Is there a gender gap? A meta-analysis of the gender differences in students' ICT literacy
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonEducational Research Review. 2019, 27, 205-217. 10.1016/j.edurev.2019.03.007
The study of gender differences in academic achievement has been one of the core topics in education, especially because it may uncover possible gaps and inequalities in certain domains. Whereas these differences have largely been examined in traditional domains, such as mathematics, reading, and science, the existing body of empirical studies in the domain of ICT literacy is considerably smaller, yet abounds in diverse findings. One of the persistent findings however is that boys consider their ICT literacy to be higher than that of girls. This meta-analysis tests whether the same pattern holds for students’ actual performance on ICT literacy tasks, as measured by performance-based assessments. In total, 46 effect sizes were extracted from 23 empirical studies using a random-effects model. Overall, the gender differences in ICT literacy were significant, positive, and favored girls (g = + 0.12, 95 % CI = [0.08, 0.16]). This effect varied between studies, and moderation analyses indicated that the grade level students were taught at moderated its magnitude—effect sizes were larger in primary school as compared to secondary school. In conclusion, our findings contrast those obtained from previous meta-analyses that were based on self-reported ICT literacy and suggest that the ICT gender gap may not be as severe as it had been claimed to be.