Troubleshooting and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A student is unable to take a test. What might be the cause?
If there are connection problems between the server which is hosting Renaissance and the computer that the student is testing on, the test may be interrupted. The following error messages will let you know what the problem is and what to do next.
- Trying to connect: Network delays have caused the program to slow down temporarily. The program will continue to try to re-establish a connection.
- Connection error: The program was unable to re-connect to the server, or the user clicked Cancel in the "Trying to connect" message. Log out of Renaissance and then log back in again so you can resume the test.
Your Star Reading student capacity limit determines how many students can take the test during your subscription. Your school or district purchased this capacity with the software. Capacity can be viewed on the View Subscriptions & Capacity page.
If you reach your student capacity limit, students who have not yet tested during this subscription period will not be allowed to take the test. Star Reading will notify you that you have reached the student capacity limit.
If you need to increase the limit, or reallocate the existing capacity, contact Renaissance Learning. After your order is complete, your capacity limit will be increased or reallocated for you by Renaissance Learning.
This can happen when the "Active scripting" security setting in Internet Explorer (versions 7 and above) has been disabled. To re-enable the setting:
- Open Internet Explorer.
- In the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
- Click the Security tab.
- If your Renaissance site or domain is in the list of trusted sites, click the Trusted sites zone. Otherwise, click the Internet zone.
- Click Custom level.
- In the "Scripting" section, change "Active scripting" back to the default Enable.
- Click OK. If prompted, click Yes to confirm the change.
- Click Apply if available, then click OK again.
If a student is unable to take a test on a computer, a setting or feature in your web browser might be the cause. You may need to:
- Clear the browser's cache
- Disable pop-up blockers
- Disable third-party toolbars
- Enable ActiveX controls
Consult your web browser's help to find out how to perform these actions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Star Reading and Renaissance: General Questions
There is no "demo mode" for taking a Star Reading test. We do not recommend taking the test yourself, as it may use up student capacity.
Although you can view personnel user names in Renaissance, for security reasons, you cannot view or print a list of personnel passwords.
If the district level administrator password is forgotten, contact Renaissance Learning.
Personnel members may be locked out if they attempt to log in too many times with an incorrect password.
Clear personnel locks and prompt personnel password changes on the Personnel Password Management page.
The shorter version of the test is called "Progress Monitoring" in the software; the full-length version is called "Enterprise." You do have the option of using the Progress Monitoring version of Star Reading, but we recommend that you use Star Reading Enterprise assessments for all testing events, if possible. The Enterprise test provides more precise data that can be used for more purposes. For example, only by administering the Enterprise test can you see data on specific skills or estimate mastery of state standards. Using this test type also makes it easier to compare results over time.
One reason you might choose to administer the Progress Monitoring version of the test is the available time for testing. If you are frequently testing students who are in intervention and you are concerned about testing time, a district-level administrator can set the Enterprise Test Preference, allowing schools to administer the Progress Monitoring version of Star Reading outside of the screening windows. Administrators in those schools can choose the classes in which students may take both the Enterprise tests and Progress Monitoring tests, and teachers for those classes can decide whether the software should administer the Enterprise or Progress Monitoring test. (Keep in mind that the software will only administer the shorter test to students for whom an intervention goal has been set.)
For more information, consult the Star 360® Implementation Guide.
Follow the instructions for stopping a test; during the procedure, you can decide whether to pause it or stop it. To summarize:
- Pausing a test puts it "on hold" temporarily, allowing the student to resume it at a later time.
- Stopping a test ends it completely. The student cannot resume the test, and must begin a new test instead.
Make sure you are using the monitor password to resume the test, not your Renaissance login password. View the monitor password on the Monitor Password - Star Tests Preference page
You may want to double-check the amount of time that has elapsed since the test was paused or stopped—a test needs to be resumed within 8 calendar days.
If you still cannot resume a paused test, please contact our support center.
A test that has been interrupted by technical problems or by an accidental closure of the web browser is treated as a paused test, and it can be resumed.
The Star Reading test itself does not have an overall time limit; however, each test question has its own time limit. If a student does not enter an answer within that time limit, the program moves on to the next question.
During the development of Star Reading, the time it took for students to answer questions was noted. The time limits used in Star Reading are based on those observed times—most students will be able to answer a question in the time allotted. See the Star Reading Technical Manual for more information on the program's development.
The amount of time allowed for each question can be extended by setting the Extended Question Time Limit Preference.
The practice session is primarily meant to gauge the student's ability to work with the program's interface, to see if the student understands how to select and enter an answer. Have the student try another practice, and carefully observe the student.
- If the student understands how to answer questions, but keeps giving incorrect answers, this may indicate that the student is not ready to have his or her abilities assessed by Star Reading.
- If the student understands how to answer questions, but keeps running out of time before entering an answer, you may need to extend the time limits for that student.
- If the student does not understand how to answer questions, review the testing procedures with the student. The Star Reading Test Administration Manual is an excellent resource for performing such a review.
No. One of the things the Star Reading test is assessing is a student's independent reading ability. Reading the test questions to the student would defeat the purpose and have an adverse effect on the validity of the test results.
As long as the student hasn't also accidentally closed the browser window where the test is taking place, the student can simply close the other program/window and return to the test.
After the Test
You cannot permanently delete a test from a student's record, but a district level administrator, district staff, or school level administrator can deactivate it. Deactivating a test removes the test-taking data and the test results from any reports or calculations for that student. If necessary, a deactivated test can be reactivated at a later time.
Yes, if you know that a student has rushed through a test or if you believe the student has not taken it seriously.
If the student takes another test of the same type (Progress Monitoring or Enterprise) before midnight on the same day as the test you don't want to count, only the retest will appear on reports that show the student's most recent test. The earlier test will still be available on reports like the Test Record Report or other reports that show all tests taken (except for tests that have been deactivated).
If the student tests after midnight of the day as the test you don't want to count, the retest is treated as a separate test.
Note: If a student tests more than once during a screening period, data from the last test taken is shown on the Screening Report.
With computer-adaptive tests, the student's performance on individual items is not as meaningful as the pattern of responses to the entire test.
- View Student's Historical Assignments is a user permission that can be given to permission groups and individuals.
- Star Reading data always stays with the student. Use the Test Record Report to view a student's results from a different year.