How does the Yellowdig point system work?
Different actions and responses to your posted content in Yellowdig can earn you points if points are activated for your class or organization. The Community Owner or Facilitators can configure rules for how you can earn points. Those rules can be seen at any time by clicking on How to earn points below the main points display (shown below). If you understand nothing else about the point system, an easy rule of thumb for Yellowdig is to always just try to get your "Points Earned" to equal "My Period Max" by the end of each week (the start of each week is shown in the How to earn points area). If you do that every week, you will definitely be maximizing how many points you can earn each week and you will definitely be able to get to the Total Goal for the community by the point earning end date.
The How to earn points link will display the Point rules decided upon and set by your instructor. To see your recent activity and more about how you are earning points, go to My participation, which is similarly linked below the point display and also appears in the left-hand navigation menu.
If grading is set up for your course you can see it by clicking My grade below the point display. Your grade will sync approximately once per hour automatically, but there is also a sync button there where you can force it to sync to your LMS, which will update your LMS grade based on your recent activity. Your Yellowdig points will be calculated into a percentage that tells you what you what your grade may be at the end of the semester.
Note: Your instructor is ultimately responsible for awarding your grades at the end of your course based on your participation. The points shown for this assignment in your LMS are subject to change, both up and down, as you earn (and possibly lose) points in our system or as the system recalculates your grade at the start of each week (for the weekly point system). Points can always be added or subtracted based on the discretion of your community leaders and your ultimate grade may be amended in your learning management system despite whatever Yellowdig displays as a grade.
- If your community is using the weekly point system (most common): All of your Yellowdig points add up to one total for your community, but your grade is based on how many points you need to be on track to getting the total goal by the point earning end date. Because of this your grade will fall backward at the start of each week, to account for the points you'll need to earn that week to stay on pace. As long as you earn up to the value shown in "My Period Max" every period and earn above the Period Target (both shown in My participation), you will always be able to get your grade up to 100% by the end of each week. Any "extra" points you earn that would take your grade past 100% until you reach your Period Max, will still count toward your Total Goal and will be calculated into your grade in the next week (i.e., your grade will not go down as much). The weekly point system grade is based on your "pace" toward the total goal. With this system it is possible (and indeed expected!) that if you participate the expected amount in week 1 that your grade will be 100% in Yellowdig and your LMS system will show that you have all of the points for your Yellowdig assignment for the entire semester. However, that grade can and will go down each week if you do not keep up with the expected amount of participation. At the start of the second week, your grade can go down to as low as 50% even if you got all of the points you needed the first week, because once week 2 starts we are accounting for the points you need to earn in week 2 in order to stay on pace to get to the Total Goal by the point earning end date. For example, with this system if you have a Total Goal of 10,000 points to earn over 10 weeks and you earned 1,000 points the first week, your grade would show as 100% (1,000 out of the 1,000 needed for the Period 1 Target). At the start of the second week, the grade would change to 50% (1,000 out of the 2,000 needed to reach the Period 2 Target). Your grade would be back up to 100% by the end of week 2 if you earned the additional 1,000 points needed on top of your week 1 total, to reach the Period 2 Target of 2,000 points.
- If your community is using the freeform point system (mostly for open-enrollment courses or non-course uses): All of your Yellowdig points add up to one total for your community, but your grade is calculated as a percentage of the Total Goal and there is no notion of a weekly rollover or maximum. With this configuration if you, for example, have a Total Goal of 10,000 points and you earned 1,000 points the first week, your grade would show as 10% (1,000 out of the 10,000 Total Goal).
How does Yellowdig pass back grades?
Regardless of the point system used, Yellowdig passes grades as a percentage to your Learning Management System (e.g., Blackboard, Canvas), and that percentage is multiplied by the number of points allocated to Yellowdig in your LMS gradebook.
To configure your grade to pass back to your learning management system gradebook, you must first launch into Yellowdig from your LMS. In most Learning Management Systems, you must click on the one graded assignment link established by your instructor at least once per course. The graded assignment link is most often located in the Assignments or Modules tab of your LMS course. We cannot access your course and cannot tell you exactly where this link is, so if you do not know which link is the graded assignment link, ask your instructor.
Important things to know:
- If you join a Yellowdig Community from outside your LMS course, grade passback will not be configured. You must launch into your Yellowdig Community through the LMS course associated with that Community in order to configure grade passback.
- If you are a Canvas user, clicking a link to Yellowdig in the sidebar will not establish grade passback. You must click the graded assignment link before grade passback will be in effect. (For more information, see the section at the bottom of this article.)
How to launch into Yellowdig via the graded assignment link:
The GIF below is an example from Canvas. The location of your graded assignment link may vary depending on your LMS and your instructor's course configuration, but you will typically need to enter via an assignment.
Your grade in Yellowdig versus your LMS grade
If your instructor has Yellowdig synced with your course gradebook in your LMS (Blackboard, Canvas, etc.), it is important to know that the proportion Yellowdig sends to your LMS is the percentage shown in the My grade area. Since Yellowdig sends a proportion (not a point total) to your LMS, the points in your LMS grade column will usually not be equivalent to your Yellowdig points. The points in your LMS will be the value of the LMS assignment multiplied by the grade percentage from Yellowdig (e.g., if you have a 75% in Yellowdig and your assignment in your LMS is worth 200 points your LMS gradebook would be displaying 150 points). For more on how all this works, see this article. For the math behind your Yellowdig grade, see this article.
Grade passback delay
The grade sync for Yellowdig runs on a schedule for each Community, approximately once per hour. Therefore, points earned in Yellowdig will not immediately be displayed in your LMS gradebook; the points indicated inside the Yellowdig platform will be the most up-to-date and accurate record of your progress toward your participation goal. There is a sync button in the My grade modal where you can force our system to sync to your LMS, which will update your LMS grade based on your recent activity. Please attempt this before notifying your instructor or Yellowdig of a problem.
Unfortunately, Yellowdig does not have control over the LMS systems we integrate with or how instructors choose to use them, so there are times that updates or service outages for the LMS, or the setup that the instructor has chosen, will create some unexpected or unusual behavior that may require some attention from your instructor or Yellowdig. Please do know that if there are any issues with the link between Yellowdig and the LMS, any points earned and displayed within Yellowdig's platform are being logged and will be passed to the LMS whenever the link to your LMS is fully established or can be re-established. Therefore, please try not panic if your LMS gradebook does not seem quite right! We also recommend, unless told so by your instructor, that you do NOT stop participating in Yellowdig if you do not see your LMS gradebook working. Rather we would suggest that you continue posting any assigned content. If you are concerned about your LMS grade passback, we would also suggest making a Post on Yellowdig about it to see if other students are experiencing the same issue or if your professor is aware of the issue. The bottom line is that as long as you see that you are earning the expected points in the Yellowdig platform, the LMS grade should automatically be updated in the future. If all else fails, your instructor can manually assign grades in your LMS to match what Yellowdig indicates.
A note about Canvas grade passback
If you are a Canvas user—and you believe that your grade should be, but never has been, passed back for a class—please ensure that you have launched Yellowdig at least once from a graded assignment link that your instructor will have set up and that should appear in the Assignments tab of Canvas. Every individual learner must launch from an assignment to establish their individual grade passback. If you cannot find the assignment link, ask your instructor. Please remember that it is possible to log in to a Community for a class before an instructor may be entirely done setting it up, so wait until you receive some instructions from your professor about your Yellowdig participation—or at least until after your first classes to worry about grade passback. As noted above, any points earned in Yellowdig and displayed there will be retained unless your instructor resets the points for everyone in the Community. Remember: your Yellowdig point percentage is authoritative, and Yellowdig will always pass back the up-to-date percentage whenever LMS passback is correctly set up. In other words, you won't "miss out" on points simply because your instructor was delayed in setting up passback.