(Settings → Participation)
Unless your organization administrator has modified them, Yellowdig points for each Community are set by default as follows:
- Creating a new Post (with 40 minimum words): 150 points
- Commenting on another user's Post (with 20 minimum words): 80 points
- Comments received by other users: 55 points
- Reactions received by other users: 30 points
Points for specific reactions can be enabled via the ADD POINT RULE button just below the point settings. Points for Accolades are enabled on a separate page (Settings → Accolades). We highly recommend enabling points for Accolades, creating more than one type of Accolade, using Accolades to reward specific contributions to the Community, and giving out Accolades judiciously.
Why? Points motivate engagement. They also gently encourage learners to engage in specific ways without enforcing overly strict rules about participation. Finally, as discussed later, points help to encourage quality posts and discourage anti-social behavior. Strict rules about how to participate tend to reduce the natural discourse that the platform was meant to encourage, and we see that as a strength of the Yellowdig platform in creating a genuine learning community.
Notes: Though not recommended for first time users, if you do alter the point settings, we suggest only adding points. Point categories were made to incentivize learners to engage with each other, not just the content. Therefore, even if you strongly prefer that your learners create Posts, for example, we would not suggest removing points for all of the other actions. It helps to think of changing points as an opportunity to gently nudge learners toward a desired behavior. Here are some ways to use them:
- To encourage sharing new content, increase points for Posts.
- To increase discussion or debate for Topics, increase points for Comments.
- To promote interaction and understand what learners find engaging, increase points for Reactions.
- To award more points personally and reward particularly thoughtful content, increase points for Accolades.
* As instructors venture in to changing points, many are tempted to try to align Yellowdig's point system with the point structure used for their course. For example, if the course has a total of 500 points and the professor wants Yellowdig to be worth 10% of the grade, they will set the required course total for Yellowdig points to 50 and then decide how they want to allow point earning for the individual actions based on students needing to earn 50 points. This is exactly the opposite order of how we would recommend thinking about points. Start with thinking about the behaviors you want to promote, then consider the rules and proportions of points that will help promote those actions, and then build out the course total points that would be necessary to see the level of activity you want given the ways that people can earn points. It is also important to realize that it is not necessary to align Yellowdig points with your course points due to the way Yellowdig grades are passed to your LMS. To account for all of the ways students should be able to earn points in Yellowdig, and to make the size of those rewards appropriate in comparison to one another, it is helpful to have the flexibility that using a lot of points gets you. We also generally don't recommend aligning the points because we have seen that trying to match them usually creates more confusion (hence the default participation goal of 10,000 points). In fact, we will usually recommend to anyone that wants to change the point system to make the point differences between Yellowdig and their course more extreme so that there is no way a student will mistake Yellowdig points for those earned within the rest of the course structure. Besides, it's always fun to get more points!