Accommodations Preference

which audio preference should i set for students using star math?

The Star Math Audio preference and the Accommodations “Audio (Star Math – English)” preference both address the same function: providing audio in Star Math for students who need it. There are specific interactions between these preferences that need to be taken into account:

  • If a student needs only audio support for Star Math (audio playing automatically for each item) and NO other accommodations, use the Star Math Audio preference. (Note: This preference was set for K–2 students in Florida.)
  • If a student needs audio support for Star Math (including the ability to control when audio is played), has an IEP or 504, and needs ANY other accommodations (screen reader, item masking, color contrast, etc.), use the Accommodations “Audio (Star Math – English)” preference.

Is the audio different between the preferences?

The pre-recorded audio is the same for both preferences. The Star Math Audio preference plays audio automatically, while the "Accommodations – Audio (Star Math English)" preference allows educators to turn off the audio's autoplay if necessary.

Note: Screen reader support that requires a JAWS reader license per student will read everything on the page using JAWS technology. This is only recommended for students who need this support as everything on screen is read including headers, answer choices and status, and buttons.

How do I get to this page?

There are two ways to get to this preference—use whichever method you prefer.

Method 1:

  1. Log in to Renaissance.
  2. On the Home page, select your name in the upper-right corner. In the drop-down list, select Edit Preferences.

  3. On the Preferences page, select Accommodations in the Individual Student Preferences section of the page.

Method 2:

  1. Log in to Renaissance.
  2. On the Home page, select Star Reading or Star Math. In the drop-down list, select Preferences.

  3. On the Preferences page, select Accommodations in the Individual Student Preferences section of the page.

Who can do this with default user permissions?

  • District Level Administrators: any student in any school in the district
  • School Level Administrators: any student in their own school
  • Teachers: any student in one of their own classes or groups

Students who are blind/visually impaired or have other special needs may find it difficult to take the standard Star assessments. By setting this preference, you can give those students access to assistive tools and technologies which can help them take the English versions of the Star Math Enterprise and Star Reading Enterprise assessments.

  1. After you select Accommodations on the Preferences page, use the School , Classes , and Students drop-down lists to choose which students to set the preference for.

    The School, Classes, and Students drop-down lists.

    • You can only select one school at a time; only the schools available to you will be shown in the list. (If you only have access to one school, you will not need to select it.)
    • You can only select one class at a time; only the classes available to you will be shown in the list. (If you only have access to one class, you will not need to select it.)
    • All of the students in the selected class will be shown in the Students list. You can check them one at a time, or you can choose Select All at the bottom to check/uncheck all of the students at once. (If you only have access to one student, you will not need to select them.)
  2. For each student, select the accommodations you want that student to have access to during an assessment.

    The Accommodation options available for Star Math and Star Reading assessments.

    guidance for setting the accommodations preference

    Review your student's specific needs in the IEP or 504 plan and make selections accordingly:

    • Select any accommodations that should appear on the Accommodations Toolbar.
    • If a student uses assistive technology, select Screen Reader or Other under "Assistive Technology." Note: A student's school needs to provide any necessary assistive technology, such as a JAWS license.)
    • If a student requires unlimited time, select Unlimited Time under "Allotted Time."
    • If a student needs to use audio during a test, select whichever "Audio (Star Math - English)" option is most appropriate:

      • If the audio can be played automatically, select Audio & Auto-play.
      • If your student needs to be able to start and stop the audio, select Audio with Auto-play turned off.
      • If your student doesn't require audio, select Audio Off.
      • If your student uses a screen reader, we recommend selecting Audio with Auto-play turned off or Audio Off.

    accommodations toolbar

    When any of these options are chosen, they will appear in a toolbar on the screen while the student is taking the test. The student can use the toolbar to select and use whichever tools you are making available:

    • Response Masking: The student can eliminate answers shown on the screen.
    • Calculator: The student can use an on-screen calculator.

      For some Star Math questions, a calculator and/or formula sheet is automatically provided, regardless of the setting of this preference.

      The calculator accommodation only affects Star Math Enterprise assessments; it does not affect Star Math Progress Monitoring, Star Math Geometry, or Star Math Algebra assessments.

    • Color Contrast: The student can change the contrast levels of the text and images on the screen to improve visibility.
    • Font Size/Zoom: The student can "zoom in" or magnify the text and images on the screen to improve visibility.
    • Highlighter: The student can use a virtual highlighter to highlight parts of the text in an item.
    • Line Reader: The student can drag a line reader on the screen which will visually isolate one or more lines of text.

    assistive technology

    • Screen Reader: The text on the screen can be read by screen-reading programs. Renaissance Learning uses and recommends the JAWS screen reader on Windows in Chrome.
    • Other: These settings should be selected for students who use speech-to-text (speech recognition), switch devices, those who use a keyboard without a mouse, or other assistive technology.

    allotted time

    If Unlimited Time is checked here, students will have 900 seconds (15 minutes) to answer a question. If there is no activity from the student within this amount of time, the student will be shown a dialog box. The student will have 60 seconds to respond in the dialog box and return to the same test item, resetting the "900 second" clock. If the student does not respond within 60 seconds, the student's current progress on the test will be saved and the test will be ended (treated as a paused test; see Pausing, Stopping, and Resuming a Star Math/Star Reading Test with Accommodations Set).

    audio (star math enterprise—english only)

    • Audio & Auto-play: Items will be read out loud to the student; this will happen automatically when the question is first presented, and the student can choose to replay the audio if they wish.
    • Audio with Auto-play turned off: Items can be read out loud to the student if and when they choose.
    • Audio Off: There will be no audio provided for the question or the answers, and there will be no audio controls on the screen.

    braille (star cbm)

    If Braille is checked here, visually-impaired students can use Braille for Star CBM Reading and Star CBM Math assessments (provides extra tools and accommodations for students to use while taking some English Star Assessments; includes Nemeth and UEB Braille files for math paper assessments).

  3. When you have finished making your changes, select Save Changes to save them (you will see a confirmation message once your changes have been saved). You can also select Undo Changes to undo your changes to the preference setting.

    The Save Changes and Undo Changes buttons
  4. Select Back at the top of the page to return to the Preferences page when you are done.

When a student is taking a test with any Accommodations set, the procedure for pausing or resuming their test is different from the usual method.

If any Accommodations Preference settings are changed for a student who has a paused test, the original settings will remain in effect when the test is resumed. In order for the new settings to take effect, the student needs to start a new assessment.

Accommodations are not accessible to students using a secure browser.