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What is Yellowdig and How Can it Be Used to Teach? Tips & Tricks

Yellowdig
(Image credit: Yellowdig)

Yellowdig is touted as a way to get students more engaged in their courses while also helping to keep them better informed of what's ahead. It is essentially a social network for students and teachers.

By working with existing LMS options, the Yellowdig system is built to be easily integrated for admins and tutors alike. It is aimed at higher ed institutions typically and so is built to work with those LMS choices.

This can be found in over 60 of the biggest learning institutions with more than 250,000 learners engaging on the platform, from before enrollment right to beyond graduation.

Can this higher ed social network work for you?

What is Yellowdig?

Yellowdig (opens in new tab) is a social network, of sorts, which integrates with higher ed LMS options to help keep students engaged and informed on their courses throughout their time in school. The idea is to have everything in one place to make the process clear and simple for both students and tutors alike.

Yellowdig

(Image credit: Yellowdig)

The tools help to build and maintain digital learning communities. This can be difficult enough when in the room with others so to have a constant digital place for students to feel a part of seems like an important offering.

Of course this also works as a way to keep students informed, making sure they know the plan for the course ahead. Crucially, this can also adapt to show any changes that may be planned, or happen last minute, and keep students updated. It also offers a space to work out any issues from fallout from changes, helping students support one another.

All in all this is proven to improve course participation, engagement, and retention for students across courses.

How does Yellowdig work?

Yellowdig is very much like many social media platforms that have gone before it. As such, it is recognizable, easy to use, and offers plenty of flexibility to be creative in allowing the communities that grow here to help shape how it is used.

Yellowdig

(Image credit: Yellowdig)

Yellowdig lets institutions sign up so that they can share community spaces with the relevant groups, classes, and individual students. Since this is a system that is installed to integrate with the existing LMS, it will pull in data automatically.

As a result, students can check to see their course plans as well as their grades. Instructors are also able to see the input grades and results all in one place. But there is also a communal forum in place so that anything around grades or set work can also be discussed as a group or privately. The former is helpful as a question answered by one student can be seen by others, potentially saving instructors time by answering just once. 

What are the best Yellowdig features?

Yellowdig offers a very intuitive forum-style system that has plenty of deeper level features available. It's this blend of simplicity and functionality that makes it ideally suited for education.

Yellowdig

(Image credit: Yellowdig)

Students and instructors can easily post comments, questions, or answers in the community space. These can be searched through using helpful filters based on what the post is tagged with, allowing for easy organization across groups, classes, courses, and more.

Easy access to "My Grades" and "My Participation" are useful as these allow students to dip in and check progress without diving into the discussions going on, if they prefer. As with social media, they may come to check one thing such as a grade and end up learning more as they see other posts – ideal for keeping up on what's planned.

Individuals can message one another directly if they need, making for useful for collaboration and teacher-student communication. This works well with Canvas (opens in new tab) for easy communication since the company chose Yellowdig as a partner rather than developing their own tool.

A helpful "Activity" section is available that lays out what is going on, separate to the forum threads under the "Community" section heading. Again, this lets students see what is happening that is pertinent to them without spending too long getting into more detailed discussions.

How much does Yellowdig cost?

Yellowdig is a proprietary platform that is built to integrate with an LMS of a specific institution. As such it is priced based on the individual needs of that educational institution. 

There is an option to request a demo so that this product can be tested before deciding if it is for you. This gets you free access at no cost for the length of the upcoming academic term.

Yellowdig best tips and tricks

Check grades are read
Only post grades using the Yellowdig system and check in with students to make sure they've got theirs and are using the system alright.

Start a discussion
Build a community by creating discussion forums in which students can feel they have a place to ask questions and be supported.

Open chats
Message each student individually so they feel they can contact you directly if needed, perhaps with something they don't want to share publicly.

Luke Edwards is a freelance writer and editor with more than two decades of experience covering tech, science, and health. He writes for many publications covering health tech, software and apps, digital teaching tools, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and much more.