Development of the computer interface literacy measure Academic Article uri icon


  • Over the last fifteen years, computers have increasingly become a central component of our lives. During this period, educational research has focused on the effectiveness of computers as both tools for teaching and as a replacement for more traditional instruction. This research has indicated that computer literacy can have a significant impact on a student's ability to learn in a computer-mediated environment. However, there is currently no widely accepted definition of computer literacy nor recent scale-to measure it. The definitions and scales that do exist are specific to the prevailing technology at the time of their development. Because of the rapidly changing face of technology, the current usefulness of these scales is limited with respect to graphical user interfaces. This study represents an effort to redefine computer literacy to include competencies for using graphical user interfaces for operating systems, hypermedia applications, and the Internet. The Computer Interface Literacy Measure (CILM) was developed and validated on 498 undergraduate students. The CILM is composed of both self-report (CILM-SR) and knowledge application (CILM-KA) sub-scales. The CILM-SR consists of twenty-six items, while the CILM-KA contains forty-two items. The Cronbach's alpha coefficients for the CILM-SR and CILM-KA were = 0.8978 and = 0.8455, respectively. The overall CILM had a reliability estimate of = 0.9102, and was found to significantly correlate with Need for Cognition, a measure of computer instrumentality, and computer experience. It is believed that the CILM will provide researchers with a valuable tool for describing the computer literacy level of participants in educational research.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Turner, G. M., Sweany, N. W., & Husman, J.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • January 2000