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DI vs. di

Even though many curricula include some elements of effective instruction, this does not mean they are necessarily effective.  Direct Instruction (capitalized), the programs developed by Siegfried Engelmann and colleagues, incorporates all of these elements.   Other direct instruction (no capitals) curricula incorporate only some of the effective elements.

Siegfried Engelmann, the founder of Direct Instruction, and Geoff Colvin, Ph.D., a longtime collaborator, have developed a rubric for identifying authentic DI programs - ones that conform to all of the elements of effective instruction.  See Rubric for Identifying Authentic DI Programs

A key element of effective instruction is ensuring that students master the material they are studying.  This is often called "mastery learning."  In a 1999 article, Engelmann describes how teaching to mastery involves aligning student needs and the content of a curriculum and shows how DI programs accomplish this.  See Student-Program Alignment and Teaching to Mastery

An article by Cheryl Schieffer and colleagues, published in 2002, shows how one DI program, Reading Mastery, embodies the elements of effective instruction.  Schieffer et al, JODI, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 87-119

Implementing Direct Instruction Successfully: An Online Tutorial

When implemented fully, Direct Instruction (DI) is unparalleled in its ability to improve student performance and enhance students’ self-esteem. In order to implement DI effectively, much more is required than simply purchasing instructional materials. The following two-part tutorial guides administrators, teachers and coaches through the key features of a successful DI implementation. Part I provides an overview of the steps schools need to take in preparation for a DI implementation before school starts while Part II provides an overview of the steps schools need to take after school has started.

rating starIMPORTANT: This tutorial is an intensive video series comprised of 18 segments, each followed by a series of questions. Users should allow approximately three hours to watch the videos and complete the questions. NIFDI recognizes the high demand for time placed on school officials and, for this reason, has structured the tutorial so users may stop at anytime and later resume where they left off.


Have a slow connection? You can view the quiz portion (no videos) of the tutorial here. To get a copy of the videos on disk to use with this method, please contact us at 877.485.1973 or

New to Direct Instruction? Watch the Introduction to Direct Instruction Video Series before taking the online tutorial.

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