IES Blog

Institute of Education Sciences

International Computer and Information Literacy Study: 2023 Data Collection

In April, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) will kick off the 2023 International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) of eighth-grade students in the United States. This will be the second time the United States is participating in the ICILS.

What is ICILS?

ICILS is a computer-based international assessment of eighth-grade students’ capacity to use information and communications technologies (ICT)1 productively for a range of different purposes. It is sponsored by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) and conducted in the United States by NCES.

In addition to assessing students on two components—computer and information literacy (CIL) and computational thinking (CT)—ICILS also collects information from students, teachers, school principals, and ICT coordinators on contextual factors that may be related to students’ development in CIL.

Why is ICILS important?

ICILS measures students’ skills with ICT and provides data on CIL. In the United States, the development of these skills is called for in the Federal STEM Education Strategic Plan. Outside of the United States, ICILS is also recognized as an official EU target by the European Council and EU member states to support strategic priorities toward the European Education Area and Beyond (2021–2030). From a global perspective, ICILS provides information for monitoring progress toward the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The measurement of students’ CIL is highly relevant today—digital tools and online learning became the primary means of delivering and receiving education during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and technology continually shapes the way students learn both inside and outside of school.

ICILS provides valuable comparative data on students’ skills and experience across all participating education systems. In 2018, ICILS results showed that U.S. eighth-grade students’ average CIL score (519) was higher than the ICILS 2018 average score (496) (figure 1).


* p < .05. Significantly different from the U.S. estimate at the .05 level of statistical significance.
NOTE: CIL = computer and information literacy. The ICILS CIL scale ranges from 100 to 700. The ICILS 2018 average is the average of all participating education systems meeting international technical standards, with each education system weighted equally. Education systems are ordered by their average CIL scores, from largest to smallest. Italics indicate the benchmarking participants.
SOURCE: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS), 2018.


ICILS data can also be used to examine various topics within one education system and shed light on the variations in the use of digital resources in teaching and learning among student and teacher subgroups. For example, in 2018, lower percentages of mathematics teachers than of English language arts (ELA) and science teachers often or always used ICT to support student-led discussions, inquiry learning, and collaboration among students (figure 2).


NOTE: ICT = information and communications technologies. Teaching practices are ordered by the percentage of English language arts teachers using ICT, from largest to smallest. Science includes general science and/or physics, chemistry, biology, geology, earth sciences, and technical science.
SOURCE: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS), 2018.


What does the ICILS 2023 data collection include?

In November 2022, NCES started the preparation work for the ICILS 2023 main study data collection, which is scheduled for administration from April to June 2023. Eighth-grade students and staff from a nationally representative sample of about 150 schools will participate in the study.

Students will be assessed on CIL (which focuses on understanding computer use, gathering information, producing information, and communicating digitally) and CT (which focuses on conceptualizing problems and operationalizing solutions). In addition to taking the assessment, students will complete a questionnaire about their access to and use of ICT.

Teachers will be surveyed about their use of ICT in teaching practices, ICT skills they emphasize in their teaching, their attitudes toward using ICT, and their ICT-related professional development. In addition, principals and ICT coordinators will be surveyed about ICT resources and support at school, priorities in using ICT, and management of ICT resources.

In 2023, more than 30 education systems will participate in the study and join the international comparisons. When ICILS 2023 results are released in the international and U.S. reports in November 2024, we will be able to learn more about the changes in students’ and teachers’ technology use over the past 5 years by comparing the 2023 and 2018 ICILS results. Such trend comparisons will be meaningful given the increased availability of the Internet and digital tools during the pandemic.

 

Explore the ICILS website to learn more about the study, and be sure to follow NCES on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and YouTube and subscribe to the NCES News Flash to stay up-to-date on future ICILS reports and resources.

 

By Yan Wang and Yuqi Liao, AIR

 


[1] Refers to technological tools and resources used to store, create, share, or exchange information, including computers, software applications, and the Internet.

How Enhanced Core Reading Instruction Has Improved Reading Outcomes for Students with Reading Difficulties Through Tiered Supports

A teacher and students work with flashcards

Enhanced Core Reading Instruction (ECRI) is a systemic intervention that researchers at the University of Oregon developed with practitioners to assist educators in providing instruction within multi-tiered systems of supports. ECRI provides teachers with guidance and support for implementing Tier 1 core reading instruction and Tier 2 interventions that align with core reading instruction. Teachers have access to specific instruction methods that enhance their district-adopted core reading program, guided lesson plans, intervention templates, and explicit protocols for data collection and review to inform instructional decisions. Since 2009, IES has funded research projects that examine ECRI’s impact on academic and behavioral outcomes for students with or at risk for reading difficulties.

At the University of Oregon, Hank Fien conducted a study that provided 2 years of professional development (PD) and coaching to first grade teachers to implement the core reading program and use ECRI materials. The results of this randomized controlled trial demonstrated that students who received ECRI Tier 2 intervention made more progress towards reading achievement and reading proficiency than students who received the typical, “business-as-usual” Tier 2 instruction. Findings from the study indicated that schools should consider three factors when choosing an instruction model for struggling readers: 1) increasing specificity of instruction procedures through lesson plans and teaching routines, 2) increasing the intensity of instruction that students receive, and 3) closely aligning instruction between Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions.

At the University of Alabama, Gregory Benner developed a program, Integrated Literacy Study Group, that provides web-based PD to special education teachers to assist in delivering high-quality reading instruction based on ECRI to students with an emotional/behavioral disorder (EBD). Results from the pilot study showed the program demonstrated promise for teacher and student outcomes. Teachers who participated in online learning modules to learn ECRI strategies demonstrated increases in teaching self-efficacy in the areas of classroom management, instructional strategies, student engagement, and self-efficacy in teaching reading and using behavior management strategies with students with or at risk for EBD. They also demonstrated increased knowledge of the evidence-based behavioral and reading strategies for students with EBD learned through the PD program. Students with or at risk for EBD served by these participating teachers made significant improvements in academic engagement and notable gains on reading scores.

In a collaborative effort led by Nancy Nelson, the University of Oregon and the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Special Education worked in partnership to conduct an evaluation of a state’s multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) framework that implements ECRI for Tier 1 and Tier 2 reading instruction. The MTSS framework included specific protocols for integrating teaching academic and behavioral content across tiers of support. The reading intervention incorporated ECRI instructional strategies while the behavior intervention used positive behavior supports, including a “check-in/check-out” behavior monitoring and reinforcement system. We hope to share the results and their implications in an additional blog in the near future.

More recently, Dr. Nelson, now at Boston University, is developing a Tier 3 extension of the ECRI reading intervention that is intensified for students identified as needing more intensive support in kindergarten through second grade. This study will develop protocols and training for teachers, collect data on the feasibility of teacher implementation, and study the promise of the Tier 3 intervention for improving student outcomes. Researchers will study how student outcomes are related to reading content, executive function supports, instructional design elements, and instructional delivery features.

In another recently funded study, Elaine Wang at RAND Corporation is conducting an ECRI replication study to measure its effectiveness on foundational reading skills with first-grade students. In addition to examining whether ECRI will improve reading outcomes for students, researchers are also investigating whether features of the intervention can be feasibly implemented within a typical classroom context by classroom teachers under routine conditions, with less support for implementation than was included in prior studies.

The NCSER-funded studies of ECRI to date have demonstrated improved reading outcomes for students at risk of reading difficulties by targeting critical reading content areas (phonemic awareness, blending sounds, fluency, vocabulary) and increasing the explicitness of instruction. An important aspect of these studies is they were implemented in an authentic school environment by school staff, demonstrating that ECRI procedures can fit within the daily routines of a typical school day. NCSER looks forward to learning the results of the current, ongoing ECRI studies that will add to the evidence focused on the impact and implementation of this intervention. We thank all the researchers for their hard work and dedication to supporting students, educators, and our schools.

This blog was written by Shanna Bodenhamer, virtual student federal service intern at IES and graduate student at Texas A&M University. Sarah Brasiel (Sarah.Brasiel@ed.gov) is the program officer for the Reading, Writing, and Language program and oversees most of the research projects that focus on studying ECRI across NCSER programs.

Grateful for Our Interns: The 2022-23 NCSER Interns from the U.S. Department of Education Student Intern Program

In a continued celebration of Thanksgiving, NCSER would like to express its gratitude to all the student volunteer interns that are giving their time and talents to help us understand and communicate about education research. In our fourth blog about these interns, we are highlighting the NCSER interns who come to us through the Student Volunteer Trainee Program. The interns are working on a variety of different tasks, including writing blogs, helping to revise and update our online abstracts, coding listening sessions, and assisting with various other writing and data analysis projects as needed. Their mentor, Amy Sussman, is proud to introduce the team.

Alysa Conway

Headshot of Alysa Conway

I am currently a second-year master’s student in education policy and leadership at the University of Maryland, College Park. I’m interested in the development of college identity for diverse students and research relevant to race, disability, and the law. These interests led to a special interest in assisting with college identity development for students with disabilities, especially students with mental and neurodevelopmental disabilities. I’m committed to education advocacy, including waiving standardized testing, increasing minority enrollment, and altering the diversity education requirements for all undergraduates at the University of Maryland. I have collaborated with educators and community leaders in Washington, DC. for equity-centered professional development strategies. My goals for the future, after receiving my master’s degree, include working at the U.S. Department of Education on postsecondary education issues and pursuing a PhD in student affairs so that I can dedicate myself to developing legal or academic supports for Black students and students with disabilities at institutions of higher education. Through this NCSER internship, I plan to strengthen my professional pursuits by building technical writing skills, gaining a stronger understanding of research, supporting analysis of information through qualitative data coding, and learning more about strategies to improve equity and excellence in education.

Fun Fact: I love cooking! Food is a part of my love language and I love to cook Italian, Asian, and Southern cuisine. I am also a music fanatic with a very expansive palette—I love alternative indie, hip-hop, rap, neo-soul, pop, electric dance, and rock music. My favorite way to enjoy music is with the windows down with a crisp breeze and the sight of the leaves changing.

Isabelle Saillard

Headshot of Isabelle Saillard

I am a fourth-year undergraduate at the University of Virginia. My majors in public policy and econometric statistics have contributed greatly to my interest in K-12 education policy, landing me amazing experiences that have prepared me well for this internship at IES. My internships at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Education Office and at the U.S. Department of Education Impact Aid Office have taught me a lot about how federal agencies interact with other organizations. My goals include attending graduate school and working to build stronger cross-agency collaboration to support evidence-based education reform. This internship serves my goals well as I learn about different projects and gain new research skills geared toward studying special education practices. Paired with the mentorship and support of IES staff, I am excited to see where this internship takes me!

Fun Fact: I love the outdoors so much that one morning, I walked 26.2 miles on a whim (from northern VA to DC and back), making me a marathoner.

Grateful for Our Interns: The 2022-23 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Interns

In honor of Thanksgiving, NCER and NCSER would like to express their gratitude to all of the student volunteer interns that are giving their time and talents to help us understand and communicate about education research. In our third blog about these interns, we are highlighting our diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) interns. These interns come to us through the Virtual Student Federal Service program and are being mentored by Katina Stapleton (NCER).

Audrey Im (she/her)

I am from the Bay Area in California and am currently a UCLA undergraduate majoring in political science and minoring in professional writing and film. Ever since I was young, my dream profession was to be a teacher—the process of sharing knowledge with other people is thrilling for me. I was lucky enough to have great teachers with distinct, effective teaching styles, and I knew that somewhere along the road, I wanted to have the same effect on another generation of students as those teachers had on me. Currently, I am focused on learning how to write in a manner that makes information accessible.

Fun Fact: I love writing poetry! Recently, I've been doing a monthly poetry project where I write a poem using only song lyrics from my favorite tunes of the month. It's been very fun and challenging. I would highly recommend trying it out!

 

Zaakirah Rahman

I’m currently a senior at the City College of New York pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English education and a minor in sociology. I was born and raised in Queens, so I’ve been a part of the New York City school system for as long as I can remember. This has helped fuel my passion for pursuing education as a career. School has contributed a lot to my life, from teaching me what I know to even being a second home at times. I’d like to give back through being in the classroom myself and enacting real change. I currently work at the New York Public Library as a page, a job that is suited to my love for reading. Additionally, I’m the outreach chair for the New York chapter of an organization called MIST (Muslim Interscholastic Tournament), where we organize an annual tournament with various competitions for high school students. The tournament itself champions helping students bring out the best in themselves, and my role helps me meet all kinds of people to share this experience.

Fun Fact: I love photography and am owner to an ever-growing collection of cameras.

 
 

NCES Celebrates IES and NCES Anniversaries With Retrospective Report on Federal Education Statistics

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and 155 years since the creation of a federal agency to collect and report education statistics for the United States, a role now fulfilled by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). To celebrate both of these anniversaries, NCES has just released a new commemorative report—A Retrospective Look at U.S. Education Statistics—that explores the history and use of federal education statistics.



The 11 statistical profiles in phase I of this report can be found within two tabs: Elementary and Secondary Education and Postsecondary Education. Users can toggle between these two tabs and then select a particular statistical profile in the drop-down menu, such as Number of Elementary and Secondary Schools, High School Coursetaking, Enrollment in Postsecondary Institutions, and Postsecondary Student Costs and Financing.


Image of report website showing tabs for Elementary and Secondary Education and Postsecondary Education and the drop-down menu to select individual statistical profiles


Each of the statistical profiles in this report is broken down into the following sections:

  • what the statistic measures (what the data may indicate about a particular topic)
  • what to know about the statistic (the history of the data collection and how it may have changed over time)
  • what the data reveal (broad historical trends/patterns in the data, accompanied by figures)
  • more information (reference tables and related resources)

Each statistical profile can be downloaded as a PDF, and each figure within a profile can be downloaded or shared via a link or on social media.

For background and context, this report also includes a Historical Event Timeline. In this section, readers can learn about major periods of prolonged economic downturn, periods of military action, and periods when U.S. troops were drafted as a part of military action—as well as major pieces of federal legislation—and how some of these events could have disrupted the nation’s social life and schooling or impacted education across the country.

The report also includes a brief overview of NCES, which can be accessed by expanding the dark blue bar labeled NCES Overview: Past, Present, and Future. This section covers the history of NCES and its mission, the evolution of NCES reports and data collections, and current and future changes to NCES’s reporting methods.


Image of report website showing introductory text and the NCES Overview blue bar


This commemorative guide to federal education statistics is not intended to be a comprehensive report on the subject but rather a resource that provides an in-depth look at a selection of statistics. Stay tuned for the release of phase II next year, which will include additional statistical profiles. Be sure to follow NCES on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and YouTube and subscribe to the NCES News Flash to stay up-to-date!

 

By Megan Barnett, AIR