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Frequently Asked Questions

General Data System

  1. Do I need to renew my account each year?
  2. What is your vendor name and contact information?
  3. How can I get a copy of your W-9?
  4. What if I can log into the system, but no information is available?
  5. How do I handle returning students who have switched grades or been retained?
  6. Can I add a class for a reading group or small group?
  7. How do I add math classes?
  8. How do I add students to a math class?
  9. How do I change student information and class location?
  10. How do I change the grade level of a class or student?
  11. How do I delete a class name?
  12. Can I hide classes?
  13. How do I delete a student record?
  14. How do I combine duplicate student records?
  15. What if the year I need is not available on the Data Entry page?
  16. What if no classes are active on the Data Entry page?
  17. How do I enter progress monitoring scores?
  18. How do I enter out-of-grade scores?
  19. How do I move a student to a different school for the new year?
  20. What if a student doesn't show up on the Migration menu?
  21. What if I migrated students but they don't show up on the Data Entry page?
  22. What should I do if I get an error message during the import?

1. Do I need to renew my account each year?

No. You do not have to reregister if you already have an account. A district-level user will be asked to sign our Data System Agreement when they first log into the account at the start of each new year. If your billing address has changed, we will need a Billing Agreement with the new address.

2. What is your vendor name and contact information?

Vendor name:
University of Oregon
Postal mailing address is:
Center on Teaching & Learning
5292 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-5292
UPS and Fed-Ex should be sent to our physical address at:
Center on Teaching & Learning
1600 Millrace Drive - Suite 207
Eugene, OR 97403

Email: support@dibels.uoregon.edu

Phone: (888) 497-4290 or (541) 346-3108

Fax: (541) 346-9009

3. How can I get a copy of your W-9?

You can request a copy of our W-9 by sending an email to support@dibels.uoregon.edu with "W-9 Request" in the subject line. A W-9 will be emailed upon request.

4. What if I can log into the system, but no information is available?

If you can log into the system but no class information is available, you have most likely been given class-level access but not been matched to your class name in the system. You will need to ask the person who set up your username to use the "Assign Users to Classes" feature on the Administration page to match your username to your class name.

5. How do I handle returning students who have switched grades or been retained?

Students who switch grades mid-year due to promotion or retention will need a new student record. Mark the existing record as "moved out" on the Benchmark Data Entry page and add a new record for the student. You'll now have two records for that student. The records won't be linked, but both will remain in the database, so you won't lose any data.

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6. Can I add a class for a reading group or small group?

Yes, "secondary" classes are used for small groups or intervention groups. Secondary classes can be added using the Import Classes feature with a value of 1 in the classtype column. Secondary classes can also be added manually using the "Add Classes" feature on the Manage Classes page. Choose "Secondary" from the drop down menu listed under Class Type for each secondary class you want to add.

After adding the secondary classes, return to the Manage Classes page and select the class. Click “edit user” in the Class Details section to assign a user to the class. Then click Add Students (below the class details) and use the "Assign Students to Classes" feature to place students in the class.

7. How do I add math classes?

District level or school level users can create math classes using the Import Classes feature with a value of 2 in the classtype column. Math classes can also be added manually using the "Add Classes" feature on the Manage Classes page. Choose "easyCBM Math" from the drop down menu listed under Class Type for each math class you want to add. After adding the math classes, return to the Manage Classes page and select the class. Click “edit user” in the Class Details section to assign a user to the class.

8. How do I add students to a math class?

First add students to their primary teacher's class and create the math classes. Go to the Manage Classes page and select the math class. Click Add Students and use "Assign Students to Classes" feature. Select the primary class from which you will add students. Use the menu next to their names to select secondary classes and math classes. Choose the desired math class for each student or leave the menu option at "none" if you don't want to put that student in a math class.

9. How do I change student information and class location?

"Change Student Information" for a Single Student. Change Student Information is available on the Student History page. Locate the student by using the "Find Student" feature on the Administration page, then click "More Information.” From the Student History page, click on "Change Student Information", make your changes, and then click on the "Change Info" button. A school or district coordinator can also change the student's current class if the student is currently assigned to a class and has not been marked as "Moved Out".

"Change Student Information" for Multiple Students in a Class. To change information for a single student or for multiple students in a class, click Manage Classes on the Administration Page. Select the desired class and click on the name of the first student that needs updates. Make the updates. Click Change info and then use the back button on your browser to return to the list of students. A school or district coordinator can also change the student's current class if the student is currently assigned to a class and has not been marked as "Moved Out".

The Edit Demographics function, on the Manage Classes page, is only available if your district coordinator has enabled demographics. It will allow you to edit demographics information, dates of birth, and student ID numbers for an entire class at once. It will not allow you to change student names or the class to which the students are assigned.

10. How do I change the grade level of a class or student?

Classes are specific to a grade level and cannot be changed after students have been assigned to it. If you accidentally add a class to the wrong grade level but have not added any students to the class, you can update the grade using the Import Classes feature. Alternatively, you can manually delete the class name (with Manage Classes) and then re-add using the Add Classes feature. Note that if a teacher changes grades, you should add a new class for the teacher at the new grade level and leave the old class name in the system.

Students are added to a specific class at a specific grade level which cannot be changed, except when migrating at the start of a new year. If you accidentally add a student to the wrong grade level, you should delete the student record and then re-add them to the appropriate grade level.

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11. How do I delete a class name?

District and School coordinators can remove unused class names with the Manage Classes feature located on the Administration page. On the Manage Classes page, click Show Options to display classes that can be deleted.

Note that you cannot delete a class name that has been used previously because student records are still linked to that class name; however, many inactive class can be hidden with the Show Classes preference. District and School preferences are accessed from the Administration Page by clicking Set District Preference or Set School Preference.

12. Can I hide classes?

Yes, you can limit the number of classes displayed by setting the District or School Preference called Show Classes. To set Preferences go to the Administration Page and click Set District or School Preference.

13. How do I delete a student record?

You can delete a student record using the "Delete Student Record" feature from the Administration page.

If you accidentally added duplicate copies of student records and those records have matching ID numbers, a district level user can use the "Merge Duplicate Student Records" feature from the Administrative page to merge the duplicates. Records with valid data should always be merged rather than deleted.

14. How do I combine duplicate student records?

A district level user can use the "Merge Duplicate Student Records" feature on the Administration page to combine multiple records for students. Note that both records must have the same student ID number to use the merge feature.

15. What if the year I need is not available on the data entry pages?

If the current year is not available from the year pull-down menu on your data entry pages, then your Assessment Schedule has not been set up yet. Your district coordinator will need to set up your Assessment Schedule by selecting the "Assessment Schedule" link from the Administration page.

If you want to enter data for a previous year that is not on your year pull-down menu, the district coordinator will need to send a request to support@dibels.uoregon.edu with the year and the dates that students were tested.

16. What if no classes are active on the data entry pages?

Class names will not appear on the data entry pages until students have been added to the class.

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17. How do I enter progress monitoring scores?

You will first need to enable the students by selecting them for progress monitoring by going to the Administration page and clicking on "Select Students for Progress Monitoring." To enter the progress monitoring scores, click on the Data Entry button along the top of the page then click on "DIBELS Progress Monitoring Data." You will then choose the School, Grade, Year, and Grade-Level of Materials from the drop-down menu.

18. How do I enter out-of-grade scores?

Out-of-grade progress monitoring scores can be entered by clicking on the Data Entry button and choosing DIBELS Progress Monitoring Data. Choose the "Out-of-grade Monitoring" option from the Grade Level of Materials pull-down menu.

19. How do I move a student to a different school for the new year?

District-level users can migrate students across schools using the "Migrate across schools" option on the "Migrate Students" feature.

If your district is using the "Import Student" feature, simply list the new school the student will be attending and the system will move the record to the new building.

20. What if a student doesn't show up on the Migration page?

If your students are not showing up on the "migrate students in" menu, you can use the "Find Student" feature on the Administration page to see the location of a student.

If a student was migrated to the wrong class, a district level or school level user can change the class name using the "Change Student Information" page after clicking the More Information button next to the student's name from the Find Student link. If the student location is listed as "moved out," then you will need to use the "Add Returning Student" feature from the Administration page to move them into a class.

21. What if I migrated students but they don't show up on the Data Entry page for DIBELS Benchmark assessment?

If you migrated students but they are not showing up on the Data Entry pages, you can use the "Find Student" feature on the Administration page to see the location of a student.

If a student was migrated to the wrong class, a district level or school level can change to the correct class name using the "Change Student Information" page after clicking the More Information button next to the student's name from the Find Student page. If the student location is listed as "moved out," you will need to use the "Add Returning Student" feature from the Administration page to move the student into a class.

22. What should I do if I get an error message during the import?

The import feature will let you know if there is a problem with the file you are trying to upload. The most common problems are solved by:

1. Checking that the file is saved in tab-delimited text format. You cannot import an Excel file.
2. Checking that you have the headers listed in the first row of the file. They must be formatted exactly as specified on the import page.
3. Checking that the school and class names in your import file match the name exactly as it is entered in your account. You can use the "Assign Users to Classes" feature to see how your school name and class names are entered. Be sure that there are no extra spaces before or after the names in your file.
4. If you are importing demographics information, check that the values match those specified on the "valid answers" link on the import page.

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DIBELS Assessment

  1. Where can I get the DIBELS materials and scoring guide?
  2. Can DIBELS scores be used on report cards?
  3. What citation should I use for DIBELS?
  4. Can DIBELS be used with non-native English speakers?
  5. Is there a Spanish version of DIBELS?
  6. Can DIBELS be used with students in special education?
  7. Do I need to keep testing students who score at Benchmark?
  8. Where can I find PSF progress monitoring materials for 1st grade?
  9. Where can I find NWF progress monitoring materials for Kindergarten?
  10. Why are there no LNF progress monitoring materials?
  11. What do I do if I run out of progress monitoring probes?
  12. Can we use old progress monitoring probes for practice?
  13. How do I get trained to administer DIBELS?
  14. How do I score a student who finishes before the full minute is up?
  15. Can a student use a ruler or other tracking device to mark their spot on a probe?
  16. PSF - Can you repeat a word on PSF if a student asks you to?
  17. NWF - How do I score a student who responds with individual sounds and a blend?
  18. NWF - Should I teach nonsense words to students?
  19. ORF - If a student repeatedly reads a word incorrectly, is it marked wrong every time?
  20. ORF - What do I do if a student skips an entire line when reading?
  21. ORF - How do I score proper nouns?
  22. ORF - Do I need to give all three ORF passages?
  23. ORF - Should the tester or student read the title of the passage?

1. Where can I get the DIBELS materials and scoring guide?

DIBELS 6th Edition benchmark and progress monitoring materials, as well as the Administration and Scoring Guide, are available for download on our Testing Materials page.

2. Can DIBELS scores be used on report cards?

DIBELS scores should never be used to grade a student. The measures should only be used for instructional decision-making (i.e., to identify students who need additional instructional support and monitoring response to intervention). DIBELS scores should only be given to parents in conjunction with an appropriate explanation.

3. What citation should I use for DIBELS?

The current citation for DIBELS can be found on the front cover of the Administration and Scoring Guide, available from our Download Materials page:

Good, R. H., & Kaminski, R. A. (Eds.). (2002). Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (6th ed.). Eugene, OR: Institute for the Development of Educational Achievement. Available: http://dibels.uoregon.edu/

4. Can DIBELS be used with non-native English speakers?

Yes, DIBELS is designed to be administered to all students who are learning to read English.

We don't have any specific guidelines for administering DIBELS to students learning to speak and read English. While the measures are standardized and should be given to all students in the same manner, there are a few accommodations that can be made when necessary and are specified in the chapter on Approved Accommodations in the Administration and Scoring Guide available from our Download Materials page.

5. Is there a Spanish version of DIBELS?

Yes, Indicadores Dinámicos del Éxito en la Lectura, or IDEL, is a standardized assessment for early literacy skills for students learning to read Spanish. Review What are IDEL Measures? for more information.

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6. Can DIBELS be used with students in special education?

Yes, DIBELS can be used with special education students. DIBELS is designed to be administered to all students who are learning to read in English and who are physically capable of taking the tests. You would generally only exclude students who are deaf, who stutter, who are completely nonverbal, or who have severe phonological difficulties.

During the benchmark screening of all students, students receiving special education should be administered grade-level materials. When progress monitoring you can use materials at the students' instructional-level if the grade-level materials are too difficult to show response to instruction.

7. Do I need to keep testing students who score at Benchmark?

Yes. The benchmark goals increase over time, so a student who meets the beginning-of-year goal is not guaranteed to meet the middle- or end-of-year goal. Screening all students at each time period will enable timely identification of students who are not continuing to progress in their literacy development. Additionally, screening the entire school enables the school or district a complete data set to evaluate how all students are responding to instruction.

8. Where can I find PSF progress monitoring materials for 1st grade?

The Phoneme Segmentation Fluency progress monitoring booklet is labeled as Kindergarten, but can be used across grades. They were labeled with the grade at which they are most commonly used.

9. Where can I find NWF progress monitoring materials for Kindergarten?

The Nonsense Word Fluency progress monitoring booklet is labeled as First Grade, but can be used across grades. They were labeled with the grade at which they are most commonly used.

10. Why are there no LNF progress monitoring materials?

Letter Naming Fluency should not be progress monitored. It is different from the other measures in that it is not aligned with one of the five major skill areas in beginning reading. It's used for benchmark screening because it is a good indicator of risk, but shouldn't be monitored beyond that.

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11. What do I do if I run out of progress monitoring probes?

If you run out of probes (i.e., finish all 20 probes), you can start over at the beginning of the booklet. Note that you should only repeat a passage when progress monitoring, and only in this specific instance.

12. Can we use old progress monitoring probes for practice?

No, you should never practice the DIBELS measures with your students, even probes that they won't be tested on for real. You want to keep a clear distinction between "teaching time" and "testing time." You should teach your students reading and pre-reading skills, but you would never practice the DIBELS measures. For information on how to teach the skills that DIBELS assesses, see our Big Ideas in Beginning Reading website.

13. How do I get trained to administer DIBELS?

There are several ways to get training on administering the DIBELS assessments:

1. Ask educational agencies in your area if they will be sponsoring a training that you could attend.

2. Hire a trainer to come out to your district.

3. If none of those options work for you, but you have people experienced with giving standardized tests, you could use a training video. Testers would also need to be very familiar with the Administration & Scoring Guide, available from our Download Materials page, and should practice testing with 5-7 students (who won't be tested on those same probes for real), while someone checks their fidelity of implementation with the Assessment Integrity Checklists (part of the Administration & Scoring Guide).

14. How do I score a student who finishes before the full minute is up?

If a student completes the assessment in less than one minute, you end the assessment and record the score.

15. Can a student use a ruler or other tracking device to mark their spot on a probe?

We do not recommend using any supports or strategies, unless the individual student demonstrates a need for such support. Prior to making any accommodations, it is recommended that the measure be administered in the standardized format to see how successful the student will be. If during that administration it is clear that the student needs support, then an accommodation may be considered from the list in the Administration and Scoring Guide.

Using a ruler or straightedge for tracking is an approved accommodation for LNF, NWF, and ORF for those children who need this accommodation. As with all DIBELS-approved accommodations, this accommodation should only be used with children who require the accommodation.

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16. PSF - Can you repeat a word on PSF if a student asks you to?

All efforts should be made to minimize the possibility of a child asking for a word to be repeated (e.g., relatively quiet assessment space, sit close to the child, speak clearly); however, there are times when it does occur and, if so, repeat the word. If it happens occasionally, it is "small stuff." If it happens frequently for a particular child, you might want to check into hearing issues. If it happens frequently for many children, look at the assessment conditions and make necessary adjustments.

The Kindergarten and 1st grade benchmark booklets include PSF scoring sheets. There are no student materials for PSF since it's an auditory measure.

17. NWF - How do I score a student who responds with individual sounds and a blend?

You score the last thing that the student responded with following the directions in the Administration and Scoring Guide, available from our Download Materials page. For example, if the student responds with the correct individual sounds, but then with an incorrect blend, you only give points for the correct sounds in the blend.

18. NWF - Should I teach nonsense words to students?

No, you should teach your students letter-sound correspondences and blending. Once students begin developing these skills, their performance will generalize to the NWF score.

For information on how to teach alphabetic principle skills, see our Big Ideas in Beginning Reading website.

19. ORF - If a student repeatedly reads a word incorrectly, is it marked wrong every time?

Yes, when scoring ORF you are counting the words read correctly. If a student does not read a word correctly, they do not get credit for it.

20. ORF - What do I do if a student skips an entire line when reading?

If a student skips an entire line during ORF, draw a line through the row and count the words as incorrect when scoring.

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21. ORF - How do I score proper nouns?

You can accept an answer as correct if the student provides (a) a reasonable phonetic pronunciation of the name, or (b) the correct pronunciation of the name if the correct pronunciation of the name is non-regular and the tester knows the correct pronunciation. The developers worked hard to ensure that included names are reasonably accessible. During standardized administration the tester provides the correct pronunciation if the student struggles for 3 seconds.

22. ORF - Do I need to give all three ORF passages during benchmark testing?

For benchmark screening, we recommend giving all three passages and recording the median/middle score. If you are only able to give one passage because of special circumstances, then give the second passage. If you are using Retell Fluency, you must give all three passages as the reliability on RTF is too low when using only one passage.

During progress monitoring one ORF passage is adequate when monitoring is done 2-4 times per month.

23. ORF - Should the tester or student read the title of the passage?

No. The directions indicate that you direct the students to the first word of the passage. If they do accidentally read the title and hesitate for 3 seconds on a word, then you should supply the correct word. Do not start the timer until they read the first word of the passage.

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easyCBM Math Assessment

  1. What is the format of the test questions? Can I preview them?
  2. Is there a paper version we can print and administer to students without using a computer?
  3. What are the benchmark goals for the easyCBM math assessment?
  4. How often are the math assessments given? Do we have to give the math assessments on the same testing schedule that we administer the DIBELS reading assessments?
  5. Are there progress monitoring materials for easyCBM Math?
  6. Can a student use a calculator?
  7. Can an adult click answers for students taking the math assessment?

1. What is the format of the test questions? Can I preview them?

All questions are multiple-choice. Sample assessment questions for each grade level and focal point are available on our DDS-easyCBM Math page.

2. Is there a paper version we can print and administer to students without using a computer?

No, the only testing method the Data System is able to offer is the computer-based administration.

3. What are the benchmark goals for the easyCBM math assessment?

After analyzing performance data from the math pilot study we conducted during the 2009-2010 school year we calculated national percentiles to use in place of benchmark goals. The national percentiles should be used to determine levels of risk and need for instructional support.

4. How often are the math assessments given? Do we have to give the math assessments on the same testing schedule that we administer the DIBELS reading assessments?

The math assessments can be administered 3 times per year. The beginning of year assessment will need to occur during the first 3 months of your school year, but does not have to be given during the same month as your DIBELS testing. Likewise, the middle of year math assessment must be given during the 4th-6th month of your school year and the end of year assessment must be given during the 7th-10th month of the year. The months of your school year will be determined by the track that each classroom is set to in your Data System account.

5. Are there progress monitoring materials for easyCBM Math?

The Data System does not currently include easyCBM math progress monitoring assessments. We are exploring possibilities for inclusion of progress monitoring in the future.

6. Can a student use a calculator?

A student may only use a calculator if it is allowed on their IEP or 504 plan. No other use of a calculator is permitted. All students are permitted to use a pencil and scratch paper while taking the assessment.

7. Can an adult click answers for students taking the math assessment?

Yes, it is an acceptable accommodation for an adult to use the mouse to click answers if the student is unable to do this on their own.

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