect Hill Rd Camberwell

VIC 3124 Australia

Tel. +61 3 9255 5555

Fax +61 3 9255 5500

E-mail icils@acer.edu.au