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Spring Clean Your Classroom: Clear Out These 8 Myths About Online Communities

Updated: May 20, 2021


Talking to instructors who are new to Yellowdig, we often find there are a number of misconceptions around student participation and the role of the instructor. We have compiled a list of 8 myths and debunked them with the reality we have seen across our company partners below!


Myth #1 - Students need prompts to create good discussions and focusing them on a single topic is the only way to drive good, focused discussion about course-related topics.


Reality - Prompting students too much kills conversations, constricts learning, decreases motivation to participate, and gives students deadlines, which typically increases procrastination.

  • Unprompted discussions create more natural, relevant, and valuable conversations and learning opportunities; focus more on students having back-and-forth conversations about content some of them have posted, not on everyone posting content.

  • This framework successfully mimics classroom conversations; you would not require every student to reply to the same question in a classroom.

  • Students are empowered to talk about things relevant to their lives and careers.

  • Conversations are allowed to ebb and flow naturally.

  • Course topics can be blended together, allowing for true integration across them.

Read more about un-prompted discussions: 8 Tips for High-Quality, Open Conversations.


Myth #2 - I need to review and grade every post to make sure students are posting valuable content.


Reality - By allowing the point system to automatically reward students who start and continue good conversations and then by adding additional recognition with comments, accolades, and point bumps, students are encouraged to create high-quality content.