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Yellowdig's Freeform Points: Breaking Free to Enable Co-Curricular Activities

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

Although Yellowdig is mostly used to build community and engagement in the classroom setting, we have seen a number of uses that were fantastic outside of the classroom. Student clubs, alumni groups, courses with rolling enrollment, and special events are just as critical to the complete student experience as typical courses. This is why we have designed our platform to enable students to partake in thriving Yellowdig Communities outside of the classroom as well.

Outstanding Examples:

University of Nebraska - Lincoln Virtual New Student Orientation

Freshman were eager to get involved in university activity and meet each other even though the pandemic made it impossible to do so in person. With Yellowdig, they were able to get acquainted even though they couldn’t be together on campus. Read More about UNL’s experience or watch the Webinar

Poster Session at Queens University

"I first tried Yellowdig to host a poster session last Spring that I had intended to be face-to-face. I loved how it allowed my students to share their work beyond our class. And, since we could leave our poster session “open” for several days, faculty whose busy schedules normally prevent them from attending these poster sessions (even before COVID) were able to see and provide feedback on students’ work! We're planning to use Yellowdig for a larger poster session, involving multiple universities, again this Spring." - Jennifer Samson, Queens

Year-long First-Year Student Career Exploration at DePaul University

The program is a selective year-long program that helps first-year students jumpstart their college and career readiness journeys. The DePaul team created an intentional suite of online, modules, peer-to-peer community building, and interactive experiences that engages students in meaningful career exploration.

Learn more about DePaul's experience in their recent webinar: Watch Here.

How does Yellowdig enable co-curricular uses?

Freeform Points. The freeform point system is designed for open-enrollment courses or co-curricular uses (i.e., non-course communities). To accommodate a flexible system, there is no weekly limit for how many points a student can earn in the community and there doesn’t need to be a community start or end date (the earning period is continuous). You simply set one earning goal for the entire length of time and students can reach that goal at any pace. The grade (if displayed), is calculated as total points earned divided by the total goal for the community.

Why use points in a co-curricular activity?

The psychology behind our gameful approach is also effective for non-curricular uses, not just courses that count for credit.

Some ideas for the point system set up are as follows:

  • A minimum point participation threshold is required for membership in a program, club, society, sorority, or fraternity

  • Earning certain point ranges can qualify for prizes like school or club merchandise

  • People within a certain point threshold can qualify for select opportunities like a trip to a big networking event or conference

Freeform Points: Great for co-curricular activities, but not recommended for most course Communities

With the freeform points system, if points are displayed, members see their grade as the percentage of their points out of the total goal. As a result, grades in an LMS gradebook will appear low even when students are on pace to getting a good grade. Our default, weekly point system prevents this confusion.

Also, the elimination of the weekly rollover and maximum means that students can reach their goal points as quickly as they want. This could even be in a single session, which is not ideal since student’s won’t be encouraged to participate consistently over time. This flexibility is perfect for an activity where burst participation makes sense, like in a student club, but not for a learning Community.

For these reasons, we currently recommend the weekly points system rather than the freeform point system for courses with a designated start and end date.

Visit our Knowledge base to learn how the grading works and how to enable Freeform Points:


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Want to learn more about how you can use Freeform Points for your co-curricular activity? Schedule a live demo or request a recording below.

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