Defining the Earning Window
Setting the Periodic Target
Setting the Periodic Buffer
Establishing Earning Rules
Reviewing and Saving Changes on Point Settings

Audience: This help article is for Instructors, Designers, and Administrators. Students, Learners, and regular community members cannot view or access these settings.

💡 For a basic points configuration, see our recently updated guide. Learn more.

To set up a custom point configuration for your Community:


  1. Go to Settings -> Points System.
  2. Under Participation Expectation, click on Edit.
  3. Select "Custom" from the dropdown and click the "Change Custom Points Settings" button. This will take you to the Custom Points Settings modal
  4. Go to Earning Window and set the First and Last Day To Earn Points
When the grading period begins, the automatic point system will take care of all the scoring for you.

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⚠️ Not seeing this on your Settings Page?

The advanced point setup is hidden in communities that have already started because once the community is past its start date, changing settings can change the number of points earned by students. You'll need to open "Additional Settings" at the bottom of the Points System settings page if you still need to access it. (We strongly recommend not to change point-earning rules mid of the term.)

Defining the Earning Window

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 The earning window is the time during which Community Members (including Facilitators and Owners) are allowed to earn points. To properly configure point settings in alignment with your preferences, it is imperative that you keep these three things in mind:

  1. The Earning Window End Date and Hour determine the Rollover (i.e., the periodic reset date), which is the day of the week on which points reset. For example, if the Earning Period ends on Friday, August 14 at 9:00 PM, Members' periodic points will reset on Fridays at 9:00 PM, with the possible exception of the first Friday. (See #3 below.)

  2. The Earning Window is continuous. There are no "point disabled" days or times between the Start and End of the Earning Period. This is in the spirit of our community-centric platform; Yellowdig Communities persist over time, and Yellowdig conversations can last for weeks, months, or even years. To accommodate recesses such as Spring Break, use a proportionate periodic buffer. (For maximal precision, use the formula in the section below.)

  3. If the Start Date does not match the End Date, or the Start Hour does not match the End Hour, then the remainder period—or the number of hours that remain after dividing the Earning Period by (24 × 7)—will be automatically added to Week 1. For example, IF

    • Your Start Date/Hour was Monday, June 8 at 7:00 PM; and

    • Your End Date/Hour was Wednesday, August 12 at 11:00 PM; THEN

    • The remainder period would be 2 days and 4 hours (Wednesday, June 10 at 11:00 PM minus Monday, June 8 at 7:00 PM); and

    • Week 1 would be 9 days and 4 hours long, running from Monday, June 8 at 7:00 PM to Wednesday, June 17 at 11:00 PMand

    • Points earned during Week 1 would reset on Wednesday, June 17 at 11:00 PM (not Wednesday, June 10 at 7:00 PM or 11:00 PM); and

    • Every subsequent week would be exactly 7 days (24 × 7 hours) long, running from Wednesday at 11:00 PM to Wednesday at 11:00 PM.

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Setting the Periodic Target

The periodic target is the minimum number of points you want students to earn per week on average. The 100% participation goal, or the number of points required to get a Yellowdig grade of 100% by the end of the Earning Period, is equal to the periodic target × the total number of weeks.

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Setting the Periodic Buffer

The periodic buffer specifies the number of extra points students can earn each week. Setting a periodic buffer gives students additional flexibility, helps accommodate scheduled recesses (e.g., Spring Break), and provides a safety net for unforeseen situations such as illness, technical issues, or disruptions due to life circumstances or disability. We strongly recommend that you set a periodic buffer.

The maximum number of points students can earn each week, or the periodic point maximum, is equal to the Periodic Target plus the Periodic Buffer.periodic buffer  KB screenshot update.pngWant to allow your students to take a few weeks off during the Community? Use this formula to calculate the minimum Periodic Buffer (as a percentage of the Periodic Target) you need safely tell your students: "You can take off number of weeks and still reach the 100% participation goal at the end of the Earning Period": 

Periodic buffer ≥ number of periods × periodic target all over number of periods × desired periods off all minus periodtarget

For example, if you want your students to be able to take off 3 weeks during a 10-week course, and if your Periodic Target is 1,000 points, your Periodic Buffer must be at least 429 points (42.9%):

429 points ≥ 10 periods × 1,000 points all over 10 periods minus 3 periods all minus 1,000 points

Establishing Earning Rules

Here, you can assign point values for as many or as few Yellowdig activities as you'd like. We strongly recommend enabling point earning for all eligible Yellowdig activities, including receiving reactions and receiving comments. These activities are linchpins in our holistic gamification system. Each point type is accompanied by a clickable Rule Insights tooltip and a static Point Value Recommendation tooltip. Our Point Value Recommendations are derived from our best practices and calibrated in relation to the Periodic Target.

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Saving Changes on Point Settings

You're almost there! Once you've completed your settings, click Save Changes to save your custom points settings. Remember, if you have unsaved changes and try to exit the window or navigate away from the current tab, you'll be prompted with three options:
  • Keep Editing to stay in the current tab and continue making changes
  • Close Anyways to exit without saving changes
  • Save And Exit to save your changes and exit the settings
Students can start earning points when the Earning Period begins. The hard part is over. Congratulations! You can now sit back and enjoy your students' contributions.

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NOTE: In general, we do not sanction significant departures from our best practices, and we especially discourage disabling social points (i.e., points for receiving reactions and comments). If you depart from our best practices, you do so at your own risk! Do not be surprised if your Community is less engaged than you had hoped.

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