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Kent State University Libraries, with assistance from Carrick Enterprises, has made TRAILS (Tool for the Real-time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills) freely available as an open educational resource (OER) at TRAILS-archive.org. The newly established site provides access to downloadable PDFs of assessments, a searchable database of TRAILS assessment questions, and teaching resources contributed by users.
University Libraries developed TRAILS in 2005 as an online, information literacy assessment site for K-12 educators. Originating as a project of the Institute for Library and Information Literacy Education (ILILE) at Kent State University, the initiative was made possible through funding by the Institute of Museum and Library Studies (IMLS) and the U.S. Department of Education. TRAILS aligned with the Libraries’ instructional outreach program, preparing the region’s students with the necessary information literacy skills to succeed in college. The former TRAILS site (TRAILS-9.org) no longer functions as an interactive assessment tool, but will be available until June 30, 2020, to allow users to access their old data.
Over its 14-year history as an interactive assessment tool, TRAILS engaged with more than 31,000 registered users around the world who administered more than 126,000 assessments to nearly 2.5 million students. Carrick Enterprises, an international leader in information literacy assessment, is supporting the TRAILS archive through the development of the searchable item database, in addition to hosting the website.
“We’re very proud of TRAILS’ impact over the early years of the 21st century,” said Ken Burhanna, TRAILS project director and dean of University Libraries. “We acknowledge the vision and hard work of its founder, Dr. Barbara Schloman, a Kent State University Libraries emeritus professor, and the contributions made by many others.
“We also wish to thank Carrick Enterprises for their support and help in making the new OER site available. This allows TRAILS’ content to continue to be available to educators worldwide under a Creative Commons license,” he said.
For more information and to access TRAILS’ literary assessment resources, visit TRAILS-archive.org.