Effects of the use of ICT in schools on students’ science higher-order thinking skills: comparative study of China and Finland

He Sun, Yueguang Xie, Jari Lavonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Information and communications technology (ICT) is now widely used in education. However, the effect of ICT on the development of students’ scientific higher-order thinking skills (S-HOTS) is a controversial issue in science education research. This has attracted significant attention from researchers worldwide in the field of educational technology. Purpose: In this study, a novel framework for students’ S-HOTS is proposed based on Marzano’s new taxonomy to determine the impact of ICT on S-HOTS. And exploring the difference in the impact of ICT on S-HOTS in two different countries. Sample: The data for this study were obtained from the Science Assessment and ICT Familiarity Questionnaire of the PISA 2015 survey for Finnish and Chinese students. This survey measures the differences in economic and educational levels and literacy in each country and tests the knowledge and skills necessary for life in reading, mathematics, and science for students (15 years old), through a detailed pre-testing country field study to make the results comparable across countries. Design and methods: We used the Delphi methodology to determine the framework of S-HOTS and a regression analysis to analyse the effects of ICT on students’ S-HOTS. Results: The results demonstrate how the availability, use frequency and use time of ICT affect S-HOTS. Furthermore, we compared the results between China (9841 students) and Finland (2538 students), and these findings demonstrated that ICT use at school has a negative effect on S-HOTS, especially ICT use time in school. We also found that using an interactive whiteboard positively and significantly affects S-HOTS. Conclusion: The results suggest that the effect of ICT use on S-HOTS in school depends on the ICT method combined with the learning process. Consequently, the use of ICT in schools should be viewed dialectically to promote students’ S-HOTS.

Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch in Science and Technological Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Educational technology
  • higher-order thinking skill
  • information and communications technology
  • international comparison

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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