As covered elsewhere in Best Practices, your participation will be helpful in getting your community going and making sure students find it useful. If you are finding it a little difficult to monitor your own participation or stay motivated to post among your many duties, remember that you have most of the same tools at your disposal for tracking your participation that students do. You can see how many points you’ve earned, how you’ve logged your points, etc. Challenge yourself to meet the same point requirement that you set for your students. Or better yet, tell your learners that you will maintain 100% participation each week and then show them that you are. Logging that participation will give you an idea of how much work you are actually asking them to do, give you a clear goal that you can also aim for, and let your students know that you really think this can be a valuable and fun experience.
Also, if you find that student participation on the board is not quite what you hoped, we always recommend making up some additional “games” to build excitement and get things going. For example, make deals with your learners. Tell them that if half of the class has more than a certain number of Pins by the end of the week, you will wave an assignment due after an upcoming holiday. Or let them know that if every student makes at least 2 Comments on other people’s Pins on a given week, you’ll share an embarrassing picture of yourself from middle school. Then make a “big reveal” in class, letting them know whether the class met these challenges, which is a fun part of the class itself.
Within the metrics dashboard and topic analysis sections, you can quickly monitor whether your students have met the challenges you issue.
Why? Are your students more likely to participate, enjoy the experience, and truly engage if you help them make it fun and they know you are along for the ride with them? Or if you just tell them what to do? Yellowdig has a number of functions and tools in place to automatically build motivation, but a lot of these tools and other functions can be used creatively by instructors to easily take their motivation to the next level.