TRAILS – Tool for Real Time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills

Looking for a simple way to assess whether your students are acquiring the information literacy skills and strategies they need to survive and thrive in the 21st Century?  TRAILS may be one answer.  TRAILS is a project of Kent State University Libraries and it is available free of charge, which is music to everyone’s ears. 

According to the Web site (http://www.trails-9.org/), “TRAILS is a knowledge assessment with multiple-choice questions targeting a variety of information literacy skills based on sixth and ninth grade standards.  This Web-based system was developed to provide an easily accessible and flexible tool for library media specialists and teachers to identify strengths and weaknesses in the information-seeking skills of their students.”  Assessment #1 is geared to assess students’ basic understanding of terminology related to information literacy.  Assessment #2 is geared to assess how well students can apply information literacy skills.  Though it was developed for 6th and 9th graders, TRAILS has been used in grades 6 through post-secondary.

To check out TRAILS, go to:  http://www.trails-9.org/.
To view Sample Items, go to:  http://www.trails-9.org/samples2.php?page=works and see how multiple choice questions can lead students to higher order thinking.  
The Related Resources link at http://www.trails-9.org/relres2.php?page=rr will take you to lesson plans and other Web-based resources related to information literacy.

Happy TRAILS! 

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