Computer and Information Literacy at the eighth grade: differences between boys and girls


  • Elisa Caponera National Institute for the Educational Evaluation of Instruction and Training (INVALSI)
  • Francesco Annunziata National Institute for the Educational Evaluation of Instruction and Training (INVALSI)
  • Laura Palmerio National Institute for the Educational Evaluation of Instruction and Training (INVALSI)


ICILS, gender differences, computer literacy


In recent decades, ICT has radically transformed our daily lives, work and social relationships, trying to understand how young people are prepared for this new challenge is crucial. 

This study investigated the gender differences in International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) results. Italian students participating in ICILS 2018 (n=2810; mean age:13,3) were considered. The sample was representative of Italian students at the beginning of the eighth grade. Students answered the CIL (Computer and Information Literacy) international questionnaire including questions about students’ socio-economic and cultural background, future expectations about ICT usage for work and study, ICT skills to complete a range of different tasks, self-efficacy towards ICT.

A structural equation model (SEM) was adopted to perform a path analysis to test a relationship between student characteristics and CIL performance.

The results evidenced that the relationships between CIL, on one hand, and self-confidence and expectations for the use of ICT for work and study, on the other hand, differ between boys and girls. Moreover, self-efficacy mediates the variables’ effects for the girls: a higher level of self-efficacy reinforces the relationship between ICT Learning and CIL.

On the basis of the results, some possible implications for the Italian school system are discussed. 


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2022-06-01 — Updated on 2022-10-12