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Yellowdig Offers Higher Completion Rates and Next Term Registrations

Here’s how Yellowdig powered retention amongst philosophy, sociology learners

Challenge: How does a leading online college boost already industry standard  learner retention rates?

One of the nation’s most prominent, award-winning, accredited online colleges consistently saw its learner retention rate average 50 percent. While decent by industry standards, the institution knew that improving its retention rates would result in better learner outcomes and prove a differentiator within the ultra competitive and rapidly expanding online learning ecosystem. And as an institution built on technology, leadership doubled down and sought out a digital learning solution that could drive retention.

Solution: Enter Yellowdig.

Retention is driven, in part, by engagement. The more engaged a learner is, the higher the likelihood that they will complete the course and register for the next term. With a firm grasp on how today’s online learners engage, the school engaged Yellowdig, a purpose-built, student-friendly digital engagement solution that had repeatedly demonstrated its ability to boost engagement and retention rates in both the online and traditional academic settings. 


The college launched Yellowdig within a Philosophy course and a Sociology course. To measure its effectiveness, the solution was tested against the prior year’s performance of the school’s legacy LMS product.


Learners accessed the Yellowdig boards via a link within their courseroom, under each discussion area, and earned “points” by posting, commenting, upvoting, and earning badges from faculty or graduate assistants for quality posts submitted by the recommended post date. These “points” corresponded to a grade.  


Program success would ultimately be defined by Yellowdig’s ability to power the right type of engagement that influences course completion and next term enrollment.

Results: Increased engagement, better retention.

On average, learners achieved their full discussion grade when using Yellowdig. Compared to year-over-year data, they earned substantially higher discussion scores with Yellowdig than the legacy LMS. In the Philosophy course discussion scores 20 percentage points higher.


Tracking the percentage of learners who were ever registered for the course that remained registered at census, Ever-in to census figured benefited from Yellowdig as well. The Philosophy course saw a 2.08 percent increase while the Sociology course experienced a 2.65 percent bump. 


Most notably, comparing year-over-year data, Yellowdig enabled more course completion and next term registrations by 11 percentage points in the Philosophy course and 3 percentage points in the Sociology course. That translates into 14 more students earning their credit for their course that otherwise would not have. 

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