For those who couldn’t find a way to get the summer off to spend more time cooling off in a pool, we’re hoping this makes your summer in the classroom feel a bit cooler!
We plan to start releasing this set of changes on May 3rd, after which you will start noticing the changes in your communities.
Some of these changes are responding to direct feedback from users like you or are just clear improvements to make Yellowdig work better for everyone. We’re hoping you like the changes and as always please give us feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn about the 4 improvements to Yellowdig's Virtual Classroom that are releasing this May
Feed & Community Redesign
What we did: Comments will be further differentiated from posts with a light grey background and are nested more than the previous feed design. Additionally, posts are more clearly separated from one another. Within the Feed itself we instituted different ways of sorting comments to make the conversations easier to follow. The “Create” button for creating posts was moved into the right-side menu so that it is always there and always available. The search and filtering capabilities were placed just below that.
Why we did it: The single scrolling feed with the most relevant content at the top is an important part of Yellowdig’s design, which helps improve learner engagement and interest. However, it is also important that students and instructors are able to find specific pieces of content and that the conversations that come after posts are really easy to follow. These changes are all intended to make the Feed easier and more intuitive to follow, especially as people are searching for specific information or are trying to revisit ongoing conversations.
Instructor & Moderating Functions Placed in Feed
What we did: We placed buttons to add accolades, change points, & flag posts on each post and comment.
Why we did it: The 3-dot menu at the top of each post contained some functions that people wanted to be more accessible for ease-of-use, so we have surfaced them in the feed itself. This will allow instructors to more easily add accolades or edit points and will ensure that all community members are aware of the post flagging functionality.
What we did: The search bar will filter search results in a completely separate page with individual text highlighting, indicators of the search match (user, post, or comment) and fuzzy search capabilities to match misspellings and “close” words. It also includes searching for only posts or comments. As always search results can be combined with most filters (e.g., date ranges, posts with specific accolades, etc.).
Why we did it: Who doesn’t want to be able to quickly find whatever they need?
What we did: As students are creating a post or comment for the first time they are able to decide to post it without attribution to them. If they do, other normal community members (i.e., students) will not be able to see who posted it. Community owners and facilitators will be able to see who posted, preventing possible abuse from users hiding their identity. Anonymous posting can be turned off for individual communities.
Why we did it: We hope that students in their communities will feel comfortable being human with one another and will feel supported no matter the topics and challenges. However, there are certain course topics or questions that come up, which are particularly sensitive or challenging to talk about publicly. This is especially true with regard to traumatic past experiences or for minoritized groups that may find it difficult to express a unique opinion. Anonymous posting provides the opportunity for students to post things that add important context to these conversations but that they would otherwise not feel comfortable sharing. We see this feature as a helpful way to ensure our communities are an equitable and safe-feeling place for students of all types to participate and talk about even the most challenging topics.
Brian Hurlow is the Director of Technology at Yellowdig.
If you have any issues please contact us at email@example.com, and we will be happy to assist you.