Monitoring Elementary Students’ Progress Using Word Dictation: Technical Features of Slope and Growth Analysis

Seohyeon Choi, Emma Shanahan, Jechun An, Kristen McMaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the technical features of slopes produced from the curriculum-based measurement in writing (CBM-W) word dictation task. Seventy-nine elementary students in the U.S. Midwest with intensive learning needs responded to weekly word dictation probes across 20 weeks; responses were scored for correct letter sequences (CLS). Scores showed evidence of high reliability and sensitivity to growth in a short period. Linear mixed modeling revealed that students gained an average of 0.91 CLS for each additional week of instruction. Initial writing levels and growth rates did not significantly differ depending on students’ demographic characteristics. Based on these findings, we illustrate how word dictation slopes can be used as indicators of writing growth for students with intensive learning needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-210
Number of pages10
JournalAssessment for Effective Intervention
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research reported here was supported in part by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R324A170101 to the University of Minnesota. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.

Publisher Copyright:
© Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2023.


  • curriculum-based measurement
  • early writing
  • slope
  • struggling learners
  • word dictation


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