iSkills™ Assessment-related Research

ETS organized the 2001 International ICT Literacy Panel — an international group of leaders in education, business and government — to analyze issues and approaches to measuring Information and Communication Technology (ICT) literacy. From this research, ETS partnered with a consortium of institutions of higher education to develop the iSkills™ assessment.

To learn more about the research behind the iSkills assessment, refer to the following resources:

ICT Literacy: Integration and Assessment in Higher Education
This report further emphasizes what literacy means in the 21st century. There is a new kind of literacy — ICT literacy — defined by our ability to access and manage information, think critically about it and apply it effectively in all aspects of our lives. How ICT literate are today's students? Colleges and universities need ICT literacy programs to help students understand content faster and better, make the right decisions and ultimately become productive citizens in an information-rich economy. (Irvin R. Katz, Alexius Smith Macklin, 2007)

ICT Literacy: Equipping Students to Succeed in an Information-Rich, Technology-Based Society
It is not sufficient to say that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) proficiency is important for success in the 21st century. Today, students must be technologically fluent to compete in a global economy. Success today is defined more by how well we can evaluate, manage and communicate all types of information in a technological environment than it is by merely owning a computer. How well are today's students equipped for this challenge? Read the surprising data. (Linda Tyler, 2005)

Beyond Technical Competence: Literacy in Information and Communication Technology
ETS Senior Research Scientist Irvin Katz calls for an assessment program that will determine whether college students have the ICT skills "to become productive, successful members of an information-rich, technology-based society." In Change magazine, Patricia Breivik says today's students are actually less prepared to do research than their predecessors were. Students can use technology, but they cannot think critically when evaluating and processing the information they find. The bottom line: students must be critical thinkers, problem solvers and decision makers to succeed. (Irvin R. Katz, 2005)

Measuring College-Level Information and Communication Technology Proficiency
Colleges and universities are increasingly accountable for equipping students with the skills necessary to compete in the high-skills workplace of the 21st century. Today's students must have the intellectual ability to analyze and evaluate information and then communicate the findings (e.g., extracting information from a database, developing spreadsheets or composing emails). Institutions can now gather the data they need to measure their own effectiveness in preparing students for success in a technology-based environment. (2005)

Succeeding in the 21st Century: What Higher Education Must Do to Address the Gap in Information and Communication Proficiencies
Much attention has been given to the "digital divide" — the gap between those who have access to technology and those who do not. The growing concern is the "proficiency divide" — the gap between those who have cognitive skills and technical abilities to navigate information in school, at home and at work, and those who don't. What can institutions of higher education do to better equip students with the skills required to navigate, critically evaluate and make sense of the wealth of information available through digital technology? (2003)

Digital Transformation: A Framework for ICT Literacy
The 2001 International ICT Literacy Panel, an organization of experts from the education, government, labor and private sector from around the world, was created by ETS to study the growing importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) literacy. The panel's goals were to examine the need for ICT literacy measurement and to develop an ICT literacy framework for the design of large-scale assessments and diagnostic measures. The panel's analysis and summaries are presented in this report. (2002)

If you would like to know more about ETS's research on ICT literacy, fill out an information request form or call 1-800-745-0269 to speak to an ETS Solutions Advisor.