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December 2020 Product Update - Freeform Point System, Navigation Redesign, and Plans for 2021

Updated: May 20, 2021

December 2020 Product Update to Yellowdig's Virtual Classroom

The Yellowdig team has been listening to user feedback and diligently working to improve the Yellowdig Engage platform. To ensure a consistent experience for our instructors and students, we have waited until after most semesters end to release our biggest improvements.

We are very excited to tell you about all of the changes that have been released or will be very soon that our dev team has been working so hard on! Be sure to read to the end to see the big plans we have in store for Q1!

Freeform Point System for Co-Curricular Virtual Classrooms

Although we are waiting on some big releases later this month, one that you may notice available in some communities now is the Freeform Point System. The Freeform Point System enables more co-curricular and open-enrollment use cases. Take a look below for a quick walk through of this new point setting option.

Other Recent Releases:

  • Network Graph Feature to show how community member are connected. This feature helps to identify engaged and at risk students

  • Point displays in the My Participation page use cumulative point earnings and visualize points so that students don’t perceive they are “losing points” at the weekly rollover (additional pending changes to the point display are also coming once classes end)

Navigation Redesign:

Released on 12/22/20, this redesign is to make Yellowdig Engage more user friendly, to improve the look and feel of the platform, and to improve the overall user experience on Engage.

Yellowdig's New community look, showing the entire screen of an online community example

  • Context-dependent left-navigation menu that changes depending on the central content page

Yellowdig's navigation bar with nesting of sub-categories
  • Global navigation menu moved to left-hand column (across the top in mobile) and is accessible in all pages

Yellowdig's sidebar
  • Messages are now readily accessible in the global navigation menu

  • In a community the create button and search/sort/filter options are always accessible on the right wherever you happen to be in the feed

Yellowdig's right side panel as of December 2020 with create button at the top
  • Right-hand column to provide supplemental functionality for each page (e.g., a “trending topics” module for communities is being developed)

  • Easily view weekly or monthly points, comments, and reactions in the new "Facts" widget.

Facts widget for an example virtual community
  • Home screen to allow finding of unseen content, easy access to communities, display of various metrics, and access to community discovery through institutional networks (plans to incorporate more organization-wide features and branding)

New home page for Yellowdig's social media style feed to show posts that you missed
  • Improved network queries that ensure a student’s current location within a network does not create problems for them easily navigating to their communities in other parts of the organizational network.

Interface Improvements:

Expected to release by 12/23/20, we hope these improvements make your use of our platform even more seamless.

  • Editor changes that make @ mentions, hashtags, and emojis work better

  • Topic selector improvements and improved interface around “topics required” and the warnings seen if students are not using them

Very Soon:

  • Math keyboard by MathLive for easier use in STEM courses

Editor's note: the Math Keyboard released in February 2021 and you can learn about it here:

Thank you for supporting us as we continue to learn and grow! We can't wait to hear your feedback on the new updates.


If you have any issues please contact us at, and we will be happy to assist you.

Originally published on 12/17/2020 and updated on 4/28/2021 for final release date information.

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