NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ887721
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1542-4715
Using TRAILS to Assess Student Learning: A Step-by-Step Guide
Owen, Patricia L.
Library Media Connection, v28 n6 p36-38 May-Jun 2010
School librarians nationwide seek to produce evidence of the library's impact on student learning and achievement. While classroom teachers demonstrate their impact through the use of standardized test scores including end-of-grade tests and SAT/ACT tests, school librarians have long used informal or in-class assessments to gauge student learning. While effective, these assessments can be augmented by the use of standards-driven information literacy tests, such as TRAILS-9 (Tools for Real-Time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills). TRAILS-9 is a knowledge test made up of multiple choice questions. Funded by ILILE (Institute for Library and Information Literacy Education) and based on Ohio K-12 Library Academic Content Standards as well as "Information Power," TRAILS-9 offers two 30-question tests and ten 10-question tests focused on five information literacy areas: (1) Develop Topic; (2) Identify Potential Sources; (3) Develop, Use, and Revise Search Strategies; (4) Evaluate Sources and Information; and (5) Recognize How to Use Information Responsibly, Ethically, and Legally. Because TRAILS-9 is available free online, it's easy for both school librarians and students to access. School librarians can set up as many test sessions as they need and all student scores are password protected. In this article, the author describes how she used the five steps in the TRAILS-9 process. By using this step-by-step approach, any school librarian can devise a TRAILS-9 action plan, administer tests, analyze the results, share reports with teachers and students, and revise instruction. School librarians nationwide can use the TRAILS-9 process to collaborate with classroom teachers, assess student learning, revise their information literacy instruction, and produce evidence of their library's impact on student achievement to share with stakeholders. TRAILS-9 is an effective assessment tool to use to measure one's information literacy instruction program and demonstrate the value of the library's contribution to student achievement. (Contains 2 figures.)
Linworth Publishing, Inc. 480 East Wilson Bridge Road Suite L, Worthington, OH 43085. Tel: 614-436-7107; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 9; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio