Is ClassCred a good fit?

How ClassCred can add value to your school

Introduction

Our mission is to form student-to-student and student-to-faculty connections in online courses. These relationships grow naturally on traditional campuses but are often missing when students take online courses. A recent survey found that increasing student engagement was the top priority for online courses. We believe that the friends, connections, and network that students develop in college is one of the most valuable assets of a university education. Our technology is designed to assist universities in providing these connections in Slack or MS Teams. We will discuss specific challenges ClassCred can help with, as well as limitations of the app. You will also learn about our approach to IT setup, data privacy & security.

How ClassCred can help

Our focus is to make communicating more seamless and fun. For students to connect, they must communicate first. Our app gets students talking by giving points and badges for actions in Slack or MS Teams. Students redeem their points for items in the Classcred store.


The instructor can choose Rewards from our catalog or build their own rewards with our low-code interface. Here are a few examples:


 


 


 


 

What Rewards work best?


Rewards can serve many purposes. They can encourage students to post a message, answer another student's question, vote on a poll, participate in a debate, or do anything else the instructor can dream up. However, in order for any of this to be a success, you need students in Slack or MS Teams and consistently posting. We have found that the best way to accomplish this is using a peer recognition reward.


People are motivated when someone else mentions that their work is important. The more recognition, the better people feel. When recognition comes from a wider variety of people, the effect is even stronger. Classcred's peer recognition system allows students to recognize each other with fire emojis. In Slack, just mention a name, write a message, and add fire.


Students can give up to 5 fires a day to their peers and each fire received is worth 1 point. Fire provides an easy, measurable way to add peer recognition to a class. Students and faculty report that fire promotes gratitude and creates an environment where students care about each other. You can change the 🔥 emoji to brand the reward to your school. For example, a course at Auburn University uses 🦅s. Peer recognition is being used by companies to motivate employees and improve culture. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, praise and recognition by a manager are more motivating than a cash bonus. SHRM Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey found that peer recognition is even more valuable. Companies using peer-to-peer recognition saw increases in key business metrics including a 57% increase in engagement, 32% increase in productivity, and 28% increase in employee retention. The ClassCred 🔥 reward allows for peer recognition in education. We are currently working with researchers to measure the effectiveness of peer recognition in a classroom setting. Although early in the process, the results are promising. One study underway compares engagement with and without ClassCred in a 100-level undergraduate and a 600-level graduate course. Initial findings show a stronger engagement impact than was reported in the McKinsey study. As shown in the graph below, the classes with ClassCred had 10-15 times the number of posts in Slack. The classes with ClassCred ended the term with graduate students posting 14,285 messages (avg. 81 posts per student) and undergraduate students posting 10,464 messages (avg. 52 posts per student). Even more surprising was how willing students were to help each other; they created study guides, offered to host Zoom review sessions, and answered other students’ questions.

Classrooms are distinctly different from a workplace environment primarily in the fact that they are ephemeral. This means that connections need to be formed at a much faster rate than in a workplace. While employees may have years to get to know one another, students often must form connections in a matter of weeks. Peer recognition facilitates fast connections in a classroom environment.


So how does the store work?


ClassCred includes a store platform where instructors post items for sale. Students can shop for items directly in Slack or MS Teams. Instructors can add items for either individual or group purchases. Here are some examples of individual items.



In group purchases, each student chooses how much to contribute and if the goal is reached everyone in the class gets the item. Here are some examples:



The store provides a further boost to engagement by allowing instructors to create their own incentives. These incentives can be related or unrelated to a student’s grade. Group purchases are particularly effective in building class camaraderie. Students need goals that they can work towards together as a class.


ClassCred can integrate with your LMS to make course management easy. When store items like additional assignment points, attempts, or time are purchased, your LMS updates automatically.

Course Management


ClassCred includes many features to help with course management. Some examples include the ability to schedule announcements in Slack and MS Teams, a reward to encourage students to post and answer questions, and the ability to share polls and debates with colleagues.


Plus if there is a feature you would like to add to your course, you can build it with our low-code interface or we are happy to assist. ClassCred includes many features but is extremely flexible. You can customize it to fit your specific team needs. The Rewards platform allows you to enable what you want and disable things you don't need.


All of ClassCred's features are extremely flexible. You can customize the app to fit your course needs. For example, the Rewards platform allows you to enable rewards for actions you want to encourage and disable rewards for actions that may not be applicable to your course. Additionally, ClassCred's low-code interface allows you to create new features or rewards. Our team is also happy to assist with new feature development.


Other Key Features


Beyond Rewards, ClassCred also includes announcement, polling, and debate features. These features are unique in that you can add rewards to encourage participation.


For example, you can enable a Team Challenge Reward that gives points to the entire class if 70% of the class votes on a poll, debate, or acknowledges an announcement. You choose the Team Challenge thresholds including participation levels and points awarded when the class goal is met. These team challenge rewards motivate students and drive participation.


With our LMS integration, you can also easily sync any participation metric to your LMS.


Limitations of ClassCred

ClassCred works best when classes are large and instructors are motivated. There is a “network effect” in social media that carries over to collaboration platforms like Slack and MS Teams. Engagement grows exponentially with class size. Instructor involvement is also a critical component in having a successful experience. The ephemeral nature of courses makes it paramount that students have a leader early on. The instructor is the course leader and sets the tone for how students communicate. ClassCred works best when instructors:

  • Post in a casual style. Students need to feel that Slack is a place to communicate and connect, not a place to be judged.

  • Post and give fire frequently, especially at the beginning of the course. Once a student is recognized, they will feel more comfortable recognizing someone else.

Have some assignments that students are allowed to openly discuss in Slack. The goal of ClassCred is to get students communicating, but ideally, you want students communicating about their class work. ClassCred is designed to provide the instructor with the tools necessary to create an encouraging online community. The instructor is the leader of this community and results are dependent on their involvement. A highly involved instructor in a large course can expect the following benefits when using ClassCred:

  • An increase in student satisfaction and engagement

  • An increase in student sense of belonging and team spirit

  • An increase in motivation and productivity

  • An increase in trust between faculty and students

  • An increase in student confidence

  • Improved student relationships and collaboration

  • Improved student retention


IT setup


ClassCred is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product. As such, there is minimal setup required.


Provision and configure Slack workspace or MS Team


Each organization handles Slack or MS Teams provisioning differently: from enterprise grid through ad hoc workspace installs. As such, we will not cover that topic in this whitepaper.


Install and configure ClassCred app


ClassCred can be found in the Slack and MS Teams app store and, from there, easily installed into a Slack workspace or MS Team. Once installed, instructors can customize settings such as enabling/disabling rewards, selecting class start and end dates, choosing which channels ClassCred is active in, granting permission to post on their behalf, and more.


Privacy and Security


We care deeply about protecting our customers’ privacy and ensuring the security of our system. This section describes how we collect, use, share, and safeguard customer information.


How we collect information ClassCred collects user information from a variety of sources:

  • Accessing the ClassCred app through either Slack or MS Teams

  • Interacting with Slack or MS Teams messages and ClassCred widgets

  • Interacting with ClassCred customer support

  • Application analytic tools such as Google Analytics

How we use information

  • Enable ClassCred features such as discussions, questions, and announcements

  • Provide teacher and student insight and guidance

  • Personalize user experiences

  • Respond to customer inquiries

  • Support business activities such as fraud monitoring and process improvement


How we share information

We use 3rd party services for some core and auxiliary functions of our platform. We share the minimal amount of information necessary to fulfill those functions. We do not sell any information to 3rd parties.

How we safeguard information We follow industry best practices to protect our systems: Regular automated patching, testing, auditing, and backups

  • Logging and monitoring

  • End-to-end encryption

  • Code review

  • Multiple environments to support development, testing, and production

  • OWASP standards and guidelines

Each ClassCred team member is given minimal necessary access to support their needs. We carefully monitor access for potential privacy and security breaches. Read our privacy policy for more details.