Platform Provides a ‘Missing Link' for Online Courses, and a Unique Sharing and Collaboration Tool for Courses and Groups of all Types
When the folks from Yellowdig reached out to chat recently, the thing about the application that jumped out at me was the social aspect. In my experience teaching online and exploring the challenges online learning can bring, one of the most significant issues I see is the lack of social engagement. In the face-to-face classroom, direct interaction with the instructor and other students can add a powerful element of social engagement that is largely absent in the online environment.
Yellowdig is an easy to use platform that feels like Facebook or other popular social media platforms, and it integrates with courses through popular Learning Management Systems like Moodle, Blackboard, Canvas, etc. Students can easily share resources and discuss them, create groups focused on specific topics, and much more.
Below we see a screen shot showing Yellowdig integrated with Canvas. In fact, when Canvas decided they wanted to be able to offer a social-style add-in for their popular LMS, they ultimately choose Yellowdig as their partner (rather than developing their own tool).
I had a great talk with Yellowdig CEO Shaunak Roy the other day. He explained that the platform was built working closely with instructors, and keeping ease of use in mind. And yes, the platform has been widely used in online courses, but it has also been integrated into hybrid and ground courses. For example, at Arizona State University it was originally adopted for their online programs back in 2016 (currently 2 out of 3 students taking online courses at ASU uses Yellowdig), but since then, they have licensed the product for all of their programs, including those on their ground campuses.
Getting to know Yellowdig
Here is a quick look at the platform:
Exploring YellowDig further
In the video below, a professor from Univesity of California at Irvine explains why he is a fan. In this video he mentions another unique feature of Yellowdig – a ‘gamification' element that bring efficiencies to the instructor by associating use of the platform with points that can be accumulated. This provides an automated grading aspect to the tool which can save professors time. Of course, as you'll see, Professor Schmidt is a fan for numerous other reason. Let's hear what he has to say …
What students have to say
In this video student Ashley Holmes explains why she likes using Yellowdig.
Cross course and cross-cultural use of Yellowdig
In addition to providing a means of increased interactions within the native course platform, Yellowdig can also support cross-course, cross-campus, and even external connections. Schools have created Yellowdig groups for entire programs, student clubs, events, and so on. Some have also used it to connect outside of the campus. Terry Schmidt, the UCI Professor in the video above, uses Yellowdig to connect internationally across 3 universities that share a course.
We've been exposed to a lot of what Yellowdig can do, but not all of it. The product can be branded and customized in other ways, and there are many other great features (and they're always working to add new features). There are lots of videos on YouTube exploring the platform (including many in which teachers who are using it have created videos to introduce their students about the tool).
Overall, I was pretty intrigued by Yellowdig and its ability to add engagement, collaboration, social learning, and more to course delivery. If this type of functionality sounds beneficial to you, click on over and explore Yellowdig further!