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Kudos: A new way to improve student behavior and motivation

Classcraft TeamFebruary 3, 2020

Students high-fiving in the classroom

We’re excited to unveil a new feature that’s been near and dear to our hearts: Kudos is here!

Here’s the skinny: Kudos is a new Class Tools feature within Classcraft that encourages students to recognize positive behaviors exhibited by their peers.

We’ll get into the details in a bit, but Kudos helps educators harness the power of gratitude to improve student behavior and motivation for students.

For educators implementing schoolwide PBIS initiatives, Kudos can help provide the type of intrinsic motivation that leads to lasting improvements in student behavior and school climate. Kudos can also help teachers turn any classroom into a place where kids have fun boosting each others’ confidence — and that facilitates student learning.

OK, so what is Kudos, exactly?

Kudos is super-powerful, but here’s the thing: it’s also incredibly simple.

Kids can use Kudos in Classcraft to give their peers a shoutout for helping them, demonstrating leadership skills, or just generally being awesome. Because Kudos are visible to everyone in the class, they have the power to take one small act of gratitude and turn it into something the entire class can rally around.

Kudos are also contagious. (The good kind of contagious, not the “middle of flu season” kind.) Kids not only earn XP in Classcraft for receiving Kudos — they are awarded for giving them. By encouraging social recognition, Kudos for students can create a continuous loop of positivity that spreads good vibes throughout the classroom.

Classcraft's Kudos feature
Classcraft’s Kudos Shrine in-game. Kudos will appear on a class wall.

The power of Kudos to motivate students

Intrinsic motivation is the foundation for many different types of learning outcomes, including student behavior, student learning, and school climate. When school becomes a place where kids care about their behavior — as well as the behavior of their fellow students — good things start to happen.

For kids, one of the most powerful intrinsic motivators is social recognition. Receiving a shoutout from their peers not only makes kids feel good, it makes them want to exhibit the behaviors that earned them recognition in the future.

But Kudos is about more than just spreading good vibes. It’s about learning to model positive behavior. For kids, the first step toward internalizing positive behavior is often being able to recognize that same behavior in others — and, in particular, in their peers.

Skeptics might wonder, “Will my students actually give each other Kudos?” At Classcraft, we truly believe that kids want to cheer each other on and that they crave being honored by their peers. They just need a safe space to do it. (OK, and maybe a little encouragement, too.)

Real talk: Within two days of Kudos’ soft launch, students had submitted nearly 2,500 Kudos. The lesson, as always: put kids in a position to do good things, and more often than not, they will.

Kudos feature Class Wall view
The Class Wall displays the positive messages shared by students using Classcraft’s Kudos feature.

Improving student behavior and school climate with Kudos

As excited as we are to see students giving Kudos, we know how important it is to put guardrails in place to make sure the feature is being used in a productive way.

That’s why, before any messaging becomes visible to the class, a teacher must approve the Kudos. Teachers can review new Kudos directly within Classcraft’s notification center, making it easy for them to stay on top of the conversation. While it does take a little extra effort for teachers to approve Kudos, it’s work that has the potential to make a massive impact in the classroom.

Looking for an easy way to get students in the habit of giving kudos? We’ve made Kudos a part of our new Student Intro Quest, so kids have the chance to acquaint themselves with giving kudos at the beginning of their Classcraft journey.

Kudos and PBIS: Positive behavior change, minus the tokens

For schools with PBIS initiatives, Kudos helps create the type of sustained engagement that leads to lasting behavior change and improvements in school climate.

PBIS is the best framework that administrators have for encouraging those behaviors. But traditional approaches to PBIS can fall short in helping educators intrinsically motivate students.

Kudos is not only an incredible driver of intrinsic motivation — it can help ensure that behavior expectations are clear and consistent across teachers and classrooms.

Classcraft's Kudos feature
Classcraft’s Kudos feature as it appears in the platfom.

Kudos is available now for all Classcraft users

By now, you can probably tell: we’re incredibly excited to put Kudos in the hands of educators and students.

That’s why, from now through the summer, we’re making Kudos available to every educator using Classcraft. So if you’re using Classcraft as part of a schoolwide implementation, through a Premium license, or just through a free account, you can take advantage and experience the power of Kudos.

We’d love to talk about Kudos all day, but what matters most to us is the impact our users are able to make with it. Please send any Kudos feedback to [email protected].

Also, be sure to share your favorite kudos with us by tagging us on your favorite social platform @classcraftgame. We love to highlight your positively motivating classrooms — so keep sharing and you might just see your class or one of your students get a special shout-out from Classcraft HQ.

That’s all for now. We can’t wait to hear how gratitude is changing your classroom and school culture!

Happy Kudos!

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