Thursday, May 28, 2009

Trails - Research Process Tool (an aside)

Trails is an online information literacy assessment tool. I am using the grade 9 assessments to help the Librarian and the ELA department develop a better research skills process. The test is hard, but it's good. I recommend that teachers:
  1. create an account,
  2. create a practice group of ALL students,
  3. get logins for as many students as will be assessed,
  4. and then set up the REAL testing sessions by selecting no more than 4 of the 10-question topics,
  5. use the initial set of logins for each 10-question assessment (saves a lot of time and record-keeping).
I think these 40 questions will give us a very good overview of the online (and paper) research skills of our students. Just by taking the test, students learn what they don't know (like what an almanac is).

I recommend this tool for teachers who want to get a handle on on the non-Google approach to research. Teachers who take it will learn a bit about topic construction and research methods too...

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