TRAILS is a great information literacy assessment

Thank you to everyone who has worked on TRAILS. It is awesome. Everyone should give this assesment in their school.

TRAILS (Tool for Real-time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills):

Welcome to the new school year!  TRAILS is an online tool for measuring your students’ understanding of information literacy. Last year TRAILS created new accounts for over 3,000 school librarians and teachers. Its information literacy assessments were administered to nearly 365,000 students.


TRAILS offers standards-based assessments at the 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th grade levels. It continues to be available to school librarians and teachers at no charge. A free TRAILS account can be created at


TRAILS features include:

  • Freely available on the Web at:
  • Aligned to Common Core State Standards
  • Knowledge assessment of five categories comprising information literacy skills
  • Downloadable results at both class and student levels
  • Self-administered by the librarian
  • Assurance of student privacy


Reported top uses of TRAILS, based on the 2014 survey of users:

  1. Determine class understanding of information literacy (76%)
  2. Use as pre-test/post-test to measure change (81%)
  3. Obtain data to demonstrate student learning (57%)


Transitioning to College:

Are you working with high school students to prepare them for college? In addition to TRAILS-12, take a look at its companion site—Transitioning to College ( T2C provides resources for both students and librarians that highlight the expectations of college level work and tips for doing research. Included in this brand-neutral site are video learning modules, sample syllabi, a glossary of college terms, and tips for educators.


TRAILS and T2C are services of Kent State University Libraries and have been funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the U.S. Dept. of Education, LSTA, and the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation.





Kenneth J. Burhanna
TRAILS Project Director
Assistant Dean for Engagement & Outreach
Associate Professor
Kent State University Libraries

Visit us on the web:


Transitioning to College:

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