Helping Our Schools Improve Student Engagement

students in class


One of the areas in which schools are challenged is creating an atmosphere where students are more engaged. Engagement is a critical factor in the student’s success, but there are so many outside elements that impact the student that it can be very difficult for teachers to compete for attention. One of our EdTech vendors, E4Effort, has developed a solution to help improve engagement in the classroom.

E4Effort Case Study

As a middle school Spanish teacher, Elizabeth Klinkner knows just how important engagement and participation are to learning. She also knows the frustration of trying to increase that effort in her classroom, especially for some students. Klinkner sees the limitations that traditional grades have in providing the big picture of student success.

“Traditional grading doesn’t allow for kids who don’t test well or who don’t have support at home for doing their homework,” says Klinkner. She often has students who are in transition, staying home to care for siblings, or struggling with an undiagnosed learning disability. “They try hard but have pockets of missing information. They can’t compete because there isn’t a level playing field.” Klinkner adds, “Many of them feel that long before 8th grade.”

To create a broader assessment, Klinkner did what many teachers do: she added a participation score to her quarterly grades that now accounts for 30% of their grade. But she needed a better system to measure student performance, motivation, and engagement, one big challenge remains: finding a system that works.

E4Effort to the Rescue

E4Effort is a system that emphasizes student effort, thereby improving student engagement and raising outcomes. It includes a teacher scoring app, individual student portals, and a teacher dashboard. The E4Effort System compliments grades by providing the other side of the student performance picture: in-class effort.

The E4Effort System has three main parts:

  1. Teacher Scoring App that provides four different categories to measure effort:
  • Ready: arriving on time and bringing required materials
  • Participation: paying attention in class
    On Task: staying focused on the assignment or activity
  • Behavior: proper conduct based on class and school expectations
  • Recognition: the capability to select gold, silver, and bronze effort award winners

For all categories except Ready, teachers can create subcategories – e.g. a teacher who wants to be more specific about a particular behavior might create a Behavior Subcategory titled “Verbally Appropriate.”

  1. A Teacher Dashboard that provides:
  • Monitoring of individual and whole-class trends
  • Editing of student scores
  • Formation of Course, Student, and Term features
  • Adjustable Category Weights
  • Capability of sending individual comments to
  • student portals or the same comment to multiple
  • student portals
  • Creation of Buyback offerings to allow students to
  • redeem their Effort Shares for privileges, supplies,
  • or bonus points
  • Organization and fulfillment of student Buyback redemption requests
  1. Individual Student Portals that provide:
  • Easy access to eight types of effort data
  • Tracking of Effort Shares and Achievement
  • Badges
  • Effort Shares that can redeemed for privileges,
  • supplies, or bonus points
  • Family members to be added as guardians to view
  • their student’s progress

Teacher-Tested, School Approved

When Elizabeth Klinkner began using E4Effort in her 8th grade Spanish classroom, she quickly saw results. One of her favorite categories to use is Participation, which can reward students for their ability to repeat the question back to the teacher without having to know the ‘right’ answer. “E4Effort eliminates bias and the students no longer feel like the teacher is picking on them,” says Klinkner. “Students are excited to be recognized for good behavior and to cash in the Effort Shares they’ve earned.”

GG4L is pleased to provide such a wide variety of solutions that member schools can try. E4Effort is a great example of making a difference for teachers, schools, and students. To learn more about our on-demand grants or apply for a grant for your school, please visit GG4L.

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