TRAILS was a very popular information literacy assessment tool designed for pre-college students. While the TRAILS system is no longer available, much of the archived TRAILS testing material can be found on a new OER web site, TRAILS Archive. Carrick Enterprises is pleased to host the site and provide access to this valuable material.
In this post, TRAILS founder Dr. Barbara Schloman describes the TRAILS journey and the new TRAILS Archive.
Reflecting on TRAILS
Barbara F. Schloman, Ph.D. TRAILS Founding Member Emeritus Professor University Libraries Kent State University Kent, Ohio, USA
TRAILS (Tool for Real-Time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills) was an online information literacy assessment site for K-12 that ended its fourteen-year run in June 2019. Over that time, there were 31,000 registered users who administered over 126,000 assessments to nearly 2.5 million students. This is a look back in time on its development and reception by users.
For many libraries it's summer time and there's an opportunity to devote attention to longer-term projects. In this post I want to talk about making plans for information literacy assessment.
As you think about your information literacy program you may have questions like these:
What can I tell my faculty colleagues about information literacy outcomes on our campus? I want to have focused conversations with them that lead to common priorities and collaborations.
What information literacy data can we contribute to our institution's accreditation self study?
How can we demonstrate the value of the library to our campus administrators?
At what point are students capable of critically assessing the information they encounter?
How does student information literacy differ at lower and upper division levels?
Are there tools that will help us know are we meeting our institutional learning outcome goals for information literacy?
How can I guide my students in gaining a deeper understanding of their IL strengths and weaknesses? Can I guide their exploration of what information literacy is and why they need it, as well as get feedback about where they can improve?
Carrick Enterprises offers a suite of valid and reliable information literacy assessments to help answer these questions and achieve these goals. Supported by a team of information literacy and measurement experts, these assessment tools produce valuable insights that librarians are using to inform their information literacy efforts. Whether it's identifying areas for growth, looking for evidence of improvement over the course of a student's college career, or bringing formalized assessment to accreditation efforts, the Carrick Enterprises assessments deliver what you need with pricing that respects your budget.
Monica joined the Advisory Board for the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy in 2017. Learn how Monica values the diverse backgrounds of her students and uses her own cultural experiences to connect and engage.
Question #1: Please tell us about your job.
I am currently a full-time Librarian/Associate Professor and Acquisitions and Collection Development Coordinator at Cerritos College. Cerritos College is a community college in Norwalk, California and is one of the largest community colleges in Los Angeles County. I have been part of the Cerritos College campus community since 2004. My role as a faculty member and librarian is to provide high-quality, academically rigorous instruction in a comprehensive curriculum that respects the diversity represented in our student body and region.
In addition to coordinating responsibilities in the library, I have taught an introductory library research course as a standalone course and through the Learning Community Program (First Year Experience). I have also taught with the PUENTE Program (puente means bridge in Spanish) which is a National Model for Student Success. I was a pioneer on campus by being part of the first campus to teach an introduction to library research course in The PUENTE Program in California. I have worked closely with my colleagues in the Learning Community Program to provide instruction in using our online research databases for specific assignments for English and Counseling courses. I firmly believe in bridging the gaps that students might encounter while attending community college by engaging in interdisciplinary programs and providing rich learning experiences.
Natalie Lopez joined the Advisory Board for the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy in 2017. Here she reveals how her teaching has evolved and shares her approach to incorporating the frames into her instruction. She also explains the meaning of this photo!
Question #1: Please tell us about your job.
I am the Outreach Librarian for Palomar College! I extend the promotional reach of library services to our student population, our faculty and our community of prospective students. I love that we have so many wonderful services to help our students succeed. My job involves increasing the visibility of these services and making sure students know to ask questions. I also let faculty know we build our collections based on the curriculum and we can help instruct their students how to successfully navigate the library as they work on research papers.
By Meghan Wanucha Smith, Coordinator of Instructional Assessment, East Carolina University, email@example.com
This post is based on a poster presented at 2018 Library Assessment Conference.
At East Carolina University’s Joyner Library, librarians and library staff in Research & Instructional Services teach information literacy instruction for classes ranging from introductory composition to graduate-level research methods and use a variety of assessment techniques to gauge student learning. In previous program assessment efforts, we focused on lower-level composition classes with quizzes to test students’ abilities to use specific library resources. This time around, we wanted to know what students were learning in all of our classes to get a better sense of what the process of learning looked like in the entire instruction program. Could we design an easy-to-implement, shared assessment that would capture this information?