Overall Satisfaction with Renaissance Star 360
My school district currently uses Renaissance Star 360 as part of the admission process and for all current students. Students take the assessment at least three times a year in order to determine needs for interventions and to measure reading growth. The assessment takes approximately 20 minutes to administer, does not require any special training to administer, and produces a tremendous amount of data to inform instruction and share with students and parents.
- The Star assessment is not time consuming to administer. It is appropriate for a base-line measure of secondary students.
- The assessment is on the computer. Secondary students answer 34 multiple choice questions. It is a 'smart' assessment that adjusts what questions will be asked based on whether or not the previous question was answered correctly. Students rarely see questions repeated.
- The data produced by STAR is presented in an easy-to-understand format that is clear when presented to parents and students.
- The Star assessment focuses on two main reading skills: vocabulary and comprehension; however, all of the questions are done through multiple choice. While unlikely, students can 'guess' the correct answers, and this does impact the data.
- Some students will deliberately throw the test because it is used to develop goals within the Accelerated Reader program; while the students' choices aren't indicative of a flaw in the program, it is a detracting factor when the test is administered 3+times each year and connected to the reading practice portion of the program.
- Each question in the program is individually timed. This function does allow for a basic measure of fluency, however it can be tricky for students to maintain focus throughout the entire assessment, especially when answering questions about longer passages.
- Teachers throughout the school have a better idea about the reading strengths and challenges of individual students. They can make better instructional decisions to meet the needs of their students.
- Students are more aware of their own reading ability and the purpose of reading instruction at the secondary level.
- Parents have a better understanding of reading growth occurring each year.
STAR is much more comprehensive than other reading assessments available for secondary students. Unlike DIBELS, STAR assesses more than just vocabulary. Unlike other Informal Reading Inventories and assessments, STAR requires no special training to administer or interpret the results. STAR can be used to determine reading levels through a post-secondary reading level.
Star 360 is a fantastic general reading assessment for determining baseline eligibility for reading interventions. It is easy to administer and interpret the results. It does not require a great deal of time, and can be administered in as a whole-class or for individual students. For students requiring more in-depth interventions, a second, more holistic reading assessment should be recommended. The STAR 360 program does not allow for miscue analysis or item analysis (so the test administer does not know which questions a student missed or why).