Assessing Modern Literacies

Our Journey

UNESCO Reports on Digital Literacies & Assessment

i: UNESCO Information Paper No. 51 June 2018: Quebec: Nancy Law; David Woo, Jimmy de la Torre and Gary Wong, Centre for Information Technology in Education (CITE), University of Hong Kong.

ii:UNESCO Information Paper No. 56 January 2019: Quebec: Mart Laanpere, Senior Researcher, Tallinn University, Centre for Educational Technology.

The objective of the this project was to examine the current situation around the world and propose a methodology that can promote UNESCO’s aim of ensuring young people develop the necessary digital skills needed for the future. 

It examines current frameworks and seeks a range of expert consultation to propose a comprehensive framework of digital literacy skills.  

After examining digital literacy frameworks from 47 different countries around the world, the project found that countries used a mixture of frameworks developed on a governmental level and those developed by organisations (Microsoft, Certiport, etc.)

         ‘One Size Doesn’t Fit All’

Indeed, the project found that specific digital literacy skills that countries deem important depend heavily on their economic situation and requirements. It was therefore difficult to propose a ‘one size fits all’ framework. Instead, a pathway mapping methodology was developed to guide countries in developing their own frameworks. Similarly, the project also expresses the difficulty in suggesting a one size fits all approach for assessing digital literacies. 

This report builds on the previous assessment of digital literacy frameworks, provides a review of digital literacy assessment tools, and gives recommendations for a digital assessment design which may meet UNESCO’s target.

          Current Assessment

Carretero, Vuorikari and Punie (2016) reviewed and categorised 22 different assessment methods for digital literacy skills. The methods were categorised into: performance assessment, knowledge-based assessment, self-assessment, and secondary analysis.


Sparks et al. (2016), consider both the focus of the assessment as well as the design of assessment tools.



The report recommended that the proposed assessment of digital literacy should:


New Literacies and assessment

The ATC21S Project

In 2009, Cisco Systems Inc., Intel Corporation and Microsoft Corp. came together to sponsor research into international education to help transform teaching, learning, and measurement of young peoples’ 21st-century skills.  

A series of white papers, case studies, and development projects throughout eight different countries made up the ATC21S Project.

Assessment Tool using Google Form

After reflecting on the reports and projects mentioned above, we designed a Google Form on the competence area listed in “A Global Framework of Reference on Digital Literacy Skills”: Information and data literacy and Communication and collaboration. 


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