National Report on Schooling in Australia 2011

Student achievement

5.2 National Assessment Program – Information and Communication Technology Literacy

The National Sample Assessment for Information and Communication Technology Literacy (NAP – ICT Literacy) commenced in 2005.
Every three years samples of Year 6 and Year 10 students from across Australia are tested on their ability to use ICT to appropriately access, manage, integrate and evaluate information, develop new understandings and communicate with others in order to participate effectively in society.
The 2011 NAP – ICT Literacy assessment was undertaken by 5,710 Year 6 students from 333 schools and 5,313 Year 10 students from 316 schools. The participating students were from both government and non-government schools.
The next NAP – ICT Literacy is scheduled for 2014.

Proficient standards for ICT Literacy

Proficiency scores are grouped into six proficiency levels ranging from below Level 1 (comprising the least difficult items) to Level 6 (comprising the most difficult items). Each level represents an equal range of student ability/item difficulty on the NAP – ICT Literacy proficiency scale.
Proficient standards for ICT Literacy were established for both Years 6 and 10 in 2005. Each proficient standard is a point on the NAP – ICT Literacy proficiency scale that represents ‘a challenging but reasonable’ expectation of student achievement at the respective year level.
The proficient standards are important because they provide reference points of reasonable expectation of student achievement on the scale. In some senses the standards can be considered as indicators of ICT literacy preparedness for students as they begin the transition to the next stages of their educational or vocational lives.
The two proficient standards (one for Year 6 and one for Year 10) were established as a result of consultation with ICT education experts and representatives from all States and Territories and all school sectors. This group included practising teachers with specific ICT expertise, ICT curriculum experts and educational assessment experts.
  • The Proficient Standard for Year 6 was defined as the boundary between levels 2 and 3 on the ICT Literacy proficiency scale.

  • The Proficient Standard for Year 10 was defined as the boundary between levels 3 and 4 on the ICT Literacy proficiency scale.

The full ICT Literacy proficiency scale and descriptions are available on the National Assessment Program website.
Year 6 students who reach the proficient standard locate simple, explicit information from within a given electronic source. They add content to and make simple changes to existing information products when instructed. They edit information products to create products that show limited consistency of design and information management. They recognise and identify basic ICT electronic security and health and safety usage issues and practices. For example, students make changes to some presentation elements in an information product, apply simple software and file management functions such as copying and pasting information from one column of a spreadsheet to another column, add a web page to a list of favourites (bookmarks) in a web browser, and recognise the need to keep virus protection software up to date.
Year 10 students achieving the proficient standard generate simple general search questions and select the best information source to meet a specific purpose. They retrieve information from given electronic sources to answer specific, concrete questions. They assemble information in a provided simple linear order to create information products. They use conventionally recognised software commands to edit and reformat information products. They recognise common examples in which ICT misuse may occur and suggest ways of avoiding them. For example, students create an information product that follows a prescribed explicit structure, use graphics and text software editing features to manipulate aspects such as colour, image size and placement in simple information products, and recognise the potential for ICT misuse such as plagiarism, computer viruses and deliberate identity concealment.

Key performance measure

The proportion of students achieving at or above the proficient standard (Level 3 in Year 6 and Level 4 in Year 10) is a basic measure of ICT literacy achievement in Australian schooling. This is a key performance measure (KPM) in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia 2010.
The proportion of students achieving at each proficiency level is reported in Table 5.5.

Key Performance Measure 5

Proportion of students achieving at or above the proficient standard in ICT Literacy

Table 5.5 Proportion of students achieving at each proficiency level and at or above the proficient standards (Level 3 in Year 6; Level 4 in Year 10) in Information and Communication Technology Literacy, 2011 (per cent)

Proficiency level

At or above the proficient standard

1

2

3

4

5

6

Year 6

Australia (%)

CI±

11

(1.6)

27

(1.7)

40

(2.0)

20

(1.8)

1

(0.6)

62

(2.0)

Year 10

Australia (%)

CI±

2

(0.7)

8

(1.1)

25

(1.8)

44

(2.4)

19

(1.6)

2

(0.6)

65

(2.3)

Notes:

CI = Confidence Interval

Confidence intervals (±1.96*SE) are reported in brackets. Because results are rounded to the nearest whole number, some totals may appear inconsistent.

Source: ACARA, National Assessment Program – ICT Literacy Years 6 and 10 Report 2011

The results show that 62 per cent of Year 6 students and 65 per cent of Year 10 students met or exceeded the relevant Proficient Standard in 2011. Overall, nearly two-thirds of Australian students in Years 6 and 10 have met or exceeded the Proficient Standard for NAP – ICT Literacy in 2011.

The National Assessment Program – ICT Literacy Years 6 and 10 Report 2011 is available on the National Assessment Program website.