About Johns Hopkins

 

Return to News Releases

School Can be Scary in a Pandemic: Johns Hopkins Team Created App to Help Teachers Know How Kids are Feeling

August 18, 2021
CONTACT: Jill Rosen
Cell: 443-547-8805
jrosen@jhu.edu jhunews@jhu.edu

Two Johns Hopkins University researchers who study classroom stress and the emotional well-being of students and teachers have released an app that allows teachers to get daily reports about how their students are feeling.

Though the tool wasn’t created for the pandemic, it certainly has come in handy over the last year as educators struggle to keep tabs on students, especially if they’re teaching remotely.

Researchers know students will be anxious this year as schools struggle with the Delta variant.

“When they come back it will be a new normal they don’t know what’s going to happen,” said co-creator Lieny Jeon, the Jeffrey Alexander Grigg Associate Professor in the university’s School of Education. “Some students will be very nervous or anxious and teachers may be too because they don’t know what to expect for students. This app could provide a platform for both students and teachers to understand each other.”

This year the phone and tablet-based app, WellCheq, will be used in about 20 K-12 schools, including schools in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, New Jersey, and several overseas including Madrid and Chile.

Each day students register their feelings on the app, choosing from emojis such as “optimistic,” “stressed,” “frustrated,” “focused,” and “angry.” Students also log how they are doing on a scale of 1 to 10. Teachers, who receive a report for each student and the classroom as a whole, can then tailor to fit the emotional needs of the class.

Co-creator Jodi Miller, a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins and former Philadelphia teacher, studies stress and what it does to students’ brains and bodies. Teachers need to know when students are struggling, but she knows it can be hard for students to let teachers know – especially if they’re learning remotely.

“It’s so hard to look an adult in the eye and tell them how you’re feeling,” Miller said. “If we give them a space to say something other than “happy” or “great,” then maybe teachers can use that as a jumping off point for conversations.”

Miller and Jeon are distilling data gleaned from the app over the last year to determine if it’s possible to detect trends in students emotions over time as schools fluctuated between in-person and remote learning.

To reach Jeon or Miller, either about the app or about classroom pandemic anxiety, please contact Jill Rosen, jrosen@jhu.edu.                                                                                                          

###

Johns Hopkins University news releases are available online, as is information for reporters. To arrange an interview with a Johns Hopkins expert, contact a media representative listed above. Find more Johns Hopkins experts on the Experts Hub, and more Johns Hopkins stories on the Hub.

 


Office of Communications
Johns Hopkins University
3910 Keswick Road, Suite N2600
Baltimore, Maryland 21211
Phone: 443-997-9009 | Fax: 443 997-1006