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Information Literacy: IL Assessment

Use this guide to find information on information literacy.

TRAILS IL Assessment

The Tools for Real-Time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (TRAILS) is a knowledge assessment with 30 multiple-choice questions targeting a variety of information literacy skills based on various grade standards.  This web-based system was developed to provide an easily accessible and flexible tool for school librarians and teachers to identity strengths and weaknesses in the information-seeking skills of their students.

TRAILS consultants review information literacy standards in both the Ohio Academic Content Standards (ACS) and the American Association of School Librarians (ASSL) documents and place them within the appropriate TRAILS categories.  Objectives are then written to address these competencies, followed by the writing of items based on the objectives.  These draft items are then field-test by volunteer school librarians working with students at the designated grade level.

Data from the field tests are analyzed along with comments from the participating school librarians.  Items are revised as needed and placed into assessments for the upcoming school year.  Response data are analyzed annually to determine if revisions to items are needed.

How to Administer the Test

Each term, Library staff will contact faculty with assessment designated courses.  Faculty can choose to:

  • have a librarian administer the test in class.  Plan for 30 minutes for students to complete the test.
  • have a librarian administer the test via email.  Each student will receive their individual log-in and will then take the test on their own time.

Test Results

Upon completion, TRAILS automatically scores the student exams and generates an overall class average. In addition, an average score is generated for each of the 5 indicators tested. These results can be viewed immediately by contacting Amanda Samland.

Test results are emailed to the faculty and to the individual student.

Based on Information Literacy Committee recommendations, students who score below 50 percent on the Information Literacy assessment assessment will currently be asked to retake the assessment. In the future, students who fall into these categories may be required to attend information literacy skills workshops hosted by the Library staff.

Test Indicators

The Information Literacy assessment examines and scores the following information literacy skills or indicators:

  • Developing a Topic
  • Identifying Sources
  • Search Strategies
  • Evaluating Resources and Information
  • Using Information Responsibly and Ethically

What Happens with the Test Results?

Each term, library staff members analyze the Information Literacy test results to determine areas where JWU Denver students may be weak. They then develop exercises and activities that can be incorporated into instruction classes to address these areas of weakness.