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Home | E4Effort - Improving Student Engagement & Motivation

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The E4Effort system improves student engagement and classroom management and can be the framework for schools using PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports).

When you consistently recognize student effort...

They try harder!

The E4Effort System

Designed for grades 3 to 12 by a middle school science teacher

Teachers are always busy so it’s difficult to add to the jobs they are already doing. However, one of the jobs that most teachers tackle from many directions is how to provide positive classroom management and motivate students.  E4Effort does this by regularly reinforcing student focus and on-task behavior.  Once teachers have the E4Effort System in place, they notice that the time and energy they use to put towards other strategies to motivate learning and manage behavior have been consolidated into one system – E4Effort! 

Three plan options (see pricing tab):

  • Bronze, free
  • Silver, each student has a student portal for reviewing effort data and entering their own scores
  • Gold = Silver + Rewards program

E4Effort and effort scoring:

  • Reinforces student engagement / time on task
  • Randomizes student participation opportunities
  • Improves classroom behavior
  • Significantly increases communication between teacher, student and family (Silver and Gold)

Account types:

  • Regular, enter your own courses and students (choose the email and password option at Sign Up)
  • Clever and Classroom, courses and students are automatically synced to your E4Effort Dashboard and Effort Scoring App

Why Emphasize Effort?

See also: “Two Metrics – Academic & Effort” (select the PD tab above)

The Gold plan includes our

Rewards Program

How It Works

E4Effort is a three-part system

For an introduction to each part of the E4Effort System, click the video buttons below. For more detailed information, choose the Help or PD tabs above.

Demo Course and Guided Tours

Demo Course is included with each account to allow you to learn the features and functions of the Effort Scoring App without scoring real students. Also, many pages of your Teacher Dashboard have Guided Tours and tooltips that describe purpose and function.

Learn more:

Schedule demo:

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Teacher Reviews

“I appreciate E4Effort’s easy-to-use teacher dashboard and effort-scoring app, the motivation my students find without needing to use my voice, and the excitement students have for redeeming their Effort Shares at the end of each trimester. I appreciate the random participation feature, as it makes sure I include all my students. When students know their effort level will be scored, they stay on task longer and overall class engagement becomes higher.”

Käri Anderson Suggs, elementary teacher, Roseville, MN

“I like to use the “On Task” category when my students are working in groups or individually. On the board, I list what I need to see and hear as I move around the room. This way the students know how to get full effort credit. When I find students are off task, I remind them of the expectations and tell them that I will check back and if their effort improves, I will raise their score. This routine really keeps the students moving in the right direction.”

Mary Catherine Halasz, middle school language arts teacher, Mpls, MN

“E4Effort has been a fantastic classroom management tool for me! I can’t wait to use it for all my future classes. This system creates a positive relationship between teachers and students. Students love to get frequent timely feedback that helps them to improve their effort and learn more.”

Elizabeth Klinkner, middle school Spanish teacher, Mendota Heights, MN

“I have been teaching for thirty years — I’ve seen a few things come and go.  I was so amazed when I started using E4Effort with my tenth-grade biology students.  The “buy-in” from the students was immediate.  I found giving the students an “On Task” score during labs and activities greatly improved overall student focus. The app worked very smoothly.  I highly recommend it!”

James Christiansen, high school science teacher, Lakeville, MN

Student Surveys


Did you like the teacher using the Effort App to make sure everyone had a turn to participate?

  • • “I think it’s a good app to make sure everyone has a turn. I like the app.”
  • • “Yeah because while everybody is sitting the app is gonna call on someone and they might not be ready so everybody gets ready, and they learn more.”

The ON-TASK Category

Did you like getting effort scores for being on task?

  • • “Yes because it makes you feel like you are accomplishing something.”
  • • “Yes I did because it showed me how well I was on task and it motivated me on doing the work as I was doing it.”

The BEHAVIOR Category

Did you think that the E4Effort System helped to make the class learn more or behave better?

  • • “Yes because if their score is low, they try to catch up and if their score is high, they try to get more credits.”
  • • “My E4Effort class behaves better.”
  • • “Yes it helps encourage GOOD behavior.”


Did you like having the chance to earn Effort Awards for good effort and behavior?

  • • “Yes because I tried not to be absent to earn awards.”
  • • “Yes cause I did a real good job and I earned it.”
  • • “Yes it felt good to win something.”

The E4Effort System:

Helps students raise their level of GRIT

Chapter three of the New York Times bestseller GRIT is about the psychology of achievement. The author presents two simple equations on how to get from talent to achievement: talent x effort = skill and skill x effort = achievement. Students should know that effort counts twice when going from talent to achievement!

Duckworth, Angela. Grit: The power of passion and perseverance. Vermilion, 2017.
Encourages a Growth Mindset

Teachers consistently observe and report student effort!

Dweck, Carol S. Mindset: the new psychology of successBallentine Books, 2008.

Counterbalances the negative effect of low grades

“Low grades may set in motion a downward spiral, whereby consequent declines in engagement result in even lower grades.”

Poorthuis, A. M. G., Juvonen, J., Thomaes, S., Denissen, J. J. A., Orobio de Castro, B., & van Aken, M. A. G. (2015). Do grades shape students’ school engagement? The psychological consequences of report card grades at the beginning of secondary school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107(3), pp. 842-854.
Motivates better student focus through the practice of Cold Calling

“[T]he single most powerful technique in this book is, I believe, Cold Call.” (p. 114) To equalize student participation opportunities, E4Effort’s scoring app is used to select student participation turns.

Lemov, Doug. Teach Like A Champion: 49 techniques that put students on the path to collegeJossey-Bass, 2010.
Improves student attentiveness

“[T]hings can’t get into long term memory unless they have first been in working memory … if you don’t pay attention to something you can’t learn it.”

Willingham, Daniel T. Why Don’t Student’s Like School?: a cognitive scientist answers questions about how the mind works and what it means for the classroomJossey-Bass, 2009, pp. 54-55.
Promotes skills such as perseverance, self-control, and conscientiousness

Researchers in the field of industrial/organizational psychology found that the best predictor for hiring productive workers was conscientiousness.

Tough, Paul. How Children SucceedMariner Books; Reprint edition (July 2, 2013).
May be used to give students both continuous and intermittent reinforcement

“Continuous reinforcement [Ready and On Task categories] is the best way to develop new behaviors or to improve performance when it is very low.” While the effect of continuous reinforcement is strong and needed for steady improvement, “intermittent reinforcement [Participation and Recognition categories] generates higher levels of performance than continuous reinforcement.” (p. 77)

Daniels, Aubrey C. and James E. Daniels. Performance Management.  Performance Management Publications, 2004.
Provides extrinsic rewards

Social cognitive researchers and self-determination theorists “concur that under proper provision, extrinsic rewards may in effect ignite intrinsic motivation and therefore reinforce learners’ participation and deep learning.” E4Effort provides extrinsic rewards in the forms of scores, badges, and Effort Shares.

Rassuli, A, (2012). Engagement in Classroom Learning: Creating Temporal Participation Incentives for Extrinsically Motivated Students Through Bonus Credits. Journal of Education for Business, 87, 2, pp. 86-93.