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., Reactions) or from people commenting on others' Posts 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 students' 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 an Accolade is set to 20 points and used, and the same Accolade is subsequently updated to be set to 30 points, the people who were previously awarded the 20 point Accolade 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 better alternative is to create a new Accolade with a different point value.
To adjust the point system:
- Click on Settings in the left-hand menu.
- Under Settings, click on Points.
- If not enabled, select Yes under Enable Points and Grading
- Follow the numbered steps in the grading section to set up: 1) the Weekly Participation Reset Deadline (i.e., weekly deadline); 2) the Grading Start Date; 3) the Grading End Date; 4) the Total Point Goal for the class; and 5) the Weekly Point Limit.
- Note: The point system for Yellowdig Engage is designed around the concept of a weekly deadline which allows us to make grading calculations based on a known number of weeks in a course. This does mean that the Weekly Participation Reset Deadline, Grading Start Date, and Grading End Date must all be on the same day of the week. Unlike the Classic version of Yellowdig, the Weekly Point Limit is now a hard limit, meaning students cannot ever earn more than the set amount in a week. However, the limit can be set with a "buffer," which we highly recommend because learners like it and instructors hear fewer concerns about missed points (learn more here).
- In the Automatic Points section, take notice of the default settings for points. Though goals and use cases vary, these were created based on data from thousands of Yellowdig Communities and are a good starting point for most use cases. These can be changed by clicking Edit (which is located at the lower right-hand corner of each point box), entering new values and conditions (see Requiring Specific Topics for New Posts), and clicking Update in the lower right-hand corner of the box.
- When you are done adjusting point settings, scroll to the bottom of the Points page and click the blue SAVE CHANGES box.