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Guide to Using Yellowdig for STEM Classes

Yellowdig is a very effective tool for STEM classes. With the right ~simple~ setup, you can motivate students to participate and engage with each other throughout the whole semester.

If you would like to learn more about why Yellowdig works for science, technology, engineering, and math classes, check out our conversations and research with STEM professors:

  • Watch Dr. Vicki Hart, Assistant Professor of Public Health at the University of Vermont, present her research on Yellowdig's efficacy in our guest webinar.

  • Read our blog post on success using Yellowdig as a help forum.

  • Listen to our podcast with McKinzie Sutter, from the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

  • Read the case study on McKinzie's online undergraduate course on genetic principles in agriculture.

Get started with these 4 easy steps to creating a STEM specific Yellowdig community:

1) Set up the point system in a way that will drive engagement for your class.

  • For a STEM class, it is not necessary to have high word count requirements on posts or comments. Students should feel free to ask questions and respond freely.

  • Consider having comments be equal or worth more than posts. Students derive the most educational value from working collaboratively to solve problems, instead of just being stuck. Encouraging back and forth conversations by encouraging students to reply to one another can drive high quality engagement that leads to better understanding.

  • Create and give out accolades. Giving accolades to students can help to validate their answer and incentivize further participation.

  • Allow social points. With Social points include points for reactions like giving another student’s post a “thumbs up” for posting a useful answer to their question. We have found that social points incentivize high-quality content and give students a greater sense of ownership over their community.

2) Set up a topic called “Help Forum” where students can ask questions about homework and problem sets.

  • Asking questions is a key way for students to learn and