If you want your audience to be committed to your application, make them work for it. Dan Ariely (Wired 19.07) suggests that the more effort we put into our online creation, the more committed to it we will be and consequently, the more time we will spend using the product. He refers to Zynga’s Farmville as an example. This strategy is great for sites that generate revenue by advertising. Also good for services that charge by use. Probably not so good for streaming video on Netflix. No wonder Reed Hastings doesn’t ask me to make short films for him.
In the secondary education space this could translate into building a profile of your students. If a web-application asked me to build a detailed picture of the students who would be using it, I would not only be more likely to use the service because of the expenditure of my intellectual energy, but I would also hope that the time spent tweaking my class profile would be rewarded with an appropriately-targeted user experience.