Emphasize student effort to
improve student engagement
and raise outcomes.

Emphasize student effort to
improve student engagement
and raise outcomes.

The E4Effort System

Give students two ways to gauge their performance: Academic grades and in-class Effort

Designed for grades 3 to 12 by a middle school teacher, tested and approved by teachers with over 100 years of experience.

Benefits of using the E4Effort System include:

  • Students are more focused and attentive
  • Participation opportunities are balanced
  • Feedback for effort promotes grit and a growth mindset
  • Reinforces on-task behavior by scoring effort in the moment
  • Recognition can be more authentic and objective

Learn more about the case for an effort metric:

and consider scheduling a

Why Emphasize Effort?

  • rating
  • rating
  • rating
  • rating
  • rating

Did you think 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

student responses / behavior category

  • rating
  • rating
  • rating
  • rating
  • rating

Did you like having a 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 

student responses / effort awards

  • rating
  • rating
  • rating
  • rating
  • rating

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

student responses / on-task category

  • rating
  • rating
  • rating
  • rating
  • rating

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

student responses / participation category

  • rating
  • rating
  • rating
  • rating
  • rating

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.  We used the “Ready” feature first.  My students were ready after remembering that their scores were online!  Additionally, we used “On Task”.  This was a helpful tool in giving me a tangible score for the process of labs and activities. The app worked very smoothly.  I highly recommend it!

James Christiansen, high school science teacher, Lakeville, MN

  • rating
  • rating
  • rating
  • rating
  • rating

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, 8th grade Spanish teacher, Mendota Heights, MN

  • rating
  • rating
  • rating
  • rating
  • rating

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 theirscore. This routine really keeps the students moving in the right direction.”

Mary Catherine Halasz, 7th grade language arts teacher – Minneapolis, MN

  • rating
  • rating
  • rating
  • rating
  • rating

“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 of 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, 6th grade teacher, Little Canada Elementary School, MN

The E4Effort System:

Helps students raise their level of GRIT!

Chapter three of the New York Time 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.

Reinforces time on task

by scoring students in the Ready, and On Task categories and by awarding badges through the Recognition category. “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 [Recognition category] generates higher levels of performance than continuous reinforcement.” (Daniels et al., 2004, p.77.)

Daniels, Aubrey C. and James E. Daniels. Performance ManagementPerformance Management Publications, 2004.

Promotes skills such as perseverance, self control, and conscientiousness – being vigilant.

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)

Gets students to focus better through the practice of cold calling.

“…the single most powerful technique in this book is, I believe, Cold Call” (Doug Lemov, pg 114).

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

Improves student awareness

“things 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).

Encourages a Growth Mindset

By having the teacher consistently observe and report student effort!

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

Provides extrinsic rewards

in the forms of scores, badges, and Effort Shares. 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.”

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

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), 842-854.