Kaizena is a free online tool that fosters social learning through feedback. The tool allows the instructor to provide multiple forms of feedback, including text comments, voice recording, attaching files, and rating students’ skills. Students can instantly respond directly to the instructor’s feedback, which turns feedback into a conversation rather than a one-sided learning experience.

Tool Snapshot

Price Free
Learning Social constructivism, Behaviorism, Cognitive Constructivism
Ease of Use ★★★★
Privacy ★★★★
Accessibility ★★★★
Class Size Unlimited
ISTE*S Empowered Learner

Kaizena is both a web-based tool and iOS app. It can be integrated with Google Apps (e.g., Google Docs, Google Drive). The term “Kaizena” originated from Japanese pronunciation “Kaizen” with the Japanese character かいぜん, standing for one’s improvement in disparate lenses academically and psychologically. Namely, Kaizena refers to the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement.

Impact On Student Learning: Without time and space constraint, students benefit from Kaizena through conversation and feedback directly and insightfully. Teachers’ various comments by means of voice, skills rating, text and lessons substantially promote students’ motivation, as well as timely guidance any time and where. Not only Kaizena proffers a win-win interaction between teachers and learners, but also utilizes a great deal of integrated resources for developing cognitive construct beyond schooling settings. In short, Kaizena incorporates behaviorism, social constructivism, connectivism and cognitive constructivism to “improve” students’ learning progress.

Cost: Kaizena claims that it is literally free of charge for users since sign up. In order to take Kaizena into account for improving students’ learning, we’re paying with our privacy. That’s the agreement we’re making beyond the superficial cost we need to be aware of.

Ease of Use: Kaizena constitutes characteristics with user-friendly interface and handy navigation for teaching and learning. Students are teachers likely are encouraged to navigate tutorials beforehand due to efficiency and easy entry. Consequently, Kaizena is attentively embedded with “Help Guides” for two guided versions: Web App (Kaizena.com) as well as iOS App https://kaizena.zendesk.com/hc/en-us    

FAQ section is meant to “Syncing Kaizena with Google Classroom” Most stunningly, Kaizena offers contact chat with an icon of verdant green, enabling users to have inquiry-link with Kerry and Maxwell for troubleshooting in addition to contact email: help@kaizena.com in terms of privacy practices.

Access: All students and teachers are welcomely invited to log on Kaizena for improvement academically. Google and Microsoft are two major devices to work on Kaizena by means of internet access.

Accessibility: “Kaizena team decided to increase the accessibility of the platform by building a mobile Kaizena experience for iOS devices.”  Kaizena, rethinking a web platform for iOS.

Designer: Two Co-Founders, Maxwell Brodie and Edward Sun, founded Kaizena in Palo, Alto, CA in 2012.

Workflow: Kaizena employs embedded files and clipped videos in the section lesson plan comment  for information input, but conversation of feedback between students and instructors are restored in this online tool which is less attainable to be used for information output as files, email and screenshot.


  • What data is collected? Personal information users provide at registration include name and email address. If the applicant of Kaizena is a teacher, he or she will be asked for school, grades taught, and subject taught. According to Kaizena user content and license in TOS, users have the right to own the uploaded files. https://kaizena.com/about/terms
  • How is data used? Kaizena uses collected personal information to make the service and its features available, improving and adding features to the service. Meanwhile, Kaizena uses collected personal information to customize certain Service features for teachers. Last, Kaizena may also use contact information to provide teachers with announcement related to services. For example, users mail Kaizena, they will be given response by means of information of email addresses.
  • What do the terms of service/ privacy policy say?  https://kaizena.com/about/terms

Power and Bias

  • How’s the tool biased? In my point of view, Kaizena majorly focuses on Google and Microsoft account holders instead of fully coverage of entry. For instance, I put in email address with yahoo.com for sign up, but barely was permitted to get accessibility. This is sole tool bias I am aware of in the wake of exploring the whole site.
  • What type of power structure does the tool encourage? Education and Internet are two major power structures Kaizena encourages.
  • How’s diversity portrayed? Kaizena foregrounds teacher-to-student and peers comments and feedback academically. Also, Kaizena is utilized as collaborative networking such as teamwork structures in corporate and beyond.
  • What type of language is used? English language is dominantly used in Kaizena. While Kaizena isn’t currently available in different languages, users can use Google Translate add-on for Chrome to translate automatically.   Using Kaizena in Different Languages

Kaizena Overview Video

Kaizena & the SAMR Model

  • Substitution: Instructor provides text-based comments on Kaizena and student replies to the comments (rather than a face-to-face discussion about the student’s work).
  • Augmentation: Instructor includes links to additional resources in a comment, which enhances the interactivity of feedback.
  • Modification: The instructor and student can engage in a conversation about the student’s work anytime and from anywhere. This fosters ongoing learning.
  • Redefinition: Kaizena redefines learning by means of given feedback through technology, facilitating learners to advance forward within continuous improvement.

Learning Activities

English Writing Task: English Language Learner (ELL) students write a poem and share it with the instructor in Kaizena. Timely feedback from the instructor facilitates writing progress including syntax, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Voice comments from the instructor provide students with an alternative means of understanding the feedback. The instructor provides feedback that incorporates videos, sample poems, and L1 (First Language) cultural connection which is central to writing improvement. The instructor uses the skills comment to rate the student’s poem writing skills.

Science: Students collaboratively collect data related to gravity. In teams, they write a report about their findings and share it with the instructor via Kaizena. The instructor provides students with feedback that includes links to resources and videos. The instructor uses voice comments to suggest the implications of collaborative teamwork. Each student receives a skill rating comment after the instructor reviews each group’s report.

Social Study: ELL students are guided to talk about Election Lingo related to focal terms such as election, vote, Youth Vote, battleground states, attack/negative Ads, Democratic, Republican, economy, immigration, running mate, populist, mudslinging, stump speech, twitter war, minimum and maximum. After 45-minute discussion in ESL Pullout program, ELLs are expected to submit a short writing assignment. ESL instructor then gives feedback (voice comment, text comment, skill rating, and lesson plan) via Kaizena helping students review significant concepts.

How to Use Kaizena

  1. Go to https://kaizena.com/
  2. First Time Setup

                 a.-1    You can choose “Sign Up with Google” or “Sign Up with Microsoft”

                 a.-2    Using an email address to click “Sign up with email”                      

                 b.       Select your role: teacher, student, neither

                 c.       Choose and confirm your photo and name

  1.  Setup your profile page

                a.-1      If you are a teacher, type in your school name

                b.-1     If your school can not be found, click “Add my school.

                a.-2     If you are a student, you will be asked for a group code

                b.-2     If you are given a group code from your teacher, then enter it before click “Done”

                c.         Move to next step

  1.   Opening  to the  Sample Group   

                a.        Click on “Sample Group”   

                b.        Sample group will help orientate users how the group conversation proceeds    

                c.        Move to next step

  1.    Creating Groups

                a.       Click the groups icon at the left

                b.       Click iconCreate new group”

                c.       Enter a name for your group

                d.      Then the group created successfully

  1.     Inviting Students to your group

                a.      There are three ways to invite students: using a group code

                a.-2  by entering their emails,                              

                a.-3  by importing them from Google Classroom         

                b.     Each group you create has a unique code. Your students will use this code to join your group

                c.     Click the group name, then “Invite Students”

                d.    You will see instructions for inviting your students

                e.    You can choose to share the code with your students directly, or print off a PDF with   instructions

                f.    Congratulations, you are all set up!


  • Hattie, J ., Timperley, H. (2007) Review of Educational Research: The Power of Feedback, 81-112, American Educational Research Association 003465430298487
  • Ice, P., Reagan, C., Phillips, P., Wells, J. (2007) Using Asynchronous Audio Feedback to Enhance Teaching Presence and Students’ Sense of Community 
  • Shute, V. (2007) Focus on Formative Feedback, ETS, Princeton, NJ
  • Cryer, P., Kaikumba (2010) Audio-Cassette Tape as a Means of Giving Feedback on Written Work, 148-153, 0260293870120207
  • Lunt, T., Curran, J (2009) ‘Are you listening please?’ The advantages of electronic audio feedback compared to written feedback, 759-769, 02602930902977772
  • Thurlings, M., Vermeulen, M., Bastiaens, T., & Stijnen, S. (2014). The Role of Feedback and Social Presence in an Online Peer Coaching Program for Student Teachers. Australasian Journal Of Educational Technology
  • Morgan, V. L., & Toledo, C. A. (2006). Online Feedback and Student Perceptions. Journal Of Interactive Online Learning, 5(3), 333-340.
  • Strobl, C. (2015). Attitudes towards Online Feedback on Writing: Why Students Mistrust the Learning Potential of Models. Recall, 27(3), 340-357.
  • Yang, Y., & Meng, W. (2013). The Effects of Online Feedback Training on Students’ Text Revision. Language Learning & Technology, 17(2), 220-238.