ClassDojo is an important classroom app among educators. Katherine Lewis, Head of Classroom Communication and Collaboration at ClassDojo, shared how listening to teachers helped its product succeed by identifying what the teachers want before making any tweaks.
Teachers have been using ClassDojo for five years now to provide feedback and track their students’ progress. The app provides a visual way for teachers to collect this information, showing the students what they are learning and what they need to improve on.
With over 25 million classrooms around the globe using it today, ClassDojo’s co-founder Alex Rampell once called it “the Foursquare of the classroom,” where teachers can provide general information about their students and daily lessons.
In its early days, ClassDojo was a place for teachers to give feedback on student behavior using simple pop-up messages in an online classroom discussion forum. Teachers would point out someone who had been particularly helpful or engaging, and the rest of the class would have to agree with that teacher’s assessment by clicking a heart icon.
But then Lewis came on board in 2013 as Head of Classroom Communication and Collaboration, knowing she had to improve their classroom management tool. She said it wasn’t easy since the app had already been around for so long.
“For the first three months, I just spoke to teachers one-on-one, out in the field, and asked them how they used ClassDojo and what did they like about it or what could be improved upon?” Lewis said. “We took all that feedback and started building things,” Lewis said.
Using that user feedback, it launched a new version of its classroom management app in 2015 called Dojo, which made teachers more powerful by giving them grading capabilities they didn’t have before. It was a big upgrade as it gave teachers the ability to write detailed feedback on students to help improve their performance, so when a teacher wanted to raise the bar, they could.