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Action Research

Jocelyn Balderas
EDUC 526: Capstone Project
Professor: Jim Hixson
Azusa Pacific University
June 9, 2014














Abstract
This Action Research Project focuses on a classroom management application called
Class Dojo. My purpose is to discover whether using Class Dojo will be more effective for
classroom management rather than tangible rewards. In addition to classroom management I
will be analyzing whether or not this application increases parent communication in the
classroom. I am currently using extrinsic motivation to keep my students focused and following
the classroom guidelines.















Section One: Introduction
Class Dojo is rapidly becoming a popular technology in school classrooms across the
country. It is a classroom management application tool that could be easily accessed through a
computer, iPad, and smart phone. It allows a teacher to create their own merits or demerits
that will suit their classroom needs. If a student is on-task and focused a teacher can easily
select this student and give them a merit, and a ding sound will go off during class to signify
that this student is being a great example of a classroom leader and they will also gain a point.
The same thing happens when a student is off-task or talking out of turn, except that this time
they lose a point.
In addition to this, parents are contacted whenever their student receives a merit or
demerit. A parent and teacher can also message back and forth through Class Dojo, and a
teacher has the option of sending mass messages to all of the parents. Students can also log
onto a personal Class Dojo account at the end of each school day from any technological device.
Here they will see how they did throughout the day and can personalize their monster avatar
which represents them. Also, their website offers plenty of online support such as videos, print-
outs, and success stories on how Class Dojo has changed the learning atmosphere of a
classroom.
I want to use classroom dojo for a couple of reasons. One is that I would like to analyze
whether or not it would be more effective for managing my classroom rather than using
tangible rewards. Currently I am using plenty of extrinsic motivation with my students. Some of
these rewards include raffle tickets, team points, certificates, and prizes which they can choose
from a treasure box every Friday. Over the course of the year I realized that a lot of time and
money went into Raffle Fun Fridays and student prizes. I was taking out 20 minutes of my
Fridays specifically for this reason, and spending about $10 a week on new prizes. In addition to
this, I was giving about three Peace Treaties a week, which are given to students as a
consequence for not following classroom rules. I would like to see this amount decrease to at
most one a week.
Secondly, I would like to increase parent communication. Currently I am speaking to
about three parents a week which is only 12%. These are the parents that drop off and pick up
their children daily from school. Most parents that I try and contact by phone or email seldom
message or call back. I know that speaking with parents about student behavior is essential to
the way they will interact with others and behave throughout the school day. My goal would be
to communicate with at least half of the 24 students parents a week. This would mean weekly
communication with at least 12 parents or guardians.

Section Two: Implementation
Implementing this technology into my classroom was exciting and the students loved it.
First, I showed an introduction video to all of my students so that they could understand what
Class Dojo was all about. Next, I sent home permission slips and steps to signing up and logging
on. I feel that this was a very important step, because I didnt want to register any students
without their parents consent. Although students arent able to communicate with anyone on
their profile, it was still a priority to me for parents to be on board with the whole process
because of the fact that it involved technology and the web.
In order to implement Class Dojo in my classroom I used my laptop, document camera,
iPad, and iPhone, and I downloaded the free app onto all of my devices. I showcased the
students names and avatars at the front of the room using the document camera during
independent work time. That way, the students would be able to look at the front of the
classroom to see who was on task and who needed to focus on their assignment. One huge
benefit to having it on my iPhone, was that I could be across the room and still give students a
merit or demerit, which would appear on the board as Kenneth +1 or Kenneth -1. Some of
the merits included: being on-task, participation, teamwork, and raising their hand. Some of the
demerits included: talking out of turn, off-task, bullying, and getting out of their seat without
raising their hand.
Section Three: Results
In the end, I discovered that Class Dojo did have a positive effect in my classroom. My
students enjoyed the application much more than receiving tangible rewards. I know this
because not one of my students had asked for a reward throughout the entire time that I
implemented the app. The only thing I told my students was that the student who had the
highest points was considered as a responsible classroom leader. This alone excited my
students into following the classroom guidelines. Below I have organized some of the data I
collected after analyzing my students behavior over the course of the five weeks I
implemented Class Dojo.


Week One

Week Two


Week Three

Week Four

Week Five

As one could see, my students overall class percentage for positive points or merits
stayed consistent throughout the five weeks. Week three fell down to 85%, but overall that is
still considered in the positive behavior range. Another thing to mention is that I didnt have to
give out one single peace treaty consequence throughout the entire period that I implemented
Class Dojo.
Below I have also included a data chart showing the amount of merits and demerits I
gave out week by week to the entire class. Week one has a significantly larger amount of merits
and demerits than the others combined. This is for the reason that the students were getting
accustomed to the program and needed constant positive reinforcement. Week five shows that
I had to use Class Dojo less often. This is for the reason that by now the students were
accustomed to using the program, and were very engaged during instruction. They were now
focused and collaborating with their peers, because they wanted to be known as a responsible
classroom leader. By the fifth week, seldom did I need to tell students Focus or you will not
be receiving a Dojo point.


Another way that Class Dojo benefited my classroom was with parent communication. I
had 100% of my students connected, and 66% of parents were connected and checking their
profiles. 50% of the 66% responded to my messages, which is a 38% increase from only having
12% of parents respond to me weekly. This program lasted only five weeks, and if I wouldve
had more time I feel that the parent communication could have increased even more.
Section Four: Conclusions
Overall, Class Dojo helped create a comfortable learning atmosphere for all of my
students. They enjoyed logging onto their profile and creating their avatars. It was also more
effective in improving classroom management, because the students did their best in following
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400
Week 5
Week 4
Week 3
Week 2
Week 1
Merits and Demerits
Demerits Merits
the guidelines in order to get merits. Most surprisingly my students were well-behaved on their
own and were content with becoming responsible classroom leaders.
One thing I like about Class Dojo is that it allows teachers to voice their opinion.
Teachers have the option of sending in their ideas of how the app could be improved, and
because it is an application new features are always being added. One feature I would suggest
to add would be to include a messaging feature to my students. Many times I wanted to send
them a message telling them good job, or explaining to them the reasoning behind one of
their demerits. However, I currently am able to only send messages to parents.
Next year I plan to incorporate Class Dojo with my third grade students. I feel that it will
have a positive effect on them, and will teach them the importance of staying on task and
working as a team. I am interested to see how long it will take my incoming students to become
accustomed to Class Dojo for the reason that it will be at the beginning of the year and not the
end.
Section Five: General Comments
In my opinion, classroom management is one of most challenging aspects about being a
teacher. Many teachers dread a classroom full of students with bad behavior, because then
they cant teach academic content. However, being a teacher is not only about teaching
academic content, but also about teaching good classroom citizenship. Educators are such a
huge example to students for the fact that they have them four 8 hours of their day. This is a
significant time to teach students good values on how to behave and treat others. I believe that
Class Dojo can assist a teacher in doing this for the reason that it is simple and time efficient.