You are encouraged to use and modify the following templates to introduce your students to Yellowdig. Note that all the red text needs to be changed to your specifications.
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 it generates a surprising amount of student confusion.
If you need any help in thinking about how to introduce Yellowdig or instruct your students in using it, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's my pleasure to welcome you to Yellowdig, your online community for the duration of our course.
Unlike typical [your LMS] discussions where all of you 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. Another major difference is that you can ask questions or get clarifications about things in the course. The important thing is that you are posting and having useful conversations about course-relevant topics. As you create Posts and make Comments that contribute to the community, and as other students react to or or comment on your posts, you will automatically receive participation points. 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 accumulate to a total goal for the course. This feeds into calculating a grade which is passed to the grade book for your discussion credit. To learn more about how points work and how many you can still earn, click on the grade indicator at the top-left of the Community feed. Each week you can earn up to 1,000 points of the 10,000 required by the end of the course. There is a weekly maximum of points you can earn, which is set at 1,200 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 4:00 AM on Saturday, the weekly maximum points will reset and you will be able to start earning points for the week. At this time your grade will also recalculate and likely go down. That's because your grade is now accounting for points you'll need to earn in the current week to get your grade back to 100% You'll again have until the following Saturday 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 Saturday at 4:00 AM.
I really want you to read what other people are thinking and to have real discussions 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 react to your Posts and Comments. Your Posts 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 reacting to 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 give Accolades to 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.
Our Community will thrive when we treat each other with respect and sensitivity. We will be adopting Yellowdig's code of conduct for this course. I also remind you of our institutions policies around student conduct. [Link to or list additional ground rules]
For the first week please feel free to 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. If you filter your feed by the "Introduce Yourself" Topic or search for my name, you should be able to find my introduction and some ideas about things to post. Don't forget to share pictures, videos, or interesting links about you and your accomplishments! In subsequent weeks please discuss anything relevant to the course and things you think others in the community will benefit from talking about.
A few pointers and recommendations:
- Review the student section of the Yellowdig knowledge base.
- Take advantage of features like #hashtags and @mentions to bring the discussion to life!
- Use the Help section (in the menu under your avatar) for tips and info on different features.
- If you have any technical questions reach out to Yellowdig support.
Yellowdig is an online conversation platform for [your course]. You receive points for participating in Yellowdig conversations, and the points you receive in Yellowdig factor into your final grade. Each week, you can earn up to [weekly max] points. To get an "A" in Yellowdig, you must have at least [100% participation target] points by the end of the course. If you reach the weekly max by the end of each week, you are guaranteed to get an "A" in Yellowdig. The grading period for Yellowdig will begin on [starting date] and end on [ending date]. Your Yellowdig grade is worth x% of your final grade.
You receive points for interacting and engaging with your peers in the following ways:
- Writing a Post of at least n words (x points)
- Writing a Comment of at least n words (x points)
- Receiving a Comment on your Post (x points)
- Receiving an Accolade on your Post or Comment:
- [Accolade 1]: x points
- [Accolade 2]: x points
- [Accolade n]: x points
- Receiving a Reaction on your Post or Comment:
- [Emoji 1]: x points
- [Emoji 2]: x points
- [Emoji n]: x points
You are encouraged to reward your peers for producing excellent content by commenting on and reacting to their Posts. In addition, I will reward particularly exemplary Posts and Comments by giving Accolades. To earn as many points as possible, you are strongly encouraged to contribute to our Yellowdig Community early and often. Just keep in mind that, once you reach the weekly max, you cannot earn additional points until the weekly reset deadline ([deadline day and time]).
Yellowdig passes back your Yellowdig grade to [your LMS] as a proportion that represents your current pace toward getting an "A" in Yellowdig. Therefore, the points you see in Yellowdig might not match the points you see in [your LMS]. If any of this confuses you, just remember: if you end every week with a Yellowdig grade of 100%, you are guaranteed to get an "A" in Yellowdig.