DIBELS 6th Edition

Nonsense Word Fluency

Rating Summary

Classification Accuracyfull bubble
GeneralizabilityModerate Low
Reliabilityfull bubble
Validityhalf bubble
Disaggregated Reliability and Validity Datahalf bubble
Efficiency
AdministrationIndividual
Administration & Scoring Time2 Minutes
Scoring KeyComputer Scored
Benchmarks / NormsYes
Cost Technology, Human Resources, and Accommodations for Special Needs Service and Support Purpose and Other Implementation Information Usage and Reporting

The DIBELS 6th Edition materials can be downloaded, free of charge, at: https://dibels.uoregon.edu. The materials consist of the manuals and test materials, directions for administration, test forms, technical manuals, and student protocols.

Use of the DIBELS Data System for the purpose of entering and managing data, as well as generating project, district, school, class, or student reports costs $1.00 per student per year, and is optional.

Testers will require 1-4 hours of training.

Paraprofessionals can administer the test.

A list of DIBELS-approved accommodations is available in the Administration and Score Guide.

Where to Obtain: University of Oregon DIBELS Data System  

Address:
5292 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR  97403                                      
Phone: 1-888-497-4290
Website: https://dibels.uoregon.edu                               

Field tested training materials are not included in the cost of the tool.

Ongoing technical support is available by calling 1-888-497-4290 or emailing support@dibels.uoregon.edu.

DIBELS NWF is a standardized, individually administered test of a student's alphabetic principle skills, including letter-sound correspondences and of the ability to blend letters into words in which letters represent their most common sounds. NWF is designed for use with students in Grades K-2. The student is presented with randomly ordered Vowel-Consonant (e.g., ig, ot) and Consonant-Vowel - Consonant (e.g., sim, tob, lut) nonsense words on an 8.5”x11” sheet of paper and asked to verbally produce the individual letter sound of each letter or read the whole nonsense word. For example, if the stimulus word is “sig” the student could say, /s/ /i/ /g/ or say the word “sig” to obtain a total of three letter-sounds correct. The student is allowed one minute to produce as many letter-sounds as he/she can, and the final score is the number of letter-sounds produced correctly in one minute. The tool provides information on student performance in English.

There are specific scoring rules regarding articulation and dialect to mitigate linguistic bias. Students are not penalized for differences in speech production that are the result of dialect, first-language, or articulation.

The tool is intended for use in grades K-2 or with ages 5-8.

DIBELS NWF is administered individually and takes 2 minutes per student.

Available scores include: raw scores, developmental benchmarks and cut points, and error analysis. 

 

Classification Accuracy

Classification Accuracy in Predicting Proficiency on The Stanford Achievement Test
  Middle of Grade K End of Grade K Beginning of Grade 1 Middle of Grade 1 End of Grade 1 Beginning of Grade 2
Benchmark Goal Cut Point for Risk Benchmark Goal Cut Point for Risk Benchmark Goal Cut Point for Risk Benchmark Goal Cut Point for Risk Benchmark Goal Cut Point for Risk Benchmark Goal Cut Point for Risk
False Positive Rate 0.28 0.25 0.31 0.24 0.30 0.26 0.30 0.24 0.29 0.25 0.39 0.27
False Negative Rate 0.19 0.17 0.19 0.19 0.18 0.20 0.19 0.20 0.19 0.20 0.19 0.20
Sensitivity 0.81 0.83 0.81 0.81 0.82 0.80 0.81 0.80 0.81 0.80 0.81 0.80
Specificity 0.72 0.75 0.69 0.76 0.70 0.74 0.70 0.76 0.71 0.75 0.81 0.73
Positive Predictive Power 0.60 0.37 0.58 0.39 0.64 0.43 0.65 0.46 0.67 0.45 0.61 0.45
Negative Predictive Power 0.88 0.96 0.87 0.95 0.85 0.94 0.84 0.94 0.84 0.94 0.59 0.93
Overall Classification Rate 0.78 0.76 0.73 0.77 0.75 0.75 0.74 0.77 0.75 0.76 0.82 0.74
AUC (ROC)  0.84 0.85 0.84 0.86 0.84 0.86 0.84 0.87 0.84 0.85 0.69 0.85
Base Rate: 0.34 0.15 0.35 0.16 0.40 0.19 0.41 0.20 0.42 0.21 0.41 0.22
Cut Points:  12 8 32 25 21 15 49 41 64 54 56 44
At 90% Sensitivity, Specificity equals 0.58 0.65 0.52 0.60 0.57 0.60 0.56 0.62 0.60 0.61 0.40 0.56

At 80% Sensitivity, Specifity equals

0.73 0.76 0.71 0.77 0.72 0.74 0.71 0.76 0.72 0.75 0.62 0.73
At 70% Sensitivity, Specificity equals 0.81 0.83 0.81 0.83 0.80 0.83 0.80 0.84 0.80 0.81 0.76 0.80

 

Generalizability

Description of study sample:

·         Number of States: 1

·         Size: 20,051 criterion test scores from 13,507 students (5,634 in kindergarten, 4,953 in Grade 1, 4,636 in Grade 2, and 4,828 in Grade 3)        

·         Regions: West

·         Gender

o   51% Male

o   49% Female

·         SES: 69%

·         Race/Ethnicity:

o   57% White, Non-Hispanic

o   5% American Indian/Alaska Native

o   11% Black, Non-Hispanic

o   4% Asian, Pacific Islander

o   22% Hispanic

o   ~1% Unknown

·         Disability status: 6.7% Special Education

·         Language proficiency status: 25.6% English language learners (none qualified as Limited English Proficiency)

Reliability

Type of Reliability

Age or Grade

n (range)

Coefficient

SEM

Information (including normative data)/Subjects

range

median

One-month alternate form

First

77-231

0.67-0.88

0.83

9.05-14.26 (Mdn= 11.56)

Good, Kaminski, et al. (2004). Participants at two elementary schools near Eugene, Oregon. The first school had a total population of 490 students in a town of around 53,000. The second school had a population of 580 in a town of around 4,700.

Test-retest

First

938

0.92-0.97

0.94

5.38-7.75 (Mdn= 6.86)

Harn, Stoolmiller, & Chard (2008). Participants were 938 students from two Pacific Northwest school districts. The first district had five participating schools and was rural. The second district, with seven participating schools was suburban.

Three-week alternate form

K

91

0.83-0.87

0.86

6.40-8.40 (Mdn.= 7.28)

Ritchey (2008). Participants were 91 kindergarten students at two schools in a mid-Atlantic state with a mean January age of 67.52 months.

Alternate form

K

40

NR

0.94

4.19-5.50

Speece, Mills, Ritchey, & Hillman (2003). Participants were from five half-day kindergarten classes in a suburban school district in the middle Atlantic states. Students selected were those believed to have enough English skills to benefit from English instruction. Selections were made after students were ranked by their teachers as having high, average, or low literacy skills to obtain a sampling of skill levels. 25.6% of the students had a primary language other than English.

Test-retest

First

3,506

0.84-0.90

NR

 

Fien et al. (2010). Participants were 3,506 first grade students in 50 Oregon Reading First schools. About 49.4% of these students were girls, 53.9% were ethnic minorities other than Caucasian, 24.8% were English language learners, and 6.7% were identified as special education eligible. Many students were also from economically disadvantaged families. On average, 75% of the students in the participating schools were in the free or reduced price lunch program.

 

 

Validity

 

Type of Validity

Age or Grade

 

Test or Criterion

n (range)

Coefficient (if applicable)

 

Information (including normative data)/Subjects

range

Median

Concurrent

First

TOWRE Sight Word Efficiency

289

NR

0.69

Burke, Crowder, Hagan-Burke, & Zou (2009). Participants were from a primary school in rural northeast Georgia. All were native speakers of English and the majority received all their education within the regular classroom.

Concurrent

First

TOWRE - PDE

213

NR

0.75

Burke & Hagan-Burke (2007). Participants were from a public primary school in semirural northeast Georgia who came from middle- to lowermiddle- class families.

Concurrent

First

TOWRE - SWE

213

NR

0.68

Predictive

K

G1 TOWRE PDE

180

NR

0.67

Burke, Hagan-Burke, Kwok, & Parker (2009). Participants were at a rural primary school in northern Georgia.

Predictive

K

G1 TOWRE SWE

180

NR

0.67

Predictive

K

Mid 2nd WRMTR (Pass. Comp.)

167

NR

0.56

Predictive

First

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 1 Spring SAT-10

3,506

NR

0.61

Fien et al. (2010). Participants were 3,506 first grade students in 50 Oregon Reading First schools. About 49.4% of these students were girls, 53.9% were ethnic minorities other than Caucasian, 24.8% were English language learners, and 6.7% were identified as special education eligible. Many students were also from economically disadvantaged families. On average, 75% of the students in the participating schools were in the free or reduced-price lunch program.

Predictive

First

Grade 1 Winter NWF – Grade 1 Spring SAT-10

3,506

NR

0.62

Concurrent

First

Grade 1 Spring NWF – Grade 1 Spring SAT-10

3,506

NR

0.62

Predictive

First

Grade 1 Spring NWF- Grade 3 Spring Wechsler Individual

Achievement Test–Second Edition, Reading Comprehension

35

NR

0.57

Munger & Blachman (2013). Participants are 35 students from a small urban school in the Northeast. Students were identified as 51% African American, 26% White, 11% Asian, 9% Hispanic/Latino, and 3% Indian. Seventeen percent of the students spoke a language other than English in their homes, and 25% were identified as having an educational disability. Children’s families were in predominantly lower- to middle-income groups,

with 73% receiving free or reduced-price lunch at the time of third grade testing.

Predictive

First

Grade 1 Spring NWF- Grade 3 Spring Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation

35

NR

0.66

Predictive

First

Middle of 2nd ORF

289

NR

0.57

Burke, Crowder, Hagan-Burke, & Zou (2009).

Concurrent

First

DIBELS ORF

213

NR

0.68

Burke & Hagan-Burke (2007)

Predictive

K

Mid of 1st DORF

179

NR

0.73

Burke, Hagan-Burke, Kwok, & Parker (2009).

Predictive

K

Mid 2nd DORF

165

NR

0.58

Concurrent

First

Composite of DIBELS ORF and Growth Modeling ORF

486

NR

0.66

Chard et al. (2008).

Predictive

First

Grade 2 DORF/ GMORF compos.

419

NR

0.64

Predictive

First

Grade 3 DORF/ GMORF compos.

369

NR

0.59

Predictive

First

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 1 Spring ORF

3,150

NR

0.67

Cummings, Dewey, Latimer, & Good (2011). Participants were 3,150 students across 12 school districts (8 in the West and 4 from the Midwest) in 8 states. Of the 12 school districts in the large sample, 8 are located in rural areas and 4 are located in small urban cities.

Predictive

First

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 1 Winter ORF

3,150

NR

0.76

Predictive

First

Grade 1 Winter NWF- Grade 1 Spring ORF

3,150

NR

0.66

Concurrent

First

Grade 1 Winter NWF- Grade 1 Winter ORF

3,150

NR

0.67

Concurrent

First

Grade 1 Spring NWF- Grade 1 Spring ORF

3,150

NR

0.72

Predictive

First

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 1 Spring ORF

3,506

NR

0.74

Fien et al. (2010).

Predictive

First

Grade 1 Winter NWF – Grade 1 Spring ORF

3,506

NR

0.77

Concurrent

First

Grade 1 Spring NWF – Grade 1 Spring ORF

3,506

NR

0.76

Predictive

K

K Winter NWF – Grade 1 Spring ORF

2,258

NR

0.65a

Fien, S. Baker, Smolkowski, Smith, Kame’enui, & Thomas Beck (2008). Participants included five cohorts of English Speaking students (results for English Learners are presented in the section for Technical Standard 5). Data collection spanned the first three years of Oregon Reading First implementation and included students from 33 schools with continuous participation. The total number of ESs at each data collection period ranged from 4,147 to 6,057 (Mdn = 5,150).

Predictive

K

K Winter NWF – Grade 2 Spring ORF

829

NR

0.54a

Predictive

K

K Winter NWF – K  Spring SAT-10

5,360

NR

0.73a

Predictive

K

K Winter NWF – Grade 1 Spring SAT-10

2,240

NR

0.62a

Predictive

K

K Winter NWF – Grade 2 Spring SAT10

796

NR

0.55a

Predictive

K

K Spring NWF – Grade 1 Spring ORF

2,319

NR

0.71

Predictive

K

K Spring NWF – Grade 2 Spring ORF

842

NR

0.60

 

Concurrent

K

K Spring NWF – K  Spring SAT-10

5,595

NR

0.73a

Predictive

K

K Spring NWF – Grade 1 Spring SAT-10

2,297

NR

0.63

Predictive

K

K Spring NWF – Grade 2 Spring SAT10

809

NR

0.56

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 1 Spring ORF

4,528

NR

0.74

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 2 Spring ORF

2,151

NR

0.60

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 1 Spring SAT-10

4,387

NR

0.64

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 2 Spring SAT10

2,029

NR

0.56a

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Winter NWF  – Grade 1 Spring ORF

4,859

NR

0.76

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Winter NWF  – Grade 2 Spring ORF

2,246

NR

0.67

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Winter NWF  – Grade 1 Spring SAT-10

4,702

NR

0.66

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Winter NWF  – Grade 2 Spring SAT10

2,115

NR

0.58

Concurrent

1

Grade 1 Spring NWF   – Grade 1 Spring ORF

5,148

NR

0.76

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Spring NWF   – Grade 2 Spring ORF

2,299

NR

0.69

Concurrent

1

Grade 1 Spring NWF   – Grade 1 Spring SAT-10

4,885

NR

0.65

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Spring NWF   – Grade 2 Spring SAT10

2,167

NR

0.56

Predictive

2

Grade 2 Fall NWF – Grade 2 Spring ORF

4,329

NR

0.71

Predictive

2

Grade 2 Fall NWF – Grade 2 Spring SAT-10

4,078

NR

0.59

Predictive

First

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 1 Spring ORF

938

NR

0.73

Harn, Stoolmiller, Chard (2008). Participants were 938 students in two Pacific Northwestern districts.

Predictive

First

Grade 1 Winter NWF- Grade 1 Spring ORF

938

NR

0.74

Concurrent

First

Grade 1 Spring NWF- Grade 1 Spring ORF

938

NR

0.78

Concurrent

First

Grade 1 Spring NWF- Grade 1 Spring ORF

35

NR

0.88

Munger & Blachman (2013). 

aCorrelations differ between EL and ES students by more than 5% overlapping variance. 

Disaggregated Reliability, Validity, and Classification Data for Diverse Populations

Disaggregated Validity Data

 

Type of Validity

Age or Grade

 

Test or Criterion

n (range)

Coefficient (if applicable)

 

Information (including normative data)/Subjects

range

median

Predictive

K

K Winter NWF – Grade 1 Spring ORF

1,112

NA

0.57a

Fien, S. Baker, Smolkowski, Smith, Kame’enui, & Thomas Beck (2008). Participants included five cohorts of English Learners (results for English Speakers are presented in the section for Technical Standard 4: Validity). Data collection spanned the first three years of Oregon Reading First implementation and included students from 33 schools with continuous participation. The total number of ELs at each data collection period ranged from 1,370 to 2,153 (Mdn = 1,969).

Predictive

K

K Winter NWF – Grade 2 Spring ORF

481

NA

0.41a

 

Predictive

K

K Winter NWF – K  Spring SAT-10

1,288

NA

0.64a

 

Predictive

K

K Winter NWF – Grade 1 Spring SAT-10

1,067

NA

0.54a

 

Predictive

K

K Winter NWF – Grade 2 Spring SAT10

796

NA

0.43a

 

Predictive

K

K Spring NWF – Grade 1 Spring ORF

1,160

NA

0.68

 

Predictive

K

K Spring NWF – Grade 2 Spring ORF

499

NA

0.56

 

Concurrent

K

K Spring NWF – K  Spring SAT-10

1,361

NA

0.66a

 

Predictive

K

K Spring NWF – Grade 1 Spring SAT-10

1,111

NA

0.63

 

Predictive

K

K Spring NWF – Grade 2 Spring SAT10

485

NA

0.53

 

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 1 Spring ORF

1,951

NA

0.70

 

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 2 Spring ORF

1,134

NA

0.58

 

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 1 Spring SAT-10

1,827

NA

0.62

 

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 2 Spring SAT10

1,037

NA

0.51a

 

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Winter NWF  – Grade 1 Spring ORF

2,048

NA

0.74

 

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Winter NWF  – Grade 2 Spring ORF

1,188

NA

0.65

 

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Winter NWF  – Grade 1 Spring SAT-10

1,907

NA

0.65

 

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Winter NWF  – Grade 2 Spring SAT10

1,086

NA

0.55

 

Concurrent

1

Grade 1 Spring NWF   – Grade 1 Spring ORF

2,147

NA

0.75

 

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Spring NWF   – Grade 2 Spring ORF

1,214

NA

0.67

 

Concurrent

1

Grade 1 Spring NWF   – Grade 1 Spring SAT-10

1,960

NA

0.62

 

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Spring NWF   – Grade 2 Spring SAT10

1,109

NA

0.54

 

Predictive

2

Grade 2 Fall NWF – Grade 2 Spring ORF

1,833

NA

0.71

 

Predictive

2

Grade 2 Fall NWF – Grade 2 Spring SAT-10

1,655

NA

0.58

 

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 1 Winter NWF

134

NA

0.86

Vanderwood, Linklater, & Healy (2008). Predictive accuracy of Nonsense Word Fluency for English Language Learners. School Psychology Review, 37(1).

The authors in this study evaluated the relationship between NWF and reading performance on CBM-R, Maze, and the California Achievement Test, Sixth Edition for 134 ELs in Grade 1.

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 1 Spring NWF

134

NA

0.69

 

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 1 Spring SAT9

134

NA

0.29

 

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Fall NWF – Grade 1 Spring CAT6

134

NA

0.39

 

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Winter NWF – Grade 1 Spring NWF

134

NA

0.72

 

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Winter NWF – Grade 1 Spring SAT9

134

NA

0.27

 

Predictive

1

Grade 1 Winter NWF – Grade 1 Spring CAT6

134

NA

0.38

 

Concurrent

1

Grade 1 Spring NWF – Grade 1 Spring SAT9

134

NA

0.25

 

Concurrent

1

Grade 1 Spring NWF – Grade 1 Spring CAT6

134

NA

0.39

 

Median Concurrent Validity

K

Cross-Measures

0.66

Median Percent of Variance Explained = 44%

Median Predictive Validity

K

Cross-Measures

0.56

Median Percent of Variance Explained = 31%

Median Concurrent Validity

1

Cross-Measures

0.51

Median Percent of Variance Explained = 26%

Median Predictive Validity

1

Cross-Measures

0.62

Median Percent of Variance Explained = 38%

Median Predictive Validity

2

Cross-Measures

0.65

Median Percent of Variance Explained = 42%

aIn the Fien study, correlations differ between EL and ES students by more than 5% overlapping variance.