Customizing the Point System

For new users we recommend trying the point system with the default settings, changing only the total number of points to be earned based on the length of your course.  We also recommend enabling the Weekly Point Maximum to prevent students from waiting until the last couple of weeks of the class to try to get all of their participation points.

Any board administrator can edit the default point system. For users comfortable with how Yellowdig works, a customized point system can help promote different types of classes or uses. For example, if a professor is more interested in creating discussion of posted materials, he or she could give a greater proportion of points for Comments. 

However, we do urge careful thought before editing the point system.  The system and default settings you see now were designed and iterated upon to improve student participation and motivate posting quality.  Many of the ways of earning points from social feedback (e.g., Likes) or from people Commenting on others' Pins may not seem to be directly related to generating good content, but they provide an incentive for learners to post quality material early in the week.  That content becomes the foundation for good ongoing conversations.  Those points provide incentives that drive better content and more dynamic activity on boards.  Therefore, we generally do not recommend that any of the methods for earning points be set to 0.  Except in unusual cases, we usually see that doing so results in less active boards with lower quality posts and fewer students reading other student's posts (see some of our Best Practices for Points and other recommendations).

Do note that all points are awarded according to the currently active point settings.  Any adjustments to the point system only change how points are earned going forward from the time that they are altered.  Points that have already been awarded for past behavior are not "updated" according to the new point rules.  For example, if the instructor badge is set to 20 points and used, then the badge is updated to be set to 30 points, the people who were previously awarded the 20 point badge will still only have 20 points.  They are not awarded an additional 10 points.  Though we generally don't recommend changing the rules for point earnings because it can be confusing to students, it is possible to update them.  A common application is to change the instructor badge value according to how many bonus points an instructor would like to award.  Just like the other point settings, if the weekly point max is not set for the first few weeks of a course, enabling it will not retroactively limit point earnings during weeks when it was inactive.

To adjust the point system:

1. Log into the board

2. Click on the “Settings” tab.

3. Click on the “Points” area on the left sidebar.

 

You will note the default settings for points, which you can easily change by entering new values and clicking on the “Save Settings” button on the top right.  This will update the point system for the board.

 

Weekly Point Maximum

We recommend enabling the Weekly Point Maximum and leaving a point buffer for your students so they can try to catch up if they get just a little behind.

 

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