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How to run Effort Shares and Buybacks - E4Effort

How to run Effort Shares and Buybacks

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.  Students appreciate earning and spending Effort Shares. 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 The E4Effort System!

Outline of Recommended Procedure:

I. Continuous Buybacks or Interval Buybacks?

II. Create Buyback offers

III. Students redeem Buyback offers

IV. Teacher fulfills student redemptions

Students use Effort Shares to redeem Buyback Offers (8:12)


I. Continuous Buybacks or Interval Buybacks?

Continuous Buybacks means the window for students to redeem Buybacks is alway open. Interval Buybacks means that the window to redeem Buybacks is opened on a schedule – usually once a Term for one week.

Continuous versus interval:

  • Continuous – students prefer the freedom to redeem at any time and will likely review their Student Portal more frequently.
  • Continuous – students will expect rapid fulfillment of their redemptions under the Continuous option – requires organization skills to quickly fulfill or schedule redemption orders.
  • Interval – favored by teachers who prefer to organize for one redemption wave every six to eight weeks.

II Create Buyback offers

(Each item number is shown in the image below)

1. To create a Buyback offer, sign in to your Teacher Dashboard and then go to the side panel and click on Buybacks and then + New Buyback.

2. Offer Image – Use your own images, or screenshots of images you find on the web, or select from our Buyback images page. (For best fit, image length should be approximately 2.25 times image height – click to download an image dimesion guide.)

3. Offer Title and Description – title and describe the Buyback – let students know the what, when, how, etc.

4. Courses – If you are a middle or high school teacher, you will probably want to use the Select All Courses button.  If you are an elementary teacher, with the same students in multiple courses, select one of your courses to put all of your Buyback offers.

5. Shares – decide on the cost of a Buyback Offer based on how popular you believe the offer will be and how many Effort Shares students have. Try to create multiple offers with low, middle, and high-range redemption costs. 

How many Effort Shares can a student earn in a Term?  Assuming an 8 week Term:

  • Effort Challenges (done in the background – no teacher involvement): 2 Effort Shares per Effort category (Ready, Participation, On Task, Behavior) per week = 8 x 8 wks = 64 Effort Shares per Course. (If you see the same students for multiple Courses, multiply this total by the number of Courses.)
  • Effort Awards (assigned by the teacher from the Recognition category of the Teacher Scoring App): Assuming each student has one opportunity for an Effort Award every two weeks, the maximum a student could earn would be 4 x 10 = 40 Effort Shares (per Course).  For a class of 30 students the teacher would, on average, select 3 Effort Award winners per class day. For a class of 20, this drops to 2 Effort Awards per day. 
  • Total maximum Effort Shares per 8-week term per Course = 64 + 40 = 104. 

6. Show Advanced Options – select this button.

7. Start and End dates – for interval Buybacks, enter the Start and End dates of the Buyback Week. Offers will appear on Student Portals on the Start date and disappear on the End date.

8. Expiration date (optional)– put expiration information in the description of your Buyback Offer and enter the expiration date here.

9. Max # of Redemptions – if you have a limited number of a particular type of Buyback Offer, enter that number here. For example, you have 10 notebooks, so you enter the number 10 into the Max # window.

10. Limit to One Redemption per Student – after a student redeems a “Limit to One…” Buyback offer, it will no longer appear on their Buyback’s page. (NOTE: to give students a limit of 2, or 3, etc., make more of the same Buyback offer and check the “Limit to One…” box each time.)

III. Students redeem Buyback offers

Pick a day and set aside 20 minutes (+ or -) of class time to allow students to sign in to their E4Effort Student Portal, review their effort data, and redeem Buyback Offers.

For the continuous Buybacks option, once you show students where to look to see how many Redeemable Shares they have (arrow in image) and how to redeem a Buyback Offer, they are free to redeem whenever they like.

Before students sign in to their portals, go over each Buyback offer:

  • Ask for a volunteer that will allow you to display their Buybacks’ page
  • Open your Teacher Dashboard from a computer that is connected to a projector
  • So that other student scores are not shown, freeze the projector image or turn the projector off
  • Select the Course the volunteer is in and then select their name and then their Buybacks’ tab
  • Turn the projector back on and go over the costs, descriptions, and limits of each Buyback Offer

IV. Teacher fulfills student redemptions

A. view or fulfill redemptions across all Courses

(Item numbers correspond to image numbers.)

1. Select Buybacks from the side-panel, and then the Redemptions tab.

2. The number shown in the Buybacks button is the number of Unfulfilled Redemptions across all Courses.

3. Use the Search box to search for a Student, Course, Buyback Name, etc.

4. Press the triangle to the right of any column heading to have the table sort alphabetically by column heading.

5. To keep the Redemptions table up-to-date, click the Fulfill Button each time you fulfill a student redemption.

Note: To make record keeping easier, mark Redemptions as fulfilled as soon as you add a student’s name to a list that you plan to post, or print their homework pass, etc. In other words you do not have to wait until the student uses their Buyback to mark it as fulfilled.

B. view or fulfill redemptions – one Course at a time

(Item numbers correspond to image numbers.)

6. Select Shares from the side-panel, then a Course, and then the Buybacks tab.

7. Type “Unfulfilled” into the Search box

8. To organize your table by a particular column heading, pick the triangle to the right of that column heading

9. Select the orange “Fulfill” button to change a Redemption’s status to “Fulfilled”

10. Generate a table of Redemptions for the selected Course by selecting the CSV box or copy the contents of the table to your computer’s clipboard by selecting the Copy button

V. Suggestions:

  • If you are distributing coupons (e.g. homework passes) change their status to fulfilled once they are passed out  – do not wait for the student to use the coupon;
  • For scheduled redemptions (e.g. teaching assistants) change status to fulfilled as soon as you create and post a list of who and when;
  • Using the CSV button (see #10 above) to make a table of Redemption orders for each of your Courses is especially helpful for teachers using the Interval Buyback procedure. Consider utilizing student helpers to deliver and check-off orders to their classmates (see image below).