Getting Started in Yellowdig FAQ [FOR INSTRUCTORS]


🗣Introduce students to Yellowdig?

📨 Invite members into the community?

🔢 Understand Yellowdig grades and points?

👩‍🏫 Understand the role of an instructor in a community?

🏫 Assure every student is meeting learning objectives if they can talk about what they want?

🤔 What if a student doesn't participate appropriately in my community?



🗣 Introduce students to Yellowdig?

There's a great guide on this here, which includes a syllabus template.


📨 Invite members into the community?

You will not need to send out any invitations if you have Yellowdig Connected to your Course Page (Canvas, Blackboard, etc). If you're using Yellowdig as a Freestanding platform you will.

Use Cases:

  • Connected to your Course Page (Canvas, Blackboard, etc): You don't need to send out any invitations; rather students enter Yellowdig and automatically join the community. 

  • Freestanding: For most applications, it's recommended to Send Email Invitations. However, you can also Create a Share Link


🔢 Understand Yellowdig grades and points?

The points assigned in your course page gradebook (Canvas, Blackboard, D2L etc.) are different and separate from the points in Yellowdig. In fact, Yellowdig doesn’t pass points to the gradebook, it only passes back a percentage (a number between 0.1 and 1.0), that gets multiplied by the number of points you’ve assigned to Yellowdig participation for the semester/term. 

The Yellowdig grade (a percentage) is calculated by dividing the total points earned in the community at a given point in time, by the total points prescribed to earn up until that point in time. And the total points prescribed = (weekly target) multiplied by (the current week #).

Moreover, the Yellowdig grade is similar to a pace that gets finalized in the final week of your course. For example, if a student earned all prescribed points in the first week they would have 100% in their Yellowdig grade, then 1.0 would get passed back to your gradebook. Then as soon as the next week starts that grade drops down to 50% since there are two times as many points to earn now. Because this behaves a bit differently than a traditional grade, we commonly recommend hiding the grade book column from student view in your course page gradebook until the Yellowdig grade is finalized at the end of the course. Students don’t need the grade column for Yellowdig, because they can easily find their grade inside of Yellowdig.

If this explanation was unclear at all, you may want to see this article, which also contains a helpful explainer video. You can also reach out to us at


👩‍🏫 Understand the role of an instructor in a community?

See a list here of the top 4 things to do in your Yellowdig community to promote a successful learning environment. We also have a video "The Role of the Yellowdig Instructor: A Hands-On Guide" you can watch here. To learn more about the main things to avoid in a Yellowdig community see the guide here.


🏫 Assure every student is meeting learning objectives if they can talk about what they want?

Participation in Yellowdig communities helps drive positive learning outcomes for students. The platform was not designed to be a direct assessment of the quality of students’ work, but rather a motivating force for them to engage with their peers, instructors, and course material. It may not always tell you what a student knows or has learned, though Yellowdig activities do positively correlate with grades. Yellowdig helps connect your students to the class and creates a space where they can ask questions, answer them, and have conversations that advance their understanding of the course material. There is a related article here that you can read to learn more: Gamification, Not Gradification 

Additionally, we recommend using “Topics” to spark interesting course-related conversations and help organize the community feed. We recommend making topics required in your community. Typically instructors will take high-level concepts from the course syllabus and use those as topics (without any connotation of week or module).

Here are a few related resources to explore :

🤔 What if a student doesn't participate appropriately in my community?

You can watch this video to learn about good practices for moderation in your Yellowdig community.

If a student is not participating appropriately, there are actions you can take that will dissuade them from earning points as they currently are and hopefully get them to contribute in a meaningful way.

You can discourage unhelpful participation, by disabling topics that are less related to course content and desired discussions, by demoting or disabling them. (PLEASE DON'T DELETE TOPICS). This will also have the effect of encouraging interaction on the topics you promote to the top (as they will be seen first, and without scrolling when posting). See the instructions on this below. 

You can demote any topic down the list of topics that appear when completing the posting action by going to the Settings menu, choosing Topics,

and then when taken to the Topics page, simply drag (the three lines to the right of the topic- like Breaking News) further down the list. (You can also drag a topic or topics you want students to focus on to the top of the list.) You can make these changes at any time. 

Another option is to disable the topic you don't want students to use. Again, navigate to Topics in the Settings menu, and click the EDIT button to the right of the desired topic. Then in the popup box that appears for that topic, move the Enable Topic slider with the checkmark  to the left to disable the topic. 

Then click SAVE CHANGES as shown below

REDUCING POINTS: If a student has repeatedly and/or purposefully avoided meaningful posting and commenting, it would certainly be reasonable for you to deduct points and/or remove offending posts and comments from the Yellowdig community. There are a number of ways to approach this. Flagging the offending posts or comments is probably the easiest option. If you flag the offending posts, they will be removed from the feed and Yellowdig will no longer count points attributed to that post or comment. The student will get a notice that the post has been flagged and removed. The post itself will move to the Flagged Posts page under settings where it will stay unless you choose to unflag it.

FLAGGED POSTS: Simply click the Flag Post button as shown below. 
Then choose a reason from the Report this post popup box and click SUBMIT.

Another method would be to use the Manage Points button to reduce points for individual posts or comments, 
Alternatively, you can take a more global action by reducing points from the student's total earned points to date in the  Points Report. Get there by navigating to the Yellowdig Sidebar menu, by selecting Data and then clicking Reports finding the students name and using the +/- POINTS button. In either case you'll see the +/- POINTS popup window shown below to enter your deduction (or addition) and enter a reason.

For more information on revoking points see this article

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Audience: This help article is for Instructors, Designers, and Administrators.

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