Do This - 02. Make it low stakes, but enable grade passback

(Adjust LMS Gradebook and Enable Grade Passback)

Commonly instructors use Yellowdig as 10% of a course grade.  If you have never used discussions or Yellowdig and you are nervous about it, make the credit more modest (e.g., 5%).  However, we do strongly encourage making Yellowdig required for a course through your LMS by doing the gradebook integration and enabling grade passback.  Points improve learner engagement and post quality, which creates a better community and learning experience.  At a bare minimum make Yellowdig participation an opportunity to earn extra credit and use our point tracking system to award that (e.g., give a bonus 5% to those in the top quartile and 2.5% for the rest who were above the median).

Why?  As a discussion platform a certain amount of use is needed to optimize the benefits of Yellowdig.  Making Yellowdig at least for a modest part of the course grade helps ensure students post more, which gets the ball rolling with less instructor effort.


Note: Enabling grade passback is not always intuitive for instructors due to nuances of learning management systems.  However, the automatic grading functionality and how it changes user behavior are well worth the effort and will pay off quickly.  There are step-by-step instructions in our knowledge base articles for each LMS, but please do not hesitate to reach out to your institution’s LMS support, our live support available within the platform (typically available M-F 9am-5pm EST), or by email (  

It may be helpful to know that grade passing is one-way from Yellowdig to your gradebook and that it happens automatically every 4 hours for most institutions.  That means that updates in your LMS gradebook will not be immediate and that if you edit a grade in your LMS gradebook it will not edit anything in Yellowdig's point system.  It is also the case that as long as passback is enabled, any change you make in your LMS gradebook will get overwritten whenever Yellowdig runs the next grade sync by whatever data is displayed in Yellowdig.

Please also note our best practice recommendation to avoid making weekly assignments in your LMS, which creates grading issues and is a common source of confusion for students.  

Finally, for Canvas users, each learner must launch Yellowdig from an assignment that the instructor creates in order to enable grade passback.  Students who have only launched Yellowdig from the sidebar will not enable the gradebook link, which is why we suggest not creating the sidebar link if you are syncing grades.  Steps for using Yellowdig with Canvas are outlined in detail in the Canvas section of the LMS integration knowledge base and there are some resources for learners if they experience an issue with the grade sync.

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