TRAILS Development Timeline


2011-12 Academic Year

  • Received Jennings Foundation grant to develop images for TRAILS-3, relate all TRAILS items to their appropriate Common Core State Standard, and to build stronger connections between TRAILS-12 and the Transitioning to College website.
  • Since its inception, TRAILS has been administered to nearly 817,000 students in over 44,500 sessions; more than 15,500 registered users

2009-10 Academic Year

  • Received LSTA grant for development of TRAILS-3 and revision of TRAILS-6 and TRAILS-9 items
  • Continued TRAILS-3 development
  • Provided capability to download student codes

Summer 2009

  • Replaced all “choose all that apply” items with single-response items in general assessments
  • Work began on TRAILS-12 development
  • Provided capability to download percentage scores for students

2008-09 Academic Year

  • Received Martha Holden Jennings grant for development of TRAILS-12
  • TRAILS administered to over 180,000 students

2007-08 Academic Year

  • TRAILS-6 goes live in January 2008.
  • TRAILS-6 items tested by library media specialists in over 100 schools nationwide to over 7,500 students.

Summer 2007

  • Work began on development of items for a 6th-grade version of TRAILS.
  • Modifications to TRAILS-9 assessments were made based on user feedback and item analysis.
  • Registered users surpassed the 2,800 mark; 50 states and 41 countries were represented.

2006-07 Academic Year

  • Continued refinements to assessment system and items.
  • New features include category testing, improved session management, and an expanded view of each assessment item.
  • In the fall of 2006, TRAILS was administered 625 times with 13,820 student participants.
  • More than 1,200 account holders were registered through August of 2006; the number grew to 2,000 account holders by January of 2007.

Summer 2006

  • Modifications were made based on user experience, consultant feedback, and analysis of item responses.
  • Categories were reorganized and renamed.
  • Registered users surpassed the 1,000 mark; 48 states and 30 countries were represented.

2005-06 Academic Year

  • TRAILS availability was announced at the 2005 OELMA annual meeting.
  • System went live in January of 2006.
  • 930 account holders were registered through May of 2006.


  • Assessment items were written for each objective.
  • Items were reviewed by the TRAILS Development Team.
  • Assessment items were field-tested with 9th grade students under the direction of volunteer library media specialists in eleven high schools across Ohio.
  • Feedback from field-testing was reviewed, and items were reexamined.
  • Items were revised for better understanding and adherence to the objectives.
  • Final versions of two general TRAILS assessments were selected.
  • TRAILS database and Web interface were developed.


  • Information literacy components in Ohio Academic Content Standards (Ohio ACS) were reviewed and distilled into categories.
  • Alignment was determined between Ohio ACS and Information Power.
  • Idea of TRAILS was presented to high school teachers and library media specialists at the ILILE Summer Workshops in July of 2004. Their feedback was collected and used to design the TRAILS format.
  • Discussions were initiated with the database designer for the TRAILS online system.
  • Twelve information literacy categories were created from Ohio ACS and Information Power.
  • Measurable objectives were written to correspond with information literacy categories.