For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop
Menu

Data-based Instruction in Early Writing (DBI-TLC)

DBI-TLC is a professional development system that provides tools, learning and collaborative support needed to implement data-based instruction that focuses on students at risk for or identified as having disabilities and who struggle with writing.

DBI provides a framework to support teachers’ use of data-based decision making to improve students’ academic performance and progress.

Given the importance of writing proficiency for students’ overall literacy development and success in school and beyond, we focus on early writers. We see that there is a critical need for early intervention for those who experience difficulty with early writing skills.

DBI-TLC Overview

DBI-TLC from U of M Ed Psych on Vimeo.

Project information

The project addresses four objectives:

  1. Develop the DBI protocol

  2. Develop DBI-TLC, including tools, learning modules, and ongoing support

  3. Establish the feasibility of DBI-TLC to be implemented with fidelity in educational settings

  4. Examine the promise of DBI-TLC to improve educators’ knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy related to DBI, and fidelity of DBI implementation


The project is conducted in two public school districts in Minneapolis, MN and Columbia, MO. The locations include students with a wide range of SES and cultural backgrounds.

Participants in this study include district leaders, researchers with expertise in DBI, special education teachers and other support personnel and students in grades 1-3 who are at risk for or identified by their schools as having LD and writing-related difficulties


The core intervention is a professional development system that incorporates the following:

  1. Learning modules that provide interactive instruction and practice

  2. Collaborative support of teachers’ use of DBI in their classrooms


Data sources measure the following to better understand DBI-TLC and students’ writing skills:

  1. Development: work with content experts and community partners to understand feedback related to components of DBI-TLC
  2. Feasibility: utilize surveys, observations and focus group discussions to understand implementation of DBI-TLC Promise: analyze student writing outcomes using curriculum-based measures and standardized assessments