I recently discovered this behavioural management system called classdojo . I was quite fascinated by the concept. Most elearning applications concentrate on managing learning rather than managing behaviour. So I went on youtube to check out some videos about it. I’ve embedded one video below for your viewing pleasure.
As you can see from the video, it’s pretty easy to use and the ability to customise behaviours has huge potential for at least sending a signal to the class about what kind of behaviours are desired in the classroom.
My objective of using classdojo was more to encourage participation and recognise positive behaviours like “great insight” than to highlight negative behaviours. That being said, at the start of a class, a student was not paying attention and I half-jokingly awarded him a “disruptive” negative dojo point rather than verbally admonish him to keep quiet like I usually do. It had an immediate effect and he kept quiet and jokingly gestured that “hey he was quiet so why did I award him a negative point”. Subsequently, I did not have to use any more negative points.
There were a couple of considerations I had before I trialled this in the classroom. Firstly, it seems a tad childish and more suited for the primary school classroom than a junior college classroom. Well, to somewhat alleviate this concern, I decided that the dojo points will still be awarded to individuals but awards/rewards and forfeits will be given at a group level. This gives students a team to strategize a gameplan with, making it somewhat more “teenagish”. This also allows more variations like banning students with more than 5 dojo points from participating, “forcing” the others in the team to participate. So far, the team concept has been working well. I believe it’s less personal than ranking people individually by dojo points. For one class (let’s call it class A), I’m using a straight up “who has the most points” model, while for another class (class B) I’m trying to use RPG elements like individual Levels and group levels (it seems very daunting though and I think I might revert to a straight up competitive model soon. ) There was one class (class C) in which I trialled classdojo but dropped it within minutes. It was my form class and the rapport was already good, hence I was awarding participation points like crazy and the time it took for me to award the points actually slowed the flow of the discussion. This really emphasised to me the need to keep objectives in mind and not be too carried away with a new tool. I may or may not use classdojo again with class C but I’ll really have to modify the behaviours according to my objectives. Even for class A and B, as time goes by I should tweak my usage of classdojo, as my objectives are met/unmet and/or new objectives arise.