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Alternatives to ICT skills checklists

So a school wants a skills rubric/checklist for students for ICT?

QUESTION: What is this for??? Who is this for? 

This is me thinking out loud...

Skills progressions templates or ICT audit checklist … in my mind, the skills development comes from a focus as part of a curricula - like you might see in England. NZ don't have e-learning as separate area of the curriculum here, so it's very hard to compare.

An ICT audit checklist might track skills such as:

  • Create a new file
  • Open, edit and Save/Save As files
  • Disk/file management
  • Print a file
  • Cut, copy and paste
  • Word processing
  • Use different fonts/headings
  • Insert image
  • etc

This might be a good indicator for teachers, but this also mean learning is are channelled into a skills focus, rather than a pedagogical one - which is more representative of the emerging end of the e-Learning Planning Framework.

Again, I'd have to ask, Skills checklist for what exactly? Is it:

  • Computer management?
  • Administration?
  • Software specific?

or skills for creating, communicating, collaborating, problem solving?

If its software specific skills, then be aware, these things change - as platforms change. For example, here's an ICT competencies for students (clearly a bit dated now).

In my mind, it would be much better to explore the way we view the platforms in a global sense. EG: What does the menu bar often tell us - in any programme?

  • File usually does....
  • Edit usually does...
  • View usually does...
  • Insert usually does...
  • Help usually does...etc
  • This particular software allows us to...

Maybe having a help sheet on this, as well as any keyboard shortcuts? Then this knowledge can be transferred between ICT programmes and across learning experiences. 

Effective teaching for all students depends on the teachers to become confident/capable users of ICTs/e-learning. This includes knowing how to integrate ICTs/e-learning effectively into their teaching practice.  A teacher's knowledge/skills level will ultimately influence the way they teach, hence (for some) the need for rubrics - to teach and assess by.

Check list Some teachers may want skills progressions, so they can track skills development. But I think, pedagogically, e-learning landscape across New Zealand shows, we are more about processes of thinking, ways of working, learning outcomes driven, rather than skills as stand-a-lone goals. We need to think more about the Key competencies and the authentic integration of  ICT in the curriculum that supports the principles of the NZC.

As Helen Timperley wrote in, Teacher Professional Learning and Development, "A skills-only focus does not develop the deep understandings teachers need if they are to change practice in ways that flexibly meet the complex demands of everyday teaching." (page 10). Therefore there is a need to disseminate relevant readings and research so that, "This integration allows teachers to use the theoretical understandings as the basis for making ongoing, principled decisions about practice." (EDUCATIONAL PRACTICES SERIES – 18, March 2008). Praxis is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted or practiced (Wikipedia).

Acot model

In terms of developing understandings about both the practice of, and the professional rationale for, teaching and learning with ICTs, teachers can be exposed to resources such as teacher continuums or models for teachers as learners. Some of which include the ACOT (Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow research) model, Patrica E. Holland's Teacher as Learner continuum,  Knezek's Stages of adoption and SMAR Model (Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition). These are not meant to serve as rigid, sequential stages or phases, rather as a way to understand that "teachers are at various levels in their knowledge and use of technology, and that these levels are developmental". Professional Development in Technology: Catalyst for School Reform? by Patricia E. Holland, Houston, Texas 2001, Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 9 (2)

Skills development may need to be identified in terms of teacher need (professional learning, administration, demonstration, teaching) and transference into the classroom (e-learning processes and practice). Starting with a skills audit is is a useful place to benchmark the change process. Finding out what knowledge/skills are already known, what new knowledge/skills and learning are needed, who can provide this support and what method will these knowledge skills be delivered is important.

Frameworks such as the e-Learning Planning Framework (eLPF) is a great place for teachers to map or self-evaluate of their understanding and use of ICTs/e-learning in teaching and learning. Development of the e-Learning Planning Framework (eLPF) online tool provides individuals/schools with a road map to self-assess their e-capability. 

Rubrics, guidelines, surveys and checklists:


1. If you want to know how teachers are getting on, then maybe teachers can be surveyed/audited before assigning a skills progressive approach? Try this one for size: Teacher audit.

2. If you want an example of a technology rubric for teachers (to guide their teaching) based on e-competencies, then Kellie McRobert (NZ) has created the following: e-Competencies in teaching and learning (e-learning).

3. Unesco also released a Competency Framework for Teachers Download Guideline which provides a description of teachers’ work and roles, recognising the knowledge and skills required to achieve the best outcomes for students. This has some very detailed examples for ways of working.

4. Ross Intermediate shared their matrix to shape PD for staff in the MLE listserve (NZ). This is attached below called ROSS IT PHILOSOPHY.

Ross IT Philosophy - 10 Commandments Matrix

If teachers are still keen to focus on students:

1. Here is the link to the student survey (NZ) I have started - which combines e-learning with pedagogical practices. You are invited to add to this Google doc.

2. Also, take a look at the attached Becta rubrics (UK) on Learning and Assessment (below)...and maybe these can be mashed together? 

Becta Learning quidelines Becta assessment guidelines

Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes and Computational Thinking Progress Outcomes


Moving forward in time, in 2019 we have progress outcomes for Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko, that serve as exemplars and snapshots to help teachers teach about computers, computer science, computational thinking and design at different levels and stages of the Curriculum.

CT: Progress outcomes, exemplars, and snapshots

DDDO: Progress outcomes, exemplars, and snapshots

Image courtesy of Wesley Fryer (Flikr).


  • Allanah King

    A great summary of thoughts Tessa. Sadly we have lost Kellie to the Australian brain drain!

  • Tessa Gray

    Thanks Allanah, and boohoo for losing Kellie, as least we'll have her online! Undecided

  • Kelliem

    Big thanks to Bec Power for sending me this link -Hi all from sunny Qld!

    This is so true. The checklist is too narrow for the range and capability of todays platforms. They will lead to small skill sets- which may be a good way to introduce at a junior level but would need to be opened out to using and developing skills very early on.

    The appropriation and invention satges for teachers and students alike are the goalposts. Does that mean though, to appropriate and become inventive in an online tool, we need to look at the 'Mother tounge' theory of Dorothy Burt -developing competencies progressivley in a few well chosen tools to build ability and then scaffold transferring that knowledge?

  • Tessa Gray

    Hello and welcome back Kellie!

    I'm glad its sunny in Queensland, a bit wet, stormy here in NZ today! Great comment too. You might like to add your thoughts to this current conversation in Enabling e-Learning: ICT school guidelines, where community members are also debating the merits of ICT skills checklist - as well as sharing competency type rubrics for e-learning.

    Enjoy the thread and enjoy Aussie!

  • Allanah King

    Six C Fullan.jpg

    I am thinking of Fullan's Six C's- how might we best develop these would be a good place to base our thinking around the 21st century skills we need to develop.