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ICILS 2013 press release

Learn about the key findings of the IEA International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) 2013.


ICILS 2013 example test module

View an example student test module, After-School Exercise, from the ICILS 2013 assessment.

ICILS 2013 infographic

See highlighted findings from ICILS 2013.


ICILS 2018 leaflet

Learn about the next cycle of ICILS, an innovative computer and information literacy assessment!


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ICILS 2013

International Computer and Information Literacy Study

The IEA International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) 2013 examined the outcomes of student computer and information literacy (CIL) across countries. CIL refers 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 the community.

ICILS 2013 asked how well students are prepared for life in the information age, exploring several key questions about student CIL and its contexts:

  • How does student computer and information literacy vary within and between countries?
  • What factors influence students' computer and information literacy?
  • What can education systems and schools do to improve students' computer and information literacy?

The assessment of CIL was authentic and computer-based. It included three types of tasks: (i) multiple-choice or constructed response items based on realistic stimulus material; (ii) software simulations of generic applications so that students were required to complete an action in response to an instruction; and (iii) authentic tasks that required students to modify and create information products using 'live' computer software applications.

The student questionnaire gathered information about computer use in and outside of school, attitudes to technology, self-reported computer proficiency, and background characteristics. Teacher and school questionnaires asked about computer use, computing resources, and relevant policies and practices in the school context. A national context survey collected systemic data on educational policies and practices for developing computer and information literacy, expertise of teachers, and digital technology resources in schools.

Target population

The ICILS target population consisted of all students in the eighth grade, provided that the mean age at the time of testing was at least 13.5 years.

Participating education systems

Argentina (Buenos Aires), Australia, Canada (Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario), Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Korea, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Switzerland, Thailand, and Turkey.


ICILS was inaugurated in June 2010 at the first meeting of the national research coordinators in Amsterdam. Framework and instrument development work was carried out in 2010 and continued in 2011, along with the pilot of the survey instruments. The field test was conducted in the first half of 2012, and the main data collection occurred at the beginning and end of 2013 for northern and southern hemisphere countries, respectively. The international report was published in November 2014, followed by the international database and user guide in March 2015. The technical report will be released in mid-2015.


The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) serves as the international study center for ICILS. ACER staff, including Project Coordinator Dr John Ainley, Research Director Mr Julian Fraillon, and Assessment Coordinator Dr Wolfram Schulz, are responsible for designing and implementing the study in close cooperation with the IEA Secretariat, the IEA Data Processing and Research Center, and the national centers of participating countries.


The participation fees for the ICILS project were assessed in two currencies. The fee was USD 15,000 and EUR 15,000 per year, for each of the five years of the project (2010–2014). European countries participating in ICILS received financial support from the European Commission's Directorate-General for Education and Culture.

For more information, please contact the ICILS International Study Centre.

Major publications

Fraillon, J., Schulz, W., Friedman, T., Ainley, J., & Gebhardt, E. (2015). ICILS 2013 Technical Report. Amsterdam: IEA.

Fraillon, J., Ainley, J., Schulz, W., Friedman, T., & Gebhardt, E. (2014). Preparing for life in a digital age: The IEA International Computer and Information Literacy Study international report. Cham: Springer.

Fraillon, J., Schulz, W., & Ainley, J. (2013). International Computer and Information Literacy Study: Assessment framework. Amsterdam: IEA.

Jung, M., & Carstens, R. (Eds.). (2015). ICILS 2013 user guide for the international database. Amsterdam: IEA.

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