Please add tips that you may have for other users of TRAILS including those that are new to using the assessment.

Tests can be reviewed on the student's personal time or during a meeting time with the teacher or librarian.

  • One-on-One: Work with a student or a small group of students to go through TRAILS questions with an instructor. This would allow for individualized instruction and opportunity for discussion.

Taking the assessments as an entire class can be a great way to implement examples after every question so that the entire class can learn the information by using multiple methods of learning.
  • Game Show: Create a fun learning opportunity with the instructor or one student serving as a “master of ceremonies” with students in the class answering TRAILS questions. Instructor could project the assessment on a large screen with a computer and projector. Instructor should have the answers available so feedback and discussion can occur during the assessment administration.

The results can be a great way to guide the curriculum design for the rest of the year.
  • Information Literacy Curriculum Mapping: Following a TRAILS assessment, use results to map information literacy needs and opportunities across curricular areas. Meet with faculty in those identified areas to create an instructional strategy.

Our Recommendations on the General Assessments:

General assessment #1 is focused more on students’ basic understanding of information literacy concepts. If your students have been performing well on general assessment #1 in the fall and you have been teaching information literacy concepts throughout the first term, please consider using general assessment #2 in the spring. General assessment #2 is focused more on students’ application of information literacy concepts.

Pre- and Post-testing

We recommend that you use the same assessment for both pre- and post-testing so the results will be more comparable. Usually there will be enough time between assessments that students won’t remember most of the questions. Also, the questions are delivered randomly each time, which will make it appear to be a different test to the students.

We also encourage that you give the TRAILS assessment to all in-coming freshman and test them each subsequent year to see the progress from year-to-year. This will also allow you to see the entire progress over the child's 9-12 educational career.

How to Merge Student Names with TRAILS Student Codes

  1. A file with the names of the students you are testing (either a CSV file or a spreadsheet)
  2. The TRAILS csv file (created under View and Manage Sessions)


1. First create an Excel spreadsheet with the student information you need. (last name, first name, grade, teacher,etc) See:
2. Second download the TRAILS student codes. Available Here:

3. Save the TRAILS student codes. (Naming configuration suggestion is month, year, grade level or teacher name.)

4. Copy the student information into the TRAILS student code spreadsheet.
(Note: to save time, you can enlarge the font on the student code spreadsheet. Then print the student information and cut this apart to hand to the students for their assessment.)
See example student handout:

5. Assess the students.
6. Download the TRAILS report for the assessment entitled: Student Percentage Codes. See:

7. Open the Excel Spreadsheet with the TRAILS student codes and student names.

8. Make sure the TRAILS Assessment results spreadsheet is in the same student code order as the TRAILS student codes and student names spreadsheet.
9. Copy the TRAILS Assessment results and paste it into the TRAILS student codes and student names spreadsheet. See:

10. You now have the TRAILS assessment results by student name and student code.