Digital Competence in Education (COMPLETED)

Fazilat Siddiq


This dissertation is concerned with assessment of primary and secondary students’ information, communication and technology (ICT) literacy. The overarching aim of the dissertation is to investigate the positions and perspectives of different actors (teachers and students) and practices (assessment instruments) to portray how educational systems can monitor and support the development of students’ ICT literacy. The background for the research focus is the importance of ICT literacy for preparing students for the digital era. Thus, the responsibility of teachers as facilitators of students’ learning of ICT literacy and the critical role of assessments to monitor and seek to realize this objective is emphasized. Three individual papers contribute to the overarching aim by addressing distinct research questions and applying different methods.


The first paper systematically reviews literature on ICT literacy assessments with the aim to provide knowledge about the characteristics of the assessments, which facets of ICT literacy are measured, and the reported quality of the assessments. It draws on several theoretical frameworks and aims to bridge the disparities in the field related to the varied use of concepts and frameworks. By synthesizing research, the paper outlines the state of the art and identifies research gaps, some of which are addressed in the subsequent papers. In the second paper, an instrument to measure teachers’ emphasis on the development of students’ digital information and communication skills (TEDDICS) is validated. This construct describes a qualitative aspect of ICT use, and it is aligned with the ICT competences students are expected to attain (i.e., accessing, evaluating, and sharing and communicating digital information). The third paper validates the Learning in Digital Networks—ICT literacy (LDN-ICT) test, an online, performance-based assessment that measures students’ ability to handle digital information, create content, communicate, and collaboratively solve problems. The findings of Paper 2 and Paper 3 revealed satisfying levels of evidence of the reliability and validity of the two scales, and further refinements and implications are suggested.

ICT literacy frameworks and Assessment emerged as two central themes across the three papers, and they form the core of the dissertation. Moreover, the Norwegian context is emphasized in the dissertation because the respondents in Paper 2 and Paper 3 are Norwegian teachers and students.

The findings of the dissertation show that the international frameworks can be aligned; theoretical and empirical evidence for the alignment is provided. Yet, in comparison, the Norwegian ICT literacy framework has some limitations; suggestions for further revisions are given. Moreover, the importance of high-quality assessments is emphasized in the dissertation, and a set of indicators for reporting the quality of the tests was identified and further applied to appraise ICT literacy assessments. The findings show that an adequate norm for documenting and reporting the quality of ICT literacy tests is lacking. These indicators were further used as a blueprint in the two validation studies (Papers 2 and 3).

In conclusion, the dissertation contributes to the field of ICT literacy assessment by showing the interrelations between the intended, implemented, and attained curriculum, as each of them is addressed in one of the three papers. By providing state of the art in the field and validating two instruments that can be used together, the dissertation helps to inform educational systems regarding how they can monitor and support the development of students’ ICT literacy.

Dissertation title


  • Siddiq, F., Hatlevik, O. E., Olsen, R. V., Throndsen, I., & Scherer, R. (2016). Taking a future perspective by learning from the past—A systematic review of assessment instruments that aim to measure primary and secondary school students’ ICT literacy. Educational Research Review, 19, 58-84.
  • Siddiq, F., Scherer, R., & Tondeur, J. (2016). Teachers’ emphasis on developing students’ digital information and communication skills (TEDDICS): A new construct in 21st century education. Computers & Education, 92-93, 1-14.
  • Siddiq, F., Gochyyev, P., & Wilson, M. (2017). Learning in Digital Networks – ICT literacy: A novel assessment of students' 21st century skills. Computers & Education, 109, 11-37.
Published May 27, 2019 12:20 PM - Last modified May 27, 2019 12:51 PM