Online Assessments

The Online assessment format is available for all measures except for Phoneme Segmentation, which requires the student to listen to the teacher instead of looking at a form.

For Online assessments, both the student and the teacher use a computer or device. The student sees the form and answers questions aloud (except for Receptive Nonsense Words assessments, in which the student selects an answer using a mouse or touchscreen). The teacher sees instructions in addition to the form, and the teacher can start a timer, highlight rows for the student, mark incorrect answers, mark the last item attempted, and enter notes. The Online format allows you to do remote administration; for more information, see Administering Star CBM Remotely and the related Family Guide.

It's a good idea to read through the instructions for the assessment on the screen before you begin the assessment for the student so that you don't need to do so at the beginning of the assessment. These include some instructions that you will read aloud to the student. Once you begin the assessment, you will no longer see the instructions.

Star CBM assessments can be administered by any adult who has some experience working on academic material with students — current and retired teachers, para-educators, academic subject-area coaches, administrators, or experienced volunteers. The only requirement is that the adult can read the instructions aloud to the student and score responses as correct/incorrect as described in the instructions for each measure. No special training is required.

Who can do this with the standard user permissions?

District Level Administrators, District Staff, School Level Administrators, School Staff, Teachers

Follow the steps below to administer an online assessment:

  1. If the cell for a student and measure has three dots and no score, this is the student's first assessment on the measure in this school year. Select the cell; then, select Start or Print Assessment. You can select the recommended screening measure or another measure.
  2. select the square for the measure and student, then select Start or Print Assessment

    If the cell already shows a score, when you select the cell, you will see the student's past scores from this school year. Select Start or Print Assessment in the popup window.

    select a score, then select Start or Print Assessment

    For Rapid Color Naming and Rapid Picture Naming, select Rapid Automatic Naming above the Record Book table; then, select the cell for the student and measure as described above.
    select Rapid Automatic Naming above the table

  3. The next page lets you choose the assessment format: Online, Mixed Format, or Print. Select Online. (Online is not available for Phoneme Segmentation.)
  4. select Online

  5. If you are administering a Passage Oral Reading assessment, check the grade level of the passage selected in the Passage Level drop-down list. If you need to assess the student on a different grade level, use the drop-down list to change it. (Benchmarks are only available for the student's designated grade level; a note will remind you of this if you choose another grade level.)
  6. for Passage Oral Reading, select the grade for the passage level

    For Passage Oral Reading in grades 4 through 6, you'll also see an Extra Passage drop-down list. If you choose Yes, please! in this drop-down list, your student will get an additional passage (this one non-fiction) that is being tested for future inclusion in Star CBM Reading. The extra passage may be either before or after the regular passage. Administrations of these passages help Renaissance evaluate their reliability and validity. Once you enter results, you will not see the score for the extra passage in Star CBM since the passage is still being evaluated.

    example of the Extra Passage drop-down list

  7. Below the Online option, you'll see one or more check boxes:
    • If audio recording is allowed by the district Star CBM - Audio Recordings preference and the student Star CBM - Record Audio preference, the Record audio using student device check box will be available. If you want to record audio of the assessment from the student's computer or device, check the box. (Note: Your student's browser settings and operating system settings must allow access to the microphone and audio recording.)
    • if you want to record the audio, check Record audio using student device

    • If Log student out after assessment is checked, the student will automatically be logged out of the software when the assessment is done. If you want to keep the student logged in for other assessments, remove the check mark.
    • if you want the student logged out after the assessment, check the second box

  8. Ask your student to log in to Renaissance software, or help the student if necessary. Go to your Renaissance site address and select I'm a Student. Then, enter the student's user name and password and select Log In. (For more information, see Logging In.)
  9. To find your students' user names and passwords, see User Names and Passwords.

  10. Select Begin Assessment.
  11. select Begin Assessment

  12. Ask the student to select Star CBM.
  13. the student selects Star CBM on their Home page

    The student will see "Get ready!"

    example of the Get Ready message

    Note: If the student selects Star CBM before you select Begin Assessment, the student will see a message explaining that the teacher hasn't started a test yet. The student can select < Go Back or simply wait for you to begin the assessment.

    If you chose to record audio, the student may also see a message from the browser asking permission to use the microphone (depending on the browser and settings). The student must grant permission in order for audio to be recorded (and in order to do the microphone test).

  14. If you are not administering Receptive Nonsense Words, Rapid Color Naming, or Rapid Picture Naming assessments, go to step 9.
  15. For Receptive Nonsense Words, Rapid Color Naming, and Rapid Picture Naming only, the assessment includes practice before the actual assessment. Read the instructions, then select Begin Practice.

    if the assessment has practice, select Begin Practice

    Ask the student the practice item(s). For Receptive Nonsense Words, students must click the picture to answer your question. When the student has done so, you will see the correct picture outlined. (If you prefer, you can continue without having the student select the picture, or you can select the answer for the student.)

    example of the teacher screen for Receptive Nonsense Words practice

    If the student has finished the practice successfully, select Continue to Full Assessment. (If you want to cancel instead, select Cancel Assessment in the top left corner.) When you continue, the student will see a "keep going" message.

    example of the student message

  16. Read the instructions for the assessment. Often there are instructions to read aloud to the student before the assessment. The instructions also include tips on how to prompt the student if necessary and when to mark items incorrect.
  17. If you have chosen to record audio, and you have not recorded a Star CBM assessment for this student before, follow these steps to test the student's microphone:
    1. Select Check < student's name > microphone just below the Begin button.
    2. select Check microphone

    3. A test window will open. Select the red microphone icon to begin recording; then, ask your student to count to 5. The student will see a message to let them know that the test will be recorded.
    4. select the microphone to start the recording test   example of the student message about recording

      When you're done, select the red stop icon. A message will tell the student that the test recording is finished.

      select stop to stop recording   example of the Recording finished message

    5. Press the play button and listen to your recording (your browser's controls may look different from the example below). If the recording is acceptable and you want to continue, select Done. If you want to try another test, select Test Again. If you decide not to record audio, select Do Not Record.
    6. example of the audio playback and test controls

      Note: Test recordings are not saved in the software.

  18. When you're ready to continue, select Begin.
  19. select Begin

  20. After a 3-second countdown, the assessment will begin, and the timer at the top of the page will begin counting down.
  21. Move your mouse cursor over the row that you want the student to focus on to highlight that row. The student can see your highlighting, but not items that you mark incorrect. Continue to move the mouse as your student moves to the next row of items. (You may need to help the student scroll down if the student answers many questions and needs to see later rows.)

    example of the row highlighting on the teacher's screen

    If you are recording audio, the student will see a "Recording" message above the assessment. You will see the message under the timer.

    example of the Recording message as the student sees it

    example of the Recording message as the teacher sees it

    For most assessments, when the student answers an item incorrectly, click that item. The item will be shaded in red and will have a red X under it.

    example of an item marked incorrect

    For Receptive Nonsense Words, the student may select the answer as you ask each question; you may also have the student answer verbally while you select the answers for the student. (Students see only the possible answers, not the questions.) If the student selects the answers, you will see them on your screen, and answers will automatically be marked correct (green) or incorrect (red). Continue to move your mouse to highlight the row that the student should be focused on.

    example of Receptive Nonsense Words items marked correct and incorrect

    If you need to pause briefly for any reason during the test, select Pause next to the timer or press the space bar.

    If you need to stop the assessment, select Cancel Assessment under the student name and measure name in the top left corner of the page.

    Have the student continue to answer the items until the time runs out. 5 seconds before time runs out, the time will turn red and a red border will flash around it. (If the student finishes all items before the time runs out, select Finish when the student is done.)

    example of the red time and border when time is almost up

  22. When time runs out, you'll hear a bell. After this, for most measures, you will be asked to click the last item the student attempted. Click on the item. Note: This is not necessary for Receptive Nonsense Words - the software notes the last item the student answered.
  23. example of how to select the last item

    The student will see a "You did it!" message. The student selects Finish to close the message; if audio has been recorded, the student may need to wait for an "Uploading audio" message before selecting Finish. (For Passage Oral Reading in grades 4-6, if you chose to administer an extra passage, the student will see a message that says "Great job! Let's keep going" instead between the two assessments.)

    example of the student You did it message

    If you checked the "Log student out after assessment" box when you chose the Online format, the student will be logged out of the software. If not, the student will go back to the student Home page and can select Star CBM again if you are administering another assessment.

  24. After you select the last item, you will see the assessment details, including the items you marked incorrect.
    • Select whether the assessment was administered in person (with both the teacher and student in the same location) or remotely (with the teacher and student in different locations using an internet meeting). This information is available when you export data later if your school or district requires it.
    • select In Person or Remote

    • If you want to change the items marked incorrect, select Edit (see Editing Scores).
    • If you want to enter notes about the student's assessment session (error trends, observations, effort, etc.), enter them in the Notes field to the right.
    • If you chose to record audio, you will see a "Processing audio" message on the left until the audio is done. To ensure that audio is saved, wait for audio to finish processing before you go on to select Done. (If you select Done before then, you'll see a message telling you that audio processing has not completed.) When processing is done, you'll see your browser's audio controls, and you can play the audio (or remove it using the trash icon icon).
    • example of the Processing Audio message   example of the audio playback controls

      Note: If audio processing takes longer than 1 minute, a message will let you know and will give you the option to save the assessment results without the audio.

    • When you're done checking the information and entering notes, select Done.
    • select Done

    If you are administering Passage Oral Reading to a student in grade 4, 5, or 6, and you chose to administer an extra passage, you will see a Save and Continue button instead of Done, and you can begin the next passage.

  25. You will go back to the CBM English Assessments tab of the Star Record Book. At first, you will see "Score Pending" with a refresh icon where the student's score will be.
  26. example of the Score Pending message

    After a few minutes, the score will be available. You can select refresh icon to refresh the view to see if the score is available yet.

    When the score is available, you will see it in the Record Book.

    example of a student score in the Record Book

    If you select the score, you can see the date the assessment was taken. The popup window shows you the scores and dates for the student's last four assessments for this measure during this school year. Select Details for an assessment to go back and see the items answered incorrectly, your notes, and the time taken for the assessment. Select the progress link at the bottom of the window to see a graph and table of all results for the student and measure in this school year.

Student Messages During Online Assessments

Message What It Means
Get ready! The student is waiting for the teacher to begin the assessment.
Great Job! Let's keep going... For Receptive Nonsense Words, Rapid Color Naming, or Rapid Picture Naming assessments, the student has finished the practice and is waiting for the actual assessment to begin. For Passage Oral Reading, students in grades 4, 5, or 6 see this message when you choose to administer an extra passage (see step 3 above).
You did it! The assessment has been successfully completed.
Your teacher stopped the test. The teacher either canceled the assessment or closed the browser window during the assessment.
Your test isn't ready yet. The student selected Star CBM before the teacher was ready to administer it. The student can wait for the assessment to be ready, or the student can select Go Back if the assessment is not being started at this time.

If you see a message during the assessment saying that something went wrong with the connection to the student's device, the student may have closed the browser or lost a connection. Select OK. You will need to restart the assessment.