Telling Your Learners About Yellowdig [FOR INSTRUCTORS]

Syllabus Template
  - Addendum for Student-Payment Communities
Assignment Template
  - Addendum for Student-Payment Communities
Instructor Video Introduction Script

Use these customizable templates to introduce Yellowdig to your students.

[Bolded, Italicized, bracketed] text must be changed or reviewed.

Additionally, if you don't have all your point-earning categories enabled (such as points for reactions or comments on posts), you will need to revise the templates accordingly.

For additional assistance introducing Yellowdig to your students, feel free to reach us at

Syllabus Template

Using Yellowdig

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 [periodic 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 [x] words ([y] points)
  • Writing a Comment of at least [x] words ([y] points)
  • Receiving a Comment on your Post ([y] points)
  • Receiving an Accolade on your Post or Comment:
    • [Accolade 1] : [y] points
    • [Accolade 2]: [y] points
    • ...
    • [Accolade n]: [x] points
  • Receiving a Reaction on your Post or Comment ([y] 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 (a percentage) 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.

What should I do in Yellowdig?

I really want you to read what other people are thinking about and have real conversations about course-relevant content. Please 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 participate (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 in the community feed for other students to see. Therefore, coming in earlier in the week and getting good conversations started can actually save you work. I (or the TA) will also be dropping in occasionally to give Accolades to exceptionally thoughtful Posts. You’ll increase your odds of your posts receiving that recognition if you have them up and I can see you are contributing to a vibrant conversation. 

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 institution's policies around student conduct: Link to or list additional ground rules]

A few additional recommendations:

Addendum for Student-Payment Communities

For clarity on student-pay courses, it may be helpful to also include more information that explains how payment is processed. We would recommend the following:

You will be asked to pay for Yellowdig for this course. The following information may be helpful:

  • Cost: [$xx.xx].
  • How to Pay: 
    • When you access your course in [your LMS] for the first time, you will see a link to Yellowdig within the course navigation.
    • Upon launching the tool for the first time, you will see a payment window asking for a credit card payment.
    • After processing your payment, you will be given access to the course's Yellowdig community for the duration of the academic term.
  • If you have questions/issues while making your payment, please contact Yellowdig Support here or email
  • If you are experiencing financial hardship and are unable to purchase access to Yellowdig for our course, please reach out to me via email and I will do my best to accommodate you. 

Assignment Template

Your Yellowdig Community

It's my pleasure to welcome you to Yellowdig, your online community platform for the duration of our course.

Unlike typical [your LMS] discussions where everyone responds to the same prompt, Yellowdig lets you share and discuss real-world content (articles, videos, etc.) that YOU feel is relevant to lectures and readings or to ask questions you are curious about or need to know. As you create posts and make comments, and as other students react to or comment on your posts, you will automatically receive participation points. To be clear, using Yellowdig is a required part of the course, and the points you acquire will account for [20%] of your course grade.

The points you earn in Yellowdig are passed to the [your LMS] grade book, where you will see the grade you are currently on pace to earn. Your grade will not finalize in the grade book until the end of the term or until you've earned all the points you need.  To learn more about how points work, see this help article along with the Show details link inside Yellowdig (shown in the image below).

To earn the [10,000] points required for an "A" in Yellowdig by the end of the course, you will need to reach [1000] points per week on average over the next [10] weeks. This Community has a point buffer of [35%], meaning you can earn up to [1350] points per week. That means that, if you always participate up to the weekly maximum, you can reach the [10,000] point participation target in as few as [8] weeks.

At [9:00 PM every Friday], the weekly maximum points will reset, and you will again have until the following [Friday] to get up to the weekly maximum. If you are having a fun conversation, you can always keep posting even after you have reached the weekly maximum; you will just stop earning additional credit toward your grade until the next [Friday at 9:00 PM].

For the first week I'd like you all to get used to using Yellowdig by following my example and introducing yourselves. Please use the "Introduce Yourself" Topic and share a bit about who you are and what you hope to get out of taking this class. If you click on the "Introduce Yourself" Topic on the right 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!

For the rest of the semester I want you to share interesting examples you see from the real-world of the topics we are covering in class, ask questions, or continue conversations we start in class.  You do not need to create your own post every week, but you should participate regularly.  It's perfectly acceptable to earn your points by reading and talking about what other students are sharing.  The point here is that you interact with me and other students to maximize your learning and curiosity about the topic and that we collectively help incorporate the most current events and cutting edge information into this course.

I’ll be talking more about this in class on [Monday], but if you have questions about how this will work, launch into Yellowdig, try to create a post, and ask me there.  If you use the @ and type in my name to mention me, I'll get a notification so I'll be sure to see your question.

Addendum for Student-Payment Communities

For communities that are student-paid, we recommend adding this additional piece here to explain the cost and why you think this is a worthwhile investment:

You will be asked to pay a small fee for Yellowdig unless you have reason for an exemption. Unlike an expensive textbook or homework tool, I believe this will be an exciting tool you will want to use and that there will be a lot to gain from using it, especially if we take full advantage of it together. [Insert personal anecdotes that are specific to you and your course here.] No matter how hard we try in other aspects of the course, I know many of you have questions that may go unanswered, insights that go left unsaid, or important things you’d like to talk out with other people without resorting to public social media. It may be nice to know that one reason there is a cost to a Yellowdig license is because they do not advertise to you or sell your personal data.

I do understand that this cost could be a burden, and I do not want that to block access to these benefits, so if you are someone who is experiencing financial hardship or are unable to purchase Yellowdig for our class, please reach out to me via email and I will do my best to accommodate you. 

Instructor Video Introduction Script

We also recommend clearly setting expectations for students about what you expect of them and, perhaps even more importantly, what they can expect from you in the community. This is easily done inside Yellowdig's post editor using our video capture feature.  We would suggest pinning this to the top of the community for the first few days students are accessing the community. View a suggested script here.

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