What is Product Deconstruct?
As a part of my blog, I look at learning solutions, not from an educator’s lens but as an aspiring product builder. I focus on the user experience, stickiness and refrain from divulging into content and quality of the content. My goal is to learn from these learning products, understand what sticks and drops and sharpen my product sense. I hope you enjoy reading these!
Headquartered in San Francisco, ClassDojo was founded in 2011. ClassDojo is a communication app that connects school leaders, teachers, students and parents. The app is primarily targeted towards teachers who use it to communicate student development and empower students by reinforcing positive behavior. The app provides teachers with tools for positive reinforcement and a toolkit with content for students to build a growth mindset, build empathy and so on. In 2020, ClassDojo had 51 million students on the platform. ClassDojo is free for all users and has grown organically in the last 10 years.
Through my research, it was evident that the ClassDojo team focused on solving a pressing problem in education: improve student behavior and keep parents and school leaders connected in this process. Their core values and actions revolved around solving this problem. Since 2011, the app has been free for all users. For over 8 years, the company focused on building a solution that all stakeholders in the education ecosystem needed. Their first monetization attempt was in 2019 after thorough analysis of what parents need to help kids develop life skills beyond school. ClassDojo stands out as a company that focuses on the problem, testing the solution and sharpening their understanding of the market.
Let’s deconstruct the ClassDojo solution:
- Value Proposition
ClassDojo is a solution for multiple stakeholders – students, teachers, parents and school leaders. Each of these user segments has different needs and problems to be solved for. Let’s take a look at the launch screen:
As a user, the moment I launch the app, I know that it’s for the entire classroom community to stay connected.
I wonder: As a new user, once I click on ‘Teachers’ and it takes me to ‘Create Account Page’, I want to know how the rest of the stakeholders stay connected to my classroom.
Recommendation: I would add two bullet points that highlights the relationship between the stakeholders.
2. Setting Up
I signed up as a teacher with ClassDojo and set up a classroom with three learners.
Two points to highlight here:
- As soon as I added a learner, the app sent me an in-app notification to connect families. The experience is truly like building a community around the classroom.
- As a teacher, I can click pictures, share videos as a way to keep parents updated.
The class setup flow was intuitive and the flow was complete in a few clicks.
I wonder: As a teacher, I have three choices to share feedback with parents. The first time I looked at this, it left me questioning the intent of these choices.
Why would a teacher choose to not share or have the choice to filter feedback?
3. Teacher Resources
ClassDojo creates and curates content for teachers, parents and school leaders. Let’s take a look at the teacher resources:
I wonder: As a teacher, I need quick tips for remote learning, communicating with parents and so on.
Recommendation: I would add the top three learnings on the app followed by the option to download the pdf.
4. Positive reinforcement
ClassDojo positive reinforcement is intuitive. Students receive points for positive behavior. For improvements, the teachers mark ‘needs work’.
Apart from behavior points, teachers have a toolkit that helps them customize their classroom.
The toolkit includes options like:
- Create an randomized group
- Timer for timed projects
- Noise meter to manage classroom chaos
The most unique is BIG IDEAS. Based on the theme, like empathy, growth mindset etc, teachers can send students these series of videos. My favorite was Conundrums. These are inquiry based questions to encourage critical thinking and dialogue.
I wonder: Access to the toolkit is through the ‘Class’ Page (Demo is my Class name). I need to scroll the navigation bar to the end, click on ‘More’ to access the toolkit.
Recommendation: The toolkit is a top feature and I believe it should be the first option on the navigation bar like shown on the second screen below.
- Intuitive design with simple navigation and minimal clicks.
- Features are based on teacher needs – A place to note down attendance, sharing class status with parents and school leaders etc. None of the features seemed unnecessary and redundant.
Through my research about the company and using the product from a teacher’s perspective, it’s evident that ClassDojo was built to reinforce student behavior and connect classrooms. While the legacy app remains free, in 2018, ClassDojo launched their first monetized product, Beyond School for families which focuses on helping kids learn skills at home. Excited to see ClassDojo’s next phase as they build a solution for learning at home.
Did you enjoy this one in the product deconstruct series? I’d love to hear from you!