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A systematic review of the impact of ICT on the learning of literacies associated with moving image texts in English, 5-16. Teacher perspective (2)

Research question

What is the impact of ICT on the learning of literacies associated with moving image texts in English, 5-16?

Summary of results

The research represented in this review (with one exception) explored the relationship between Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and media production. As practices of digital video editing have been documented in small, qualitative studies, the benefits of ICT in moving image literacy could only be suggested by the evidence, not conclusively demonstrated.


The broad background to this review is growing international concern that substantial investment in ICT in schools is not in practice impacting positively on literacy development, despite a widespread belief among government departments as well as schools that ICT is beneficial to learning as a whole and literacy learning in particular. The English Review Group completed an overarching systematic review of the impact of ICT on literacy learning in English which described all the included research in the field. An in-depth sub-review then reported on the impact of networked ICT on literacy learning.

The present review is one of a further four reviews addressing aspects of this overall question. The key sub-questions of this review are:

  • Which studies develop the most useful theoretical models for improving teaching and learning?
  • Which studies provide the most convincing data?
  • What discernable patterns, if any, emerge across the study?
  • What gaps remain which need to be addressed by further research?


The earlier overarching systematic review (which mapped the research on the impact of ICT on literacy learning in English, 5-16) helped to define relevant studies from 1990-2001. The searches were updated for 2001-2002 and the research was then screened with revised keywords by a member of the review team, using the new guidelines from the EPPI Centre. Relevant inclusion and exclusion criteria were also refined. The database for 2002 was closed on 30th November 2002 - any studies received later will be included in the next update. The quality assurance process was such that two members of the Review Group and one member of the EPPI Centre double-screened a random sample of the studies and reliability scores were then calculated. Studies were sub-selected under the keyword 'moving image' from studies in the database created by the EPPI Centre English Review Group. Specific inclusion/exclusion criteria for this particular review were applied, leading to a further sub-selection. The identified studies were then systematically mapped, data-extracted by two reviewers, and synthesised into a narrative linked to the key review questions.


Thirteen studies were identified, of which nine were included. After mapping the characteristics of these nine studies, the in-depth review presented key features of their evidence and findings. Two theoretical paradigms could be identified across several of the studies. Practices of digital video editing in England were documented as forms of literacy in small, qualitative case studies which explored the relationship between ICT and media production, and these (with one exception) were the only kind of case studies represented in this review. Consequently evidence for the benefits of ICT with regard to moving image literacy could only be suggested by the available evidence.


The review was able to make some systematic judgements about emerging theoretical accounts of moving image literacy and about some of the practices which informed it:

  • Implications for policy mainly revolve around the possibility for national definitions and curricula of English to take expanded models of literacy and their link with digital production media into account
  • Implications for practice include the possibility of using the synthesised evidence and review findings to underpin moving image work in the classroom as well as in initial teacher training in English
  • Implications for research include the need for a wider range of longitudinal studies with larger samples.

The writer is an experienced teacher of English Language and Literature at secondary level and a part-time PGCE tutor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of York. She is also a senior examiner, moderator and coursework adviser for the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance examination board. The writer is not a member of the Review Group nor an adviser for the Review, and is writing in a personal capacity.

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