At the Center for Distributed Learning (CDL), one of our goals is to investigate avenues that create more effective online teaching and learning environments at UCF. To that end, CDL has been assisting faculty and staff in exploring the online discussion tool, Yellowdig, through a series of pilots from Spring 2022 – Fall 2023.
We are pleased to announce that Yellowdig has been adopted for online faculty at UCF.
It will be funded by the distance learning (DL) fee during the first year of its adoption beginning Spring 2024. Because of that parameter, only W, RS, and V courses will be able to use it at that time. As we evaluate its use during this time, we may have justification to find additional funding resources for non-DL fee modality courses (e.g., M and P) to be able to use it. To help contribute towards this justification, we are taking note of any faculty who may be interested in using Yellowdig in these other modalities should it become available in the future. Submit your interest through this Qualtrics form.
Yellowdig is much different than the traditional discussion board. It offers an innovative way for students and faculty to interact and discuss course topics. Using a modern social media interface, users can take advantage of filters, hashtags, media, and reactions to enhance discussion. Yellowdig also provides analytics to better understand individual and community engagement. And for faculty, the automatic grade passback from Yellowdig to Webcourses@UCF helps you spend more time actively engaging with your students and less time on manual grading.
Want to check it out? View a Yellowdig online interactive demo below.
Is it Right for Me?
Yellowdig may be a good fit for you and your students if:
- You want students to engage in discussions but do not want to create distinct prompts for every week
- You have a large class and cannot manually grade every discussion post
- You are comfortable with students generating their own discussions (note that the instructor creates the topics that the students choose from)
- You do not feel the need to look at every single post
- You are comfortable being an active contributor in the discussion community
- You are comfortable with social media features and navigation
- You are comfortable with having one column in your gradebook which will fluctuate throughout the semester
In November 2023, a training/info session was held for faculty who have never used Yellowdig before. Here is a recording of the November session (Passcode: ^y#j5TN#) if you would like to learn more about Yellowdig for UCF faculty.
If you choose to use Yellowdig, the following resources may be beneficial as you get started.
Tip: Yellowdig provides a set of basic settings when setting up the tool in your course, which they recommend using the first time you teach with Yellowdig, but you are welcome to adjust and customize as needed.
- Instructor Certification Course: These are free asynchronous modules that walk you through all of Yellowdig’s best practices, explain how to get started, and leave you with a plethora of follow up resources. The typical amount of time needed to complete the course is an hour. It is HIGHLY recommended that you complete this training before teaching with Yellowdig.
- Facilitator & TA Certification Course: These are free asynchronous modules that serve as a concise guide to facilitating and managing ongoing Yellowdig Communities as an Instructor, Teaching Assistant, or member of an instructional team.
- Yellowdig Training Modules: These are all of the modules that are currently available including STEM, Data Analysis & Efficacy, Co-curricular Community Building, Corporate Community-Building, and Organization Administration.
- Semester Start Checklist: This checklist may be helpful in getting you prepared for using Yellowdig in your course.
- Adding Yellowdig to Your Course: Yellowdig will be available in Webcourses. If you don’t see it in the course menu, you will need to make it available. (This also serves as a second way for you and your students to easily access the community.) You will also need to add Yellowdig as an assignment in your course to create the community and connect it to the Webcourses gradebook
- Creating and/or Copying a Yellowdig Community: These guides will help if you’d like to learn more about creating a Yellowdig community or copying your community from one course to another.
- Video Script for Instructors: Curious what to say during your instructor introduction? Check out the script!
- We created a sample Yellowdig FAQ page that you can add to your course for students:
- Log in to Webcourses@UCF
- Click on Commons on the bottom left-hand side
- In the search bar, enter: Yellowdig FAQ
- Once you have clicked on the “Yellowdig FAQ” page, click Import/Download on the right-hand side to import the page into your course
- Canvas Calendar Events: Tip: since Yellowdig is attached to one assignment, you could create events in the course calendar to help serve as reminders for students to post within Yellowdig.
- Yellowdig Resources: This link provides additional resources such as events, case studies, newsletters, and blogs.
- Tell Your Students About Yellowdig: This guide has a helpful script you can use to add to the Yellowdig assignment.
- Yellowdig & the Gradebook: This guide helps clarify how the points work between Yellowdig and being passed back to the Canvas gradebook.
- Search, Filter, and Sort: Having trouble keeping up with posts and comments, or wanting to find a post quickly? This guide provides some quick tipcs on how to easily navigate through the Yellowdig feed.
- Community Interaction Strategies
- Flagged Posts: Both faculty and students in a community can flag posts that may seem inappropriate, worrisome, or plagiarized. When flagged, the post is hidden from the community and the instructor can review the post (and re-display the post if needed).
- Using Groups: You can set up groups within Yellowdig.
- A Brief Intro to Yellowdig: If you’re not sure how to tell your students about Yellowdig, this may be a helpful resource to get started.
- UCF Self-Made Student-Facing Resource
- Yellowdig Orientation Guide for Students: A few short videos (10 minutes total) that will help provide an overview about Yellowdig for students.
- FAQ & Help Resources for learners/students
- Student Orientation Videos
- Help and Support: Have a question or running into technical issues? This link provides technical guides as well as a link to Yellowdig’s support team. Their team will be able to handle any technical issues you or your students may encounter.
- Help Button: In your Yellowdig community, there is a Help button in the bottom left-hand corner. You and your students can access that button at any time to reach out to Yellowdig’s support team.
- Yellowdig Status page: If you or your students are encountering any technical issues, you can double-check the status page to see if any downtime has been reported with the system.
- Commitment to Accessibility: In case you have any accessibility concerns, Yellowdig is AA compliant and provides a list of their commitment to accessibility.
Design and Facilitation Support
Still wondering how to integrate Yellowdig into your course to align with your modules or objectives? For pedagogical questions, reach out to to your assigned instructional designer or Aimee deNoyelles, co-lead of the original Yellowdig pilot.
For general questions please contact us at iLab@ucf.edu.