DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) 8th Edition

The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) 8th Edition is an assessment that can be used for benchmark screening and monitoring growth of students in grades K-8. The early literacy development tool is a valid dyslexia screener as well. DIBELS is aligned with the Common Core State Standards in Reading and is also a valid dyslexia screener. Starting in 2020-2021, DIBELS 8th Edition will replace DIBELS Next and DIBELS 6th Edition.


Phonological awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, Comprehension, Risk indicator

Administration information

Each fluency measure takes 1 minute.
Testing materials are free to download: https://dibels.uoregon.edu/assessment/index/material/; or $1 per student for DIBELS Data System, student reports, data management
Online and on-site training available
Not specified

Access and Use

Instrument Use in Peer-Reviewed Studies

Kreskey, D. D., & Truscott, S. D. (2016). Is Computer-Aided Instruction an Effective Tier-One Intervention for Kindergarten Students at Risk for Reading Failure in an Applied Setting? Contemporary School Psychology, 20(2), 142–151. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40688-015-0056-8

Smolkowski, K., & Cummings, K. D. (2016). Evaluation of the DIBELS (Sixth Edition) Diagnostic System for the Selection of Native and Proficient English Speakers at Risk of Reading Difficulties. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 34(2), 103–118. https://doi.org/10.1177/0734282915589017

Morris, D., Trathen, W., Gill, T., Schlagal, R., Ward, D., & Frye, E. M. (2017). Assessing Reading Rate in the Primary Grades (1-3). Reading Psychology, 38(7), 653–672. https://doi.org/10.1080/02702711.2017.1323057

Ostayan, J. R. (2016). Early Literacy Skills and English Language Learners: An Analysis of Students in a Title I School. Reading Psychology, 37(8), 1097–1118. https://doi.org/10.1080/02702711.2016.1159634

O’Keeffe, B. V., Bundock, K., Kladis, K. L., Yan, R., & Nelson, K. (2017). Variability in “DIBELS Next” Progress Monitoring Measures for Students at Risk for Reading Difficulties. Remedial and Special Education, 38(5), 272–283. https://doi.org/10.1177/0741932517713310

Ball, C., & Gettinger, M. (2009). Monitoring Children’s Growth in Early Literacy Skills: Effects of Feedback on Performance and Classroom Environments. Education and Treatment of Children, 32(2), 189–212. https://doi.org/10.1353/etc.0.0055

Gonzalez, J. E., Vannest, K. J., & Reid, R. (2008). Early Classification of Reading Performance in Children Identified or At Risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders: A Discriminant Analysis Using the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS). Journal of At-Risk Issues, 14(1), 33–40.

Shapiro, E. S., Hilt-Panahon, A., Gischlar, K. L., Semeniak, K., Leichman, E., & Bowles, S. (2012). An Analysis of Consistency between Team Decisions and Reading Assessment Data within an RTI Model. Remedial and Special Education, 33(6), 335–347. https://doi.org/10.1177/0741932510397763

Coker, D. L., & Ritchey, K. D. (2014). Universal Screening for Writing Risk in Kindergarten. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 39(4), 245–256. https://doi.org/10.1177/1534508413502389

Good, R. H., Baker, S. K., & Peyton, J. A. (2009). Making Sense of Nonsense Word Fluency: Determining Adequate Progress in Early First-Grade Reading. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 25(1), 33–56.

Dougherty Stahl, K. A., Keane, A. E., & Simic, O. (2013). Translating Policy to Practice: Initiating RTI in Urban Schools. Urban Education, 48(3), 350–379. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042085912451755

Joseph, L. M. (2018). Effects of Word Boxes on Phoneme Segmentation, Word Identification, and Spelling for a Sample of Children with Autism. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 34(3), 303–317. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265659018805236

Goldstein, H., Olszewski, A., Haring, C., Greenwood, C. R., McCune, L., Carta, J., … Kelley, E. S. (2017). Efficacy of a Supplemental Phonemic Awareness Curriculum to Instruct Preschoolers with Delays in Early Literacy Development. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60(1), 89–103. https://doi.org/10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0451

Cavanaugh, D. M., Clemence, K. J., Teale, M. M., Rule, A. C., & Montgomery, S. E. (2017). Kindergarten Scores, Storytelling, Executive Function, and Motivation Improved through Literacy-Rich Guided Play. Early Childhood Education Journal, 45(6), 831–843. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-016-0832-8

Choi, H., & Bieber, G. (2011). The Short- and Long-Term Effectiveness of Reading Recovery in a Rural School Setting. Journal of Research in Education, 21(1), 21–34.

Cihon, T. M., Gardner, R., Morrison, D., & Paul, P. V. (2008). Using Visual Phonics as a Strategic Intervention to Increase Literacy Behaviors for Kindergarten Participants At-Risk for Reading Failure. Journal of Early and Intensive Behavior Intervention, 5(3), 138–155.

Gyovai, L. K., Cartledge, G., Kourea, L., Yurick, A., & Gibson, L. (2009). Early Reading Intervention: Responding to the Learning Needs of Young At-Risk English Language Learners. Learning Disability Quarterly, 32(3), 143–162.

Biancarosa, G., Bryk, A. S., & Dexter, E. R. (2010). Assessing the Value-Added Effects of Literacy Collaborative Professional Development on Student Learning. Elementary School Journal, 111(1), 7–34. https://doi.org/10.1086/653468

Wills, H., Kamps, D., Abbott, M., Bannister, H., & Kaufman, J. (2010). Classroom Observations and Effects of Reading Interventions for Students at Risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. Behavioral Disorders, 35(2), 103–119.

Ardoin, S. P., & Christ, T. J. (2009). Curriculum-based measurement of oral reading: Standard errors associated with progress monitoring outcomes from DIBELS, AIMSweb, and an experimental passage set. School Psychology Review, 38, 266-283.

Kim, Y.-S., Petscher, Y., Schatschneider, C., & Foorman, B. (2010). Does Growth Rate in Oral Reading Fluency Matter in Predicting Reading Comprehension Achievement? Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(3), 652–667. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019643


Manual scoring
Open Access
Resources on Psychometric Properties

Good, R., Kaminski, R., Shinn, M., Bratten, J., Shinn, M., Debby, L., … Flindt, N. (2004). Technical Adequacy of DIBELS: Results of the Early Childhood Research Institute on measuring growth and development (No. 7). Eugene, OR: University of Oregon. Retrieved from https://dibels.uoregon.edu/docs/techreports/DIBELS_Technical_Adequacy_T…

Amplify Education, Inc. (2014). Validation Data and Reports. Retrieved from https://www.ode.state.or.us/wma/teachlearn/testing/resources/mclass_rea…

Kaminski, R., Cummings, K., Powell-Smith, K., & Good III, R. (2008). Best Practices in Using Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills for Formative Assessment and Evaluation. Best Practices in School Psychology V, 4(73).

Hintze, J. M., Ryan, A. L., & Stoner, G. (2003). Concurrent Validity and Diagnostic Accuracy of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills and the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing. School Psychology Review, 32(4), 541–556.

Munger, K. A., & Blachman, B. A. (2013). Taking a “Simple View” of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills as a Predictor of Multiple Measures of Third-Grade Reading Comprehension. Psychology in the Schools, 50(7), 722–737. https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.21699

Munger, K. A., LoFaro, S. A., Kawryga, E. A., Sovocool, E. A., & Medina, S. Y. (2014). Does the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills Next Assessment Take a “Simple View” of Reading? Educational Assessment, 19(3), 204–228. https://doi.org/10.1080/10627197.2014.934609

Vanderwood, M. L., Nam, J. E., & Sun, J. W. (2014). Validity of DIBELS Early Literacy Measures with Korean English Learners. Contemporary School Psychology, 18(4), 205–213. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40688-014-0032-8

Goffreda, C. T., & DiPerna, J. C. (2010). An Empirical Review of Psychometric Evidence for the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills. School Psychology Review, 39(3), 463–483.

Nelson, J. M. (2008). Beyond Correlational Analysis of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS): A Classification Validity Study. School Psychology Quarterly, 23(4), 542–552. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0013245

Oslund, E. L., Hagan-Burke, S., Taylor, A. B., Simmons, D. C., Simmons, L., Kwok, O.-M., … Coyne, M. D. (2012). Predicting Kindergarteners’ Response to Early Reading Intervention: An Examination of Progress-Monitoring Measures. Reading Psychology, 33, 78–103. https://doi.org/10.1080/02702711.2012.630611

Binder, K. S., Snyder, M. A., Ardoin, S. P., & Morris, R. K. (2011). Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills: An Effective Tool to Assess Adult Literacy Students? Adult Basic Education and Literacy Journal, 5(3), 150–160.

Kim, J. S., Vanderwood, M. L., & Lee, C. Y. (2016). Predictive Validity of Curriculum-Based Measures for English Learners at Varying English Proficiency Levels. Educational Assessment, 21(1), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1080/10627197.2015.1127750

Hagans, K. S. (2008). A Response-to-Intervention Approach to Decreasing Early Literacy Differences in First Graders from Different Socioeconomic Backgrounds: Evidence for the Intervention Validity of the DIBELS. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 34(1), 35–42. https://doi.org/10.1177/1534508408314170

Bellinger, J. M., & DiPerna, J. C. (2011). Is Fluency-Based Story Retell a Good Indicator of Reading Comprehension? Psychology in the Schools, 48(4), 416–426. https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.20563

McBride, J. R., Ysseldyke, J., Milone, M., & Stickney, E. (2010). Technical Adequacy and Cost Benefit of Four Measures of Early Literacy. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 25(2), 189–204. https://doi.org/10.1177/0829573510363796