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[ACBSP Session] Improving Student Success and Retention with Yellowdig

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

Learning requires community, and instructor/student interface (often limited to an LMS) isn’t enough for an institution to create it. To foster real relationships, you need to cultivate real interaction. When this happens, online learning becomes vibrant, and curriculum comes alive with fluid evolution.

Capella University saw a need for more relationships at all stages of the college journey and trusted the Yellowdig platform to help them build the right kinds of communities. They established expectations for students and encouraged faculty to adapt and iterate on program infrastructure. Various approaches were in competition, and as they gathered more data, the best ideas proved themselves.

ACBSP invited representatives from both Yellowdig and Capella University to share the details of their implementation journey at the 2020 Virtual Conference. Throughout the presentation both parties talked about how the creation of metrics allowed Capella to apply evidence to their decision making, allowing for informed adjustments and a period of exponential KPI improvement. Once they found the right practices, they were able to standardize their use of Yellowdig while still leaving room for innovation.

Some takeaways on what a healthy learning community requires:

  1. Students consistently taking time to participate. Students should be posting from day one, not scrambling at the end of the semester to get caught up.

  2. Strong conversations. The right topics need to be able to thrive, and less valuable discussions need to come to a close so others can begin. This needs to happen naturally.

  3. Total inclusivity. Every member of the community needs equal access to the platform, regardless of their individual needs.

  4. Listening is every bit as important as talking. So many assignments are geared toward getting students to say something, but Yellowdig allows students to actively listen in a productive and measurable way.

Capella students go above and beyond in Yellowdig's virtual learning platform.

By encouraging this behavior, Capella has seen robust engagement with many learners maxing out and surpassing the points goal for participation and peer-to-peer interaction, and willingly doing more “homework” than is required each week without knowing. Participants averaged 22 connections per course. Class rosters turned into communities, and requirements became reflexes. Organic community creation helped keep students accountable and active while enabling them to learn from each other. There were no significant barriers to learners or faculty as they created a set of assets to embed in courses. Capella saw a positive impact on every KPI they had established for measuring the success of their Yellowdig implementation. See the improved achievements below.

By the time their best practices were fully established, Capella University saw that Yellowdig improved course completion, increased continuation rate, enhanced faculty productivity, and students who utilized Yellowdig in their courses outperformed students who did not. By relying on as much hard data as possible, they could confidently make Yellowdig an integral part of their overall curriculum.

If you would like to watch a recording of the ACBSP presentation, click here. To learn more about how the Yellowdig platform can benefit your institution, check out our most recent explainer video.


Interested in learning more about how Yellowdig can improve student success and retention at your institution? Email us at for a free demo.