Telling Your Students About Yellowdig: Email, Syllabus, and Intro Pin Templates

Use these helpful scripts to introduce Yellowdig to your course. Note that all the red text needs to be changed to your specifications and that there may be good reasons to pick and choose pieces from any of the samples.

One thing that seems helpful to communicate very clearly to your students is how Yellowdig fits in as part of the rest of your course grade structure. That may seem obvious, but a surprising amount of student confusion is about this; almost 20% all student posts mentioning "Yellowdig" are simply asking whether participation is a required part of the course grade or not.

If you need any help in thinking about how to introduce Yellowdig or instruct your students in using it, please reach out at clientsuccess@yellowdig.com

 

Sample 1- For Best Practices Use Case

This template assumes that you have all of the point categories turned on and have awarded points for both upvotes and comments on pins, which are highly recommended.  Assuming you have not done so, you will need to edit this template accordingly.  As you may note by comparison to Samples 2 & 3, this template explains to students why the point system has point settings setup the way they are and gives them some ideas about how they can maximize their point earning.  That is very intentional in that it will also steer more students to behave in ways that will ultimately produce a more vibrant discussion (e.g., students coming in at the beginning of the week is very good for a board).

It's my pleasure to welcome you to Yellowdig, your online discussion platform for the duration of our course.

Unlike typical [your LMS] discussions where you all would respond to the same prompt, Yellowdig lets you find and share real-world content (articles, videos, etc.) that YOU feel is relevant to lectures and readings. As you create pins, make comments, and other students up-vote or comment on your posts, you will automatically receive participation points.  Just to be clear, using Yellowdig is a required part of the course and the points you acquire count for 20% of your course grade.

The points you earn in Yellowdig are passed to the [your LMS] grade book for your discussion credit. To learn more about how points work, see the "How Points Work" link on the right sidebar.  Each week you can earn up to 100 points of the 1000 required by the end of the course.  There is a weekly maximum of points you can earn, which is set at 130 points.  That means you will need to participate during a minimum of 8 weeks of the 10-week course to get a 100% for your discussion credit. You are encouraged to participate weekly to earn points, but I wanted to give you some flexibility. At midnight of each Friday the weekly maximum points will reset and you will again have until the following Friday to get up to the weekly maximum. If you are having a fun discussion you can always keep posting even after you have reached the weekly maximum, you just will stop earning additional credit toward your grade until the next Friday at midnight.

I really want you to read what other people are thinking and to have a real discussion about course-relevant content.  Therefore, I’d like everyone to pay attention to the fact that you will earn quite a few points when other people upvote (like or love) your pins and comments.  Your pins will also get more points if they get a good conversation started (i.e., if people comment on them). So think about your audience when you are posting (i.e., your fellow classmates).  Also, be sure to recognize good posts by upvoting them and talking about them.

It is also helpful to realize that you can’t get points from people interacting with your posts if you don’t have posts up for other students to see.  Therefore, coming in earlier and getting good conversations started can actually save you work. I (or the TA) will also be dropping in occasionally to badge posts that are exceptionally good or thoughtful.  You’ll definitely increase your odds of your posts receiving that recognition if you have them up early and I can see you are contributing to a vibrant discussion.

This week, I'd like you all to get used to using Yellowdig by introducing yourselves. Please use the "Introduce Yourself" topic and share a bit about who you are and what you are hoping to get out of taking this class.  Don't forget to share some pictures, videos, or interesting links about you and your accomplishments!

A few pointers and recommendations....
- Review the student section of our knowledge base, especially the learner orientation guide.
- Use the 'Help' section (see top nav bar) for tips and info on different features.
- If you have any questions or are having trouble, please reach out to support@yellowdig.com.
- Take advantage of features like #hashtags and @ mentions to bring the discussion to life!

 

Sample 2- Pilot with points

I have an exciting announcement to make! Our class is going to participate in a pilot program that's going on at [School Name] in which certain classes are adding a social learning tool called Yellowdig to their course sites.

In our class, I would like us to use Yellowdig for two purposes: as a way to create a community outside of our classroom (since we only see each other [twice] a week), and as a forum for having discussions about course content and reflecting on your progress [Course Topic] over the course of the semester. To achieve those goals, I invite you to post items of interest relating to [Course Topic] on Yellowdig.  You can also articles, videos, and other webpages relate to your personal interests, and to post about your experiences preparing various other written and oral assignments from the class.

Yellowdig will help you learn and prepare for other parts of the class, so your Yellowdig participation will be counted as part of your grade. To earn full credit for that part of the class grade you will need to earn at least 300 points by adding Pins and by Commenting on and earning likes from your peers. (The important thing here is to try to tie Yellowdig to a couple of specific reasons for inclusion in the course or specific learning objectives it will help your learners achieve).

Each Pin of [40] words or more earns [10] points, each Comment of [40] words or more earns [5] points, and earning like earns [1] point, so to earn these points you will need to average [27] points on Yellowdig per week. For example, you could add a Pin ([10] points), make [three] Comments ([15] points), and earn [two] Likes ([2] points) for a total of [27] points. Or you could Comment on [four] Pins ([20] points) and earn [seven] Likes ([7] points). Earning Likes and people Commenting on your Pins are not things you directly control, but you will increase your chances of getting Like and Comments if you post early in the week and they will get you closer to your weekly target if you do a good job.

One important thing to note is that, due to privacy regulations, notifications in Yellowdig are set to off.  I highly recommend that you look at the available notifications and elect to receive the ones that will be helpful for you (e.g., you can be notified when someone in the class specifically @ mentions you).

I’ll be talking more about this in class on [Monday], but if you have questions about how this is going to work, you can comment on this Pin!

 

Sample 3- Pilot with points and a weekly maximum

I have an exciting announcement to make! Our class is going to participate in a pilot program that's going on at [School Name] in which certain classes are adding a social learning tool called Yellowdig to their course sites.

In our class, I would like us to use Yellowdig for two purposes: as a way to create a community outside of our classroom (since we only see each other [twice] a week), and as a forum for reflection on your progress [Course Topic] over the course of the semester. To achieve those goals, I invite you to post items of interest relating to [Course Topic] to Yellowdig, or articles, videos, and other webpages relate to your personal interests, and to post about your experience preparing the various written and oral assignments.

Yellowdig will help you learn and prepare for other parts of the class, so your Yellowdig participation will be counted as part of your grade. To earn full credit for that part of the class grade you will need to earn at least 300 points by the end of the course, by adding Pins and by Commenting on and earning likes from your peers. (The important thing here is to try to tie Yellowdig to a couple of specific reasons for inclusion in the course or specific learning objectives it will help your learners achieve).

Each Pin of [40] words or more earns [10] points, each comment of [40] words or more earns [5] points, and earning like earns [1] point, so to earn these points you will need to average [27] points on Yellowdig per week. For example, you could add a Pin ([10] points), make [three] comments ([15] points), and earn [two] likes ([2] points) for a total of [27] points. Or you could comment on [four] Pins ([20] points) and earn [seven] likes ([7] points). Earning Likes and people Commenting on your Pins are not things you directly control, but you will increase your chances of getting Like and Comments if you post early in the week and they will get you closer to your weekly target if you do a good job.  You can earn up to a weekly maximum of [50] points per week, so please do not try to wait until the end of the semester to start earning your points. Each week starts at [12:00 PM EST Sunday]

One important thing to note is that, due to privacy regulations, notifications in Yellowdig are set to off.  I highly recommend that you look at the available notifications and elect to receive the ones that will be helpful for you (e.g., you can be notified when someone in the class specifically @ mentions you).

I’ll be talking more about this in class on [Monday], but if you have questions about how this is going to work, you can comment on this Pin!

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