Steps to Using TRAILS

This is the procedure for a library media specialist or teacher to use TRAILS.

1. Create an Account

  • From the homepage, click CREATE AN ACCOUNT.
  • Complete the form. Submit by clicking the CREATE ACCOUNT button.
  • Confirm your account by clicking the link in the e-mail that you will receive from TRAILS. This activates your account.

2. Create and Manage Sessions

  • Go to the TRAILS site and click the MY ACCOUNT link and sign in.
  • You're presented with a list of your previously defined sessions (if any).
  • From this page you can Create a New Session or manage a previously defined session.
  • Click the Create a New Session button.
    • Session Name—Use a descriptive yet unique name, such as Smith Per. 3 History 2006.
    • Assessment—Select the general or category assessment that you want to administer. Two versions (1 or 2) are available for each assessment. Each version within the pair covers similar content. You may view the assessment selected by clicking on VIEW ASSESSMENT.
    • Grade Level—Questions are static; please indicate the grade you primarily plan to assess.
    • Trial Session—Select this if you want to make informal use of the system, such as to demonstrate the assessment during an in-service or staff meeting.
    • Student Codes
      • Using codes requires you to assign a TRAILS-generated unique code to each student. This enables you to determine individual performance and permits individual students to review their item-by-item performance. Student codes also allow students to re-enter the system without losing their responses in case of system interruption.
      • If you do not want to use student codes, select NO.
      • If you are creating student codes for the first time for an assessment, select YES, NEW CODES and indicate the number of students.
      • If you wish to reuse codes from a previous closed session, select YES, COPY FROM A CLOSED SESSION and select the session name from the pull-down menu.
    • Click on the CREATE SESSION button to move your newly created session to the List of Sessions.

3.  Manage Sessions

  • From the List of Sessions, click a session you'd like to manage.
    • The Manage this session page contains all of the session's parameters and administration information.
    • Some parameters such as the session name or Student Codes can be edited at any time, by clicking the Edit Session button.
    • The assessment selection can be changed ONLY IF testing has not begun.
    • The middle section of information contains session details necessary for administration to students.
    • The Session URL is specific to the session and is to be given to the students to access the session.
    • Administration Details and instructions are available via a PDF document.
    • This document also contains the list of Student Codes to be assigned to students, if student codes have been requested.
    • The status of a session can be changed at any time to any other status level. For example, a session that is closed can be reopened at any time.
      • Closing a session prohibits students from accessing the session other than to review previous responses.
      • Students can access a closed session to review. Previous responses are displayed but cannot be changed. Correct responses are displayed in red.
      • You can reopen a session if additional students need to take the assessment.
      • An archived session cannot be accessed by students.
      • Reports are available at ANY TIME data are available. THIS IS NEW...previously, sessions had to be closed to view reports.
      • Available reports include class, student, and online review. The class report provides detailed information on class performance for each item. The student report presents the total score for each student code. The online review function allows the review of a session by the teacher/librarian.
For information on tips for using TRAILS, go to the Ideas for Using TRAILS section.