Good in arts, good at computer? Rural students' computer skills are bolstered by arts and science literacies

Ling Li, Jiayi Shi, Bu Zhong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Since the International Computer and Information Literacy (CIL) was introduced to assess school children's ability of using computers and other information and communications technologies (ICT) for educational purposes, considerable work has been devoted to investigating the ICT-related determinants of students' computer and information literacy. However, there is scant literature on how rural students' CIL could be affected by learning other subjects like arts or sciences. Guided by the theory of learning transfer, this study explores possible learning transfer effects of arts and science literacies on CIL and ICT skills among eighth graders (N = 2821) in China's rural areas. The findings show that arts literacy is positively associated with CIL and ICT skills, while science literacy is positively associated with basic ICT skills but negatively related to advanced ICT skills. Rural students who had a higher family socioeconomic status and better educated parents were more likely to have higher CIL, suggesting the presence of digital disparities. This study provides timely perspectives that help students to master ICT skills and improve computer literacy, including insights for revealing digital disparities among rural students in low-resource settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107573
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Early online date23 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction

User-Defined Keywords

  • Arts literacy
  • Computer and information literacy
  • Information and communication technology
  • Learning transfer theory
  • Science literacy


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