What is ICILS?

International Computer and Information Literacy study (ICILS) is the first international comparative study that assesses the extent to which students know about, understand, and are able to use information and communication technology (ICT).

The main purpose of ICILS is to determine how well students are prepared for study, work and life in the information age, and how their performance compares with students in other participating countries. In total, 21 countries will participate in the 2013 cycle of ICILS.

The assessment measures and analyses differences in the Computer and Information Literacy levels and computer use of Year 8 students.  It also collects information about the contexts in which students develop computer and information literacy within and outside of school.

The results from ICILS will be used by governments and policy-makers to improve students’ computer and information literacy.

ICILS is jointly funded by the Australian, State and Territory Ministers of Education.  The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is responsible for administering ICILS in Australia.

ICILS in Australia

The ICILS Main Study was administered in a sample of Australian schools from 6th to 29th November 2013.

In participating schools, twenty Year 8 students were randomly selected to participate in the assessment.

The principal and a number of staff at the school were also asked to complete a questionnaire about school characteristics, as well as computing resources, policies, and practices regarding the use of ICT at the school.

Information for parents and teachers

Is ICILS compulsory?

The State and Territory Education Ministers meeting at the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC) agreed on 14 October 2011 that schools in Australia would participate in ICILS in 2013.  As such, ICILS has been included as one of the international sample assessments within the Schools Assistance Regulation.  These regulations give effect to data collection and reporting requirements in the National Education Agreement.

Note, As of 1 July, 2014 the former Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood  (SCSEEC) became known as the Education Council.

Who is funding ICILS?

ICILS is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, (DoE) and the State and Territory Departments of Education, and is administered by ACER on behalf of DoE and the State and Territory Education Departments.

Why is it important that schools participate in ICILS?

Participation in international assessments provides information on the progress of Australian school students relative to other countries and helps education systems to identify strengths and weaknesses in policy and practice.

It’s an important part of ensuring the Australian school system will continue to meet the needs of Australian students, Australian businesses and the nation.

What are the outcomes of ICILS?

At the end of 2014, results for ICILS 2013 were released.  At the same time as the international report was released, ACER published a national report which describes students’ performance in CIL education relative to other participating countries, and at a national level, where the focus is on the performance of different (social) groups in Australian society, such as the Australian states and territories, males and females, students from different socioeconomic backgrounds, students attending schools in different geographic locations, students’ immigrant status and language spoken at home.

Information for parents and teachers