This is the procedure for a library media specialist or teacher to use TRAILS.

1. Creating an Account
  • From the homepage, click CREATE AN ACCOUNT.
  • Complete the form. Submit by clicking the CREATE ACCOUNT button.
  • Confirm your account by clicking the link in the e-mail that you will receive from TRAILS. This activates your account.

Common Problems:
I set up my account but am unable to log in. What am I doing wrong?
After you request an account you should have received an e-mail confirmation. You must click on the link in the e-mail in order to activate your account.

I can log in from home but not from school. Is there something blocking my access?
Cookies must be enabled in order for you to access the TRAILS system. Please ask the system administrator in your school for help.



2. Creating and Managing Sessions
  • Go to the TRAILS site and click the MY ACCOUNT link and sign in.
  • From the MY ACCOUNT OPTIONS page, click CREATE AND MANAGE SESSIONS.
  • You're presented with a list of your previously defined sessions (if any).
  • From this page you can Create a New Session or manage a previously defined session.

  • To CREATE A SESSION...
    • Click the Create a New Session button.
      • Session Name—Use a descriptive yet unique name, such as Smith Per. 3 History 2006.
      • Assessment—Select the general or category assessment that you want to administer. Two versions (1 or 2) are available for each assessment. Each version within the pair covers similar content. You may view the assessment selected by clicking on VIEW ASSESSMENT.
      • Grade Level—Questions are static; please indicate the grade you primarily plan to assess.
      • Trial Session—Select this if you want to make informal use of the system, such as to demonstrate the assessment during an in-service or staff meeting.
    • Trail Sessions
      • Setting up a trial assessment session:
        • After signing in, from MY ACCOUNT OPTIONS, click on CREATE AND MANAGE SESSIONS, then CREATE A NEW SESSION. When you set up a new session, check the box next to TRIAL SESSION.
      • Want to make the assessment a trial so that the data is not stored?
        • You may do this at any time. After signing in, click on the CREATE AND MANAGE SESSIONS button. Find the assessment name in your List of Sessions and click on it. At the top of the page under the name of the session, click on the "Edit Session" button. Click in the box labeled TRIAL SESSION, and a check mark will appear. Click on the SAVE EDITS button. The "Edit Session" button also allows you to change the session name, the grade level tested, the assessment to be delivered (if no student has yet been tested), and increase the number of student ID codes.
    • Student Codes
      • Using codes requires you to assign a TRAILS-generated unique code to each student. This enables you to determine individual performance and permits individual students to review their item-by-item performance. Student codes also allow students to re-enter the system without losing their responses in case of system interruption.
          • If the student has been assigned a student ID code, then the student may re-enter the assessment to finish it. When a student clicks on NEXT (or PREVIOUS) at the bottom of the screen of questions, TRAILS saves those answers. If the student clicks the FINISHED button, his/her assessment will be closed. No further questions can be answered and the assessment cannot be re-entered. If trouble occurs due to network failure or Internet traffic, the session can be restarted using the same process and student ID code.
          • To track progress by using the same student IDs across multiple sessions:
            • From MY ACCOUNT OPTIONS, click on CREATE AND MANAGE SESSIONS, then CREATE A NEW SESSION. When setting up your new session, in the STUDENT CODES section, click on YES, COPY FROM A CLOSED SESSION and select the session name from the drop-down menu.
      • If you do not want to use student codes, select NO.
      • If you are creating student codes for the first time for an assessment, select YES, NEW CODES and indicate the number of students.
      • If you wish to reuse codes from a previous closed session, select YES, COPY FROM A CLOSED SESSION and select the session name from the pull-down menu.
    • Click on the CREATE SESSION button to move your newly created session to the List of Sessions.


3. Manage Sessions
  • From the List of Sessions, click a session you'd like to manage.
    • Some parameters such as the session name or Student Codes can be edited at any time, by clicking the Edit Session button.
    • To change the number of students taking an assessment:
      • From MY ACCOUNT OPTIONS, click on CREATE AND MANAGE SESSIONS. Find the assessment name in your List of Sessions and click on it. At the top of the page under the name of the session, click on the EDIT SESSION button. Type the number of student codes that you want to add in the box to the right of STUDENT CODES. Then, click on ADD. You will see the number of student codes change. Click on the SAVE EDITS button. At the present time you may not decrease the number of students taking the assessment. Unused student ID codes are completely ignored during report generation, so extra codes will not negatively affect your class report.
    • The assessment selection can be changed ONLY IF testing has not begun.
    • The middle section of information contains session details necessary for administration to students.
    • The Session URL is specific to the session and is to be given to the students to access the session. Students will type in the session URL to take the assessment.
      • Administration Details and instructions are available via a PDF document.
      • This document also contains the list of Student Codes to be assigned to students, if student codes have been requested.
    • The status of a session can be changed at any time to any other status level. For example, a session that is closed can be reopened at any time.
      • Closing a session prohibits students from accessing the session other than to review previous responses.
      • Students can access a closed session to review. Previous responses are displayed but cannot be changed. Correct responses are displayed in red.
      • You can reopen a session if additional students need to take the assessment.
      • An archived session cannot be accessed by students.
      • Reports are available at ANY TIME data are available.
        • Available reports include class, student, and online review. The class report provides detailed information on class performance for each item. The student report presents the total score for each student code. The online review function allows the review of a session by the teacher/librarian.

Common Questions Related to Managing Sessions:

1. How do I close a session?

From CREATE AND MANAGE SESSIONS, you will see your List of Sessions. Make sure that you are displaying the OPEN sessions. To do this, locate the colored STATUS box on the right. Click inside the box labeled OPEN and then click on VIEW. Click on the name of the session that you wish to close. To the right of CHANGE STATUS TO is a drop-down menu. Select CLOSED.

2. How do I reopen a session?

From CREATE AND MANAGE SESSIONS, you will see your List of Sessions. Make sure that you are displaying the CLOSED sessions. To do this, locate the colored STATUS box on the right. Click inside the box labeled CLOSED and then click on VIEW. Click on the name of the session that you wish to reopen. To the right of CHANGE STATUS TO is a drop-down menu. Select OPEN.

3. How can I clean up my List of Sessions?

From CREATE AND MANAGE SESSIONS, you will see your List of Sessions. The sessions that appear in the list are the ones that have the same status (open, closed, or archived) as the box/boxes checked under STATUS. If you only want to view your open sessions, then click in the OPEN status box on the right and then click the VIEW button. If you only want to view your closed sessions, then click in the CLOSED status box on the right and then click the VIEW button. If you only want to view your ARCHIVED sessions, then click in the ARCHIVED status box on the right and then click the VIEW button. See the directions above to learn how to change a session’s status.


Common Questions Related to Reports:

1. How do I view assessment reports?

From CREATE AND MANAGE SESSIONS, click on the name of the session for which you want a report. The session must be closed in order to view a report. If the session is still open, change the status from OPEN to CLOSED using the drop-down menu. Once you close the session, you will see the available reports to the right of the word REPORTS. Click on the type of report that you wish to view—CLASS, STUDENT, or ONLINE REVIEW.

2. Can students view their own results so that they can see where they made mistakes?

Yes, they can if you opted to use student codes. First, you must close the session, even if some of the students (perhaps they were absent) have not taken the assessment. To do this, go to CREATE AND MANAGE SESSIONS and click on the name of the session for which you want a report. Change the session’s status from OPEN to CLOSED using the drop-down menu. Once you close the session, you will see the available reports to the right of the word REPORTS. Click on ONLINE REVIEW. You will be taken to a page entitled REVIEWING A SESSION, and the directions at the top look similar to this:

To review the session with students, have them go to

      • www.trails-9.org/session/nnnnn
      • (where nnnnn is the session ID) and sign in using their original student codes. Students will see the assessment items in the same order as you see them below. Their original responses will show in their individual views, and the correct responses will show in red.
NOTE: The session status must be set to "CLOSED" for this to function for the students.

Each student can see how he/she performed by comparing the correct response in red to where he/she placed the dot. If students only want to see a raw number score, print the STUDENT REPORT page, make a copy for yourself, then cut up the paper into strips so that each student will receive the score associated with his/her student ID code.

3. What is the difference between the three types of assessment reports?

A class report gives the teacher a snapshot of how the class performed, including the range of student scores, the mean score, the percent correct in each category, and the percent of students who selected each answer (correct and incorrect). A student report is available if you chose to use student codes. The student report provides the raw score, the percentage of correct answers, and a graphical presentation of the percentage of items the student answered correctly. Scores are identified by student ID code only, not student name. Therefore, keep a list of the ID code each student was assigned. If you used student codes, the online review report option allows students to see how they performed on each item. Students must type the test URL and the individual student ID code to access this report option.