IC Literacy Test – a specially developed assessment instrument which allows to measure how well students who transition from middle to high school function in digital environment, e.g. use modern information and communication technologies which enable access new knowledge and can be used for communication and research activities.
This test assesses the level of cognitive skills, rather than computer literacy. After completing the assessment, each test taker receives recommendations on how to improve his or her information and communication literacy. Educators use summarized test results to develop the most efficient solution to improve existing education system in each classroom or in the entire region.
In general, IC literacy refers to the ability to utilize specific computer programs and information technologies. In our case, IC literacy refers to an individual’s ability to use modern technologies to access information, then to define, manage, integrate, evaluate, and communicate the said information in a creative manner, while following ethical aspects and legal norms.
IC literacy refers to a range of skills, including but not limited to:
- comprehensive work with information (access information by searching; integrate, manage and analyze information; effectively communicate the information; use information according to the goal assigned).
- the ability to solve practical tasks using information and communication technologies.
- the ability to think and interact effectively in the modern digital society using the wide range of information flows.
The purpose of the ICL Test is to provide a realistic and complex assessment of IC literacy by using practical, scenario-based tasks.
The ICL Test allows to assess the IC literacy level of an individual student, or a group of students. It also provides information about the basic school (lower secondary education) graduates’ preparedness to live in today’s information-based society.
The ICL Test is a vitally important instrument for school principals and education authorities at all levels. The test results enable educators to develop and improve an education policy specific to their school, region, or even their country. Furthermore, the test can provide evaluation of how implementation of the ICT helps the education system to develop as a whole.
The Test structure
Each variant of the ICL Test includes 16 scenario-based tasks. Two hours are given for the test completion.
The ICL Test structure combines simple, medium and complex tasks, application of specific strategies is required to solve each of them.
The ICL Test developers try to motivate participants as much as possible by rotating academic and personal tasks, alternating between simple tasks and that of medium and complex level of difficulty.
A test-taker uses a wide range of digital technologies, including e-mail, text editors, presentation tools, electronic tables, graphs, databases, multimedia services, social networks and other Internet services.
Each task is based on a real-life situation, contains a problem to be solved, and is aimed to assess either one or several IC proficiencies. The ICL Test developers motivate participants by rotating challenging academic tasks with practical problem-solving tasks. Thus, a balance between academic and extra-curricular context is achieved.
The ICL Test assesses a test-taker’s ability to work effectively with information and solve practical tasks using information and communication technologies, without assessing technical skills. It enables researchers to assess both IC literacy as a whole and its separate proficiencies.
The test tasks are based on real life situations that participants consistently face. More than 92 percent of students who completed the ICL Test stated that the tasks were interesting to solve.
Test can be taken on any computer, regardless of installed operation systems or Internet access.
The ICL Test has been developed in the Evidence Centered Design (ECD) framework. The ECD framework is a system that constructs assessments based on evidentiary reasoning, which facilitates coordination between test developers and ensures purposeful use of test items. Developing tests in the ECD framework is considered to be a strong argument in favor of construct validity of test results. Construct validity and high reliability of ICL test results have been further confirmed by various psychometric analyses.
Test has been successfully approbated in the Russian Federation, Great Britain, the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Armenia. It also has been approved at an international level. Its development has been conducted under the auspices of International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It has successfully passed audit in Manchester University and the Center for Advanced Study in Education in New York University.