Address key assessment issues, while missing the mark on others
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
March 05, 2020

Address key assessment issues, while missing the mark on others

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Modules Used

  • Star 360
  • Star Reading
  • Star Math
  • Star Early Literacy

Overall Satisfaction with Renaissance Star Assessments

Renaissance Star Assessments is used across the district as a benchmark assessment. It satisfies the state's Benchmark assessment requirement as well as the "read by grade 3" law assessment requirements.
  • They assess without requiring excessive amounts of time, leaving more time for actual learning and instruction.
  • There are a variety of reports available for different needs.
  • Their norm data and percentile measures are statistically adjusted for weeks of instruction/ date the test is taken in relation to the norming study.
  • The program is often slow and hangs up. It spins endlessly in a loop, frozen and requiring a refresh, when trying to create a pdf a great deal of the time.
  • The reports can be made into a pdf, but unfortunately not an Excel/csv export--Unlike most other testing programs like NWEA/Map or iReady. The full data export that you can do is, big, slow to create, and missing information found in the reports--requiring me to make Excel programs to find and create/calculate the information (like summary data) already found in the Star reports but not exportable in csv form or to bring up in a report and manually enter the data (and the reports themselves do not lend to easily copy and pasting into excel directly from the screen, so no work around).
  • You cannot easily create groups made up of students from various classes and teachers to share then share with other teachers. The system is more designed to create groups from within a single class. My district needs to make groups from across teachers, classes, etc., needs to have the groups available as source/student selections for all reports, and then needs to be able to easily be shared--even if the group is made up of students a teacher (or person the group is shared with) does not normally have in a class. The groups you can make are also not available to choose as source students for most reports. ALL reports need to be able to be comprised of students from a group, and not just from teachers and classes.
  • When a student leaves the district, the RDI system not only removes the student from teachers/classes/groups, but deletes them and their records from the entire system. We often need to look back to check scores for State reporting or to forward to an old student's new district, and Renaissance/Star360 does not have anything available; the student and all their information is gone. I have to constantly take and save full csv exports, and when I need an old score, I have to try and search to find the right export, then search through the huge, messy export to find the required information. Once a student is removed, Renaissance/Star360 seriously needs to just remove them from classes, schools, groups, etc. but still have their information/previous testing results available to lookup
  • If you need to find testing information quickly on a single student, you cannot just go to the student and see their score. You have to know the teacher, class, and grade they are in, then go to the teacher, then go to the class, before you can get to the student to get their information. As a school/District level person, I have the student's name and grade, but often have NO idea of exactly which teacher and class they are in. I then have to first waste my time looking the student up in my district's SIS (PowerSchool) to get all the needed information just to look them up. Seems like it would be an easy solution to keep all the same, but add an ability to get a basic report on a student by looking the student up directly under "Users" (a simple report like you get when you click on an individual student in the Record book). This is where you could tie in the ability to look up historical information on student who left the district during the school year and solve the previous problem/missing functionality as well!
  • It has positively impacted student time to learn by reducing testing times and allowing more time for instruction
  • The reduced testing time also positively impacted our schools by freeing the computer labs and making the planning and creation of testing schedules easier. This has allowed more computer lab use for education and learning.
  • It has negatively impacted the time and effort required by support staff, administrators, and some teachers by requiring more time spent on looking up results or going to multiple spots and manually combining results because a larger group couldn't easily be made.
  • Another negative impact on our district is that it has also taxed those few educators with more technical ability and data knowledge moreso than other programs. The need to create/summarize/write programs to deal with full, raw data export files since the smaller, more specific reports and summaries are not downloadable into a format that can be manipulated easily (pdf only, not csv exports), and to constantly back up data exports and to have to search through them when the State wants results on past students etc.
We have used a few products like NWEA/Map, Lexia Rapid, Curriculum Associates/ i-Ready Diagnostics. Renaissance/Star360 stacks up to all of them, but doesn't exceed them. Star360 has less basic features (like school level grouping, exporting reports as a csv file, saving previous student data) but has some very good specific features compared to the others (like quick testing time, a variety of quick, good classroom level reports for teachers). They all have pluses and minuses, so it depends on the issue/feature is most important to you.

NWEA/Map: the plus is complete previous data accessibility and export and compatibility in that most district in the county as well as our ISD use it., minus is the length of time it takes to test.
Lexia Rapid: the plus is it gives very detailed breakdown of information in a relatively short test; the minus is it is VERY limited in scope (Reading at the k-2 level).
Curriculum Associates/iReady Diagnostic: the plus is it has an integrated, ongoing online instruction piece that is tailored based on the diagnostic assessment results; the minus is that it does not give any good summary data (it gives individual scores and levels, but no class or grade average scores etc.) and it does not statistically adjust the normed scores (percentiles) for weeks of instruction or date test is taken in relation to the norm study.
Renaissance/ Star360: the plus is that is it a quick assessment leaving more time for student instruction, it has a variety of good, detailed classroom level reports, and it interpolates the results to account for the exact testing date in relation to their norming study; the minus is that it does not keep records of previous students (even for the remainder of the current school year), it does not allow reports to be exported in any manipulable form (only pdf), and its lack of well functioning school wide grouping.
Their chat feature is very nice and convenient and I get an immediate initial response. Unfortunately, their first line personnel are often not very knowledgeable and either can't help or give incorrect or incomplete information. On major issues or when I requested it, however, they have passed the inquires on to more senior technical or customer service personnel and they have been very good at resolving those issues.

Do you think Renaissance Star Assessments delivers good value for the price?

Not sure

Are you happy with Renaissance Star Assessments's feature set?

No

Did Renaissance Star Assessments live up to sales and marketing promises?

No

Did implementation of Renaissance Star Assessments go as expected?

No

Would you buy Renaissance Star Assessments again?

Yes

Well suited to quickly assess students and for teachers to quickly get a basic report to detail the results of a specific class or student in their class. Good for a teacher checking their specific class and student in their specific class or grouping students within their class. It is less well suited for school and district level use where specific data is not exportable, student results are deleted and not retrievable immediately after they leave the school/district, you want school-wide groups, or you need info on a specific student out of many classes and you must go to the teacher and then a class to get the info on a student and not directly to a student.