Avoid This - 01. Do NOT make weekly Yellowdig assignment links in your LMS

Many instructors want to assign weekly discussions topics and will create weekly assignments that launch Yellowdig.  We strongly discourage instructors from creating multiple Yellowdig assignments within their LMS.   

Why?  Yellowdig uses a single discussion space for each course to encourage discussion and a learning community over the entire length of a course.  Adding additional assignment links will create additional columns in your LMS gradebook. These additional columns will not only be really confusing for students, but they will create a cascade of issues with grade passback from Yellowdig to the LMS.  These additional assignments create inaccuracies (or the perception of inaccuracies) in learners’ grades depending on how they are set up by instructors. These issues with passback then become a source of many of the concerns we hear from both learners and instructors.

What should I do instead?  If instructors or administrators feel like they want weekly assignments we suggest they do that by creating a Pin for each assignment and marking it with a weekly assignment Topic (e.g., “Week 1 Task”).  Then students can view each assignment by looking at the Topic for each week and responding to the Pin. If instructors want to be sure to surface these Pins for learners, they can also go into each Pin on the proper week and set it to “Pin to Top” so that the Pin will be highly visible to students.  Enabling and disabling points for these weekly Topics can also focus students on the specific assignments and ensure they only get participation points for responding to each week’s assignment.

If you feel you absolutely must have weekly assignments setup with separate links within your LMS, please follow these instructions.  We encourage you to contact us directly before trying to set this up (clientsuccess@yellowdig.com) as we really want to ensure you do not do unnecessary work or have problems with your gradebook.  What you will have to do is not intuitive and this is the most common setup problem that instructors encounter.

A strength of Yellowdig and the reason behind many of its design features, is the promotion of organic participation in discussion about course topics and content.  That leads us to our next suggestion...

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