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"It helped to know I wasn't alone" A Success Story From The University of Tampa

Presenters: Aimee Whiteside (Associate Professor of English and Writing at The University of Tampa) & Jamie Snow (Partnerships Specialist at Yellowdig)

Jamie Snow 0:17
Definitely very soothing music thanks for joining everyone, we'll give a couple more. Thanks.

Aimee Whiteside 1:38
Hi everybody. Welcome. My name is Aimee Whiteside. I am an associate professor from the University of Tampa. I am excited to be here I am in the English and writing department there. And I have with me joining me partnering with me, Jamie Snow.

Jamie Snow 2:01
Hi, everyone. I'm Jamie Snow. I am the partnerships specialist for mostly the southeast of the US. I have a few outline accounts as well, located in Atlanta, Georgia, and have just been working with the University of Tampa for a few months now. And we thought it'd be great to give this presentation to you to a larger group. So thank you all for taking the time to join.

Aimee Whiteside 2:31
All right, let's go ahead and get started. I want to first give a huge shout out to my friend, colleague and very talented research partner, Suzanne ends, men, Dr. Suzanne Ensign works in the Instructional Design and Technology. She works in that degree program within the College of edge or the school of education and also at the University of Tampa she couldn't join us. But a lot of this is her conceptual work her methodology, her methods. And I'm sorry, she couldn't join us. But I'm just pleased to have the opportunity to work with her. All right, I'm going to go ahead and get us started.

Okay. It's no fun if we don't have any technological difficulties, right. There we go. There we go. So first, just a quick overview. Again, thank you for joining us. Happy Friday to everybody here today, we're gonna start by sharing one student's experience. Then we're going to talk a little bit about the need for connectedness, and then my also my journey to Yellowdig. Jamie is going to give you just a wonderful primer on Yellowdig. I'm going to talk a little bit about how I use it in the classroom. And we're going to address our study as well as some preliminary results. But most importantly, we want to make sure that we answer your questions, gather your comments and your suggestions as well. So thank you again for being here. So I'm going to start with a student's experience. I was heading to a conference, the Online Learning Conference with with the great Jamie snow who's with us today. And also I was supposed to go with my student Christina for letter, and she was unable to join so I asked her she would just record a video about her experience with Yellowdig and I really didn't say anything more than that. And I'm just gonna let you watch And listen.

Christina Falletta 5:03
Hello, my name is Christina Valetta I'm from Manalapan, New Jersey, and I'm currently a sophomore at the University of Tampa studying elementary education. As an education major, I find myself paying closer attention to teaching techniques and strategies while in the classroom. I'm constantly making mental notes about the ways that I learned best. Platforms like yellow Tech have always caught my eye. But since recently deciding to become a teacher, I think I have an even greater appreciation for it. Last year, the transition into college was difficult for obvious reasons, like being away from my family and finding my way around a new campus. However, it was even more challenging to make the transition into college during a worldwide pandemic. Most of my classes were via zoom. So I rarely saw my professors for my peers face to face.

I was first introduced to Yellowdig last semester during the spring of 2021. I took a WR 201 writing and research with Dr. Aimee Whiteside. On the first day of class, Dr. Whiteside eagerly presented Yellowdig to me and my classmates, I was immediately interested because I would be completing assignments in a way that was so unlike any of my other classes. In most of my classes last year, if not all of them, I was doing my work independently. I didn't know a single person any of my classes and in fact, I barely knew anyone at the school in general, there was little to no partner or group work. And between the masks and social distancing mandates, it was challenging to provide and receive input from others while still staying safe. The lack of collaboration in classrooms last year made it really hard for me personally to learn. However, Yellowdig completely changed this Yellowdig was extremely beneficial for a student studying remote because I was able to connect with my peers, not only in my class, but in Dr. Whitesides, other classes as well. Students could post questions, comments and concerns on Yellowdig and their peers would assist them Yellowdig allowed me to collaborate with students who I would never meet in person. If a topic came up in one class period and did not come up in the following class. Yellowdig allowed all of Dr. Whiteside students access to this information. All questions were posted with answers for everyone to see and use, even if there was not a pandemic. The way that Yellowdig allowed all of Dr. Whitesides classes to communicate was a key factor to my success while taking a WR to a one writing and research. The types of conversation on yellow dig varied when Dr. Whiteside posted a prompt for the class to respond to I would make these answers formal include text evidence, and a proper MLA citation. I would answer these types of questions like any other greater response, but there was also a substantial amount of casual conversation.

And for me, this was the most helpful type of conversation. I felt comfortable in Yellowdig. It was like a safe space. If I was confused at all, I could post my question on Yellowdig. And within minutes, I would have feedback from multiple students. It was essential to have the perspective of other students so easily accessible. I remember one of my first posts on yellow Deke, it was an introduction about myself, everyone posted where they were from their major and some of their interests. Immediately, I was able to connect with those students who were also from New Jersey, or who were also education majors. A few weeks later, when we had to choose a topic for our research papers, I distinctly remember having no idea which direction to go in. But after just a few minutes of scrolling on my feet and Yellowdig, I was inspired by other students topics, seeing the plans of my peers on my screen sparked the idea for my own topic. The fact that Yellowdig was so different from anything that I've ever used, is the reason why I was so engaged. There was always something new to read a review. It mimicked Twitter, I could refresh my feed to see new posts, like posts to show my approval, and comment if I had something insightful to add. I honestly think this is one of the reasons why so many of my peers liked using it. We are all so addicted to social media, and the likes and the comments. Why not take advantage of this and turn it into a new way to learn.

I only have good things to say about my experience with Yellowdig. With that being said, I was on top of my assignments, and I always made sure to meet the deadlines. There were clear instructions about how Dr. Whiteside would use Yellowdig to give us a grade. Students were to post responses, questions, comments and likes in order to receive points for that week. Each week, you must reach a certain amount of points. And then at the end of the semester, there will be a grand total of points that you should have received. Thus, students who did not receive their weekly gold points would quickly fall behind. So a big factor in my own success was staying on top of my weekly assignments in order to get all my points, and then a grade that I was proud of at the end of the semester. My advice for students using Yellowdig would be to stay disciplined with weekly assignments, getting all your points and being exposed to what your peers have to say will only benefit you. Yellowdig was a crucial aspect to my success during my freshman year of college. It helped me stay engaged during remote learning, and provided clarity to any confusion I had during a WR 201 writing and research. I hope that when I'm a teacher, I have platforms like Yellowdig to utilize in my own classroom. Thank you.

Aimee Whiteside 11:06
Okay, well, I think let me move on here. I think the interesting thing for me about men, one of the many interesting things for me about what what Christina mentioned, was that I had forgotten, although it should have been in the back of my mind, I forgotten sort of that lack of interaction. And how students had said there was a lack of spirited conversation, during lockdown. And then as they were moving into sort of a hybrid mix of classes, and how disconnected students were feeling. I had conducted a survey study with colleagues, including Suzanne and men, who have already mentioned, Dr. Rhonda, surgical, Dr. Lena Gomez Vasquez on remote emergency learning. And so we had 711 participants in that study. And so I should have remembered some of this. But hearing Christina just reminded me of where students were at, particularly during that that lockdown time, and I'm in the classroom now. And it is still a struggle, students are still trying to move forward and they really crave that connectedness. This is also important to me that need for connectedness is personally and professionally important to me, because of my own research in the area of social presence. I'm interested in the way that students and instructors connect to each other. I'm interested in the way that we look at effect and emotion, community instructor involvement, the way we interact. And a bit different than then the Community of Inquiry framework.

I'm interested in the way that we draw from our prior knowledge. And all of that goes together and combines what's known as social presence. And for me, one of the the arguments I make is that this is a needed literacy, for teaching and learning for both instructors and for students. So in a little bit about how I came to know and learn about Yellowdig. We were in that presentation about remote emergency learning at the Online Learning Consortium conference and November 2020. It's hard to believe I've only been using this for a year because I love it so much. And it's such a part of who I am right now as an instructor. But I I first was introduced to Yellowdig. At that time, we were exploring tools and technologies that really would help students connect, and that offer that combination of gamification, student engagement, and connectedness. And Yellowdig presented an opportunity for us to engage students in all the ways we were looking for, and also have that social media like reactions and connections that that support students well, and with them and have Jamie tell us a little bit more about Yellowdig.

Jamie Snow 14:27
Yeah. Thanks, Amy. I just love Christina's video, I'll just make a couple of points about that. I I think that the way she differentiates about the types of conversations that there are some casual conversations that are related to the subject matter. And then the fact that she references formal conversations with you, and then the connections that she found with their different classmates. So being able to see that people are in the same places, whether it be cities or states really helps to have students feel more connected as they go through it. and so on the screen now just kind of piggyback off what you were saying a moment ago, Amy, and just kind of talk about that social presence. So we kind of look at three major areas that exist, the teaching presence, the cognitive presence, and the social presence. So we find that when these three areas start to overlap with one another, that we create the educational experience kind of that space there in the center. And it should be noted that often social presence is kind of believed to just exist, because we're all humans. And most of the time, we're in the same place, like maybe it's a large lecture hall or a small classroom.

Or maybe we're all on a zoom call together. But the fact that we just assume that social presence happens is, is definitely incorrect, social presence has to be cultivated. And most courses have an overwhelming amount of time that is focused towards the teaching presence, but not so much the social presence. And so when we're lacking that social presence, we're lacking that optimal educational experience. So when it's missing from the learning environment, you can, you can really tell and, and you have that space that kind of lacks and Yellowdig adds that social presence in any classroom environment, whether it's face to face, or hybrid, or even a fully online class. So we'll talk about the kind of the way that we look at the Yellowdig platform. So you'll see over on the left of your screen, just kind of a discussion or assignment type course. And then on the right, you'll see the Yellowdig community. So what you kind of notice at the on the left with the discussion assignment is that you have instructors kind of leading those assignments every single week. And those assignments are not going from week to week, they're just week one, week two, week three, or maybe it's module one, module two, module three, but the instructor is definitely at the forefront of that. And then you have a little green student that we kind of call the go getter.

And whether it's an online class, or whether it's, you know, someone in the front row of the lecture hall or the classroom, we're always going to have those people that are eager to participate. But what we notice is that there aren't other a lot of other students around that that go Gator student. And so what that is, is that student is trying to have a conversation or trying to participate. But there's no one else there to participate with until maybe later in the week or later in the course. And then of course, we have the student in red, which we consider to be the procrastinating student. And that's going to be the student that comes in really close to the deadline. And again, this person is only going to be able to really converse with him or herself. And then you have everyone else kind of in the center. And so that's kind of where we find that all the students, the majority of the students are going to be located. And so what we're trying to do is get everyone to participate more so come in early during the week to participate, try not to procrastinate. And what we want is students to be able to bring in their own experiences. So if you go down to the model on the right, you kind of start to see the dotted lines. And this shows how conversations are ebbing and flowing naturally.

And the way we do this is through the social points that we have in Yellowdig. We want students to be able to feel like they can come in to the platform and share their own experiences. And you'll notice that there are a lot of students starters in these conversations versus just the instructor. So rather than one post into comments, we're looking for the students to be able to just converse in the platform just like they would in a participation in a face to face class or maybe in a hybrid class. So you see that these conversations are going to ebb and flow. And that is hopefully based on their experiences, because so much of the time that they are spending in class may be limited to like 50 minutes or two times a week, times 50 minutes. There's so many other hours and so many other opportunities that they have to talk about their experiences and Yellowdig gives them that platform and in order to be able to do that.

And so next, you'll see it's just a picture of Yellowdig. And it's just a simulation of the center feed that scrolling. And so there are five points that we're going to talk about social game for the relevance data driven, and the fact that the platform can be used in any LMS. So it kind of just got each of these quickly in a little more detail. So Yellowdig, as far as social is concerned, is social InDesign. And so the center screen has a single scrolling feed like LinkedIn or you may have remembered Christina in the video talking about Twitter. Yellowdig also has social points that are awarded by giving reactions to post and comments and reactions are like thumbs up or hearts or smiley faces, those types of things that you may be used to doing in a social media platform. We do consider Yellowdig to be gainful in the aspect that the gainful piece of Yellowdig relates to our point system spoke briefly about the social points, but our gainful aspect also refers to the points that are awarded for creating posts and commenting on others post oak forest when you meet the minimum word requirements, and then the relevancy of the product is shown in the social media design. But it's also along with the platform's flexibility for different use cases. As Amy, I'm sure you're going to talk to us about in a few minutes in the presentation Yellowdig.

Also Agile is in the backend build. So what this means is that as we're collecting client feedback, we can easily make appropriate changes and upgrades to the platform. LMS agnostic Yellowdig does integrate with an LTI launch into all major LMS is like Canvas, Blackboard D two, D two, l Sakai, etc. And as more and more of our clients are upgrading to LTI 1.3 integrations we're moving towards supporting LTI, 1.3 and 2022. We also have the integration to wait, we have the ability sorry to integrate into privately built or homegrown LMS as well. If you don't utilize an LMS, there's no need to worry. Yellowdig can also be used as a standalone product. And then finally, data driven. Our dashboards and record reports are available in Yellowdig. As you'll begin to see on the next slide, and so this I think is so important to the success of students and instructors. So here, you're going to see a couple of different things, our Community Health Dashboard is located on the left. And then we have an at risk student identification graph over on the right. So the Community dashboard is divided into three main areas, which include the focus of sharing, listening and interacting. So what you see highlighted first is the sharing score. So this is kind of the gray box with the score of 27 at the top. So our sharing score is comprised of five different metrics consisting of the average total word counts, and the average number of comments, post Shared Links, and multimedia items that are shared within the platform.

Our listening score is comprised of three different data points, giving us the conversation ratio, which is the total number of comments divided by the total number of posts, along with the average number of posts that are viewed and the average number of hyperlinks that are clicked within the platform. And then finally, we're also looking at the interacting score. So it is Kham Kham. It's comprised of four different data points. And what we consider to be the one of the most important data points as it gives us information about the average number of connections made. And the average number of reactions given along with two percentages, which is the percentages of post with one or more comments, and the percentage of connected users. So that connected users can also be seen in the graph on the right. So you begin to see your at risk students kind of at the top with the arrows pointing to with the red arrows pointing to them. This is a these are the students that have not made connections, they have no lines going from them to other students or from other students to them. And then you'll see kind of on the bottom right, and in the center of that image, you'll see the connections, these are your engaged students.

And so it's so important that the that through the Yellowdig platform, you're able to be able to see students from these two major categories engagement and non engagement. And on the next slide, we'll see that same engagement graph, we call it our network graph. I'm going to show student connections through two different ways, you're going to have thick lines, versus thin lines or darker lines versus lighter lines. And so what you'll see on the far right, there's an image of a student that it's kind of in red, and a white shirt and kind of like a black jacket. And so you'll see that there are a couple of thin lines going to this particular student. But there are no connections going from that student. So that student is being talked to but is not participating in the conversation. And so this is important. And then you also see even the image above him on the far right, you see that again, you see some conversations happening from this student, but no connections being made to the student. And then in the center, you start to see darker lines. And so you can see both those inbound and outbound connections with students. So this is very important as a visualization and you can move these circles around. You can also look at this information in a table format. So in the platform, you can click the table when you can see this data in the table versus individual of the graph.

Aimee Whiteside 25:08
Thank you, Jamie, I, I'm going to leverage a lot of what you just said here. Before we move on, I thought it would be a great idea to to have you see Yellowdig in action, especially those of you who are new to using Yellowdig. When I reflected on how I use Yellowdig, this is just anecdotally, it's not based on any study at this time anyway. But it seemed like there was four distinct categories for me in terms of how I'm using Yellowdig, the first being connecting. And that's where I'm creating opportunities for connections, either maybe through introductions, or, as Christina mentioned, in the video, she's she's from New Jersey, so I connect students who are from New Jersey or in a certain major together, or I might connect them through campus events, for my face to face students. The next area is journaling. And I'm going to show you an example of each of these. So and then in the following slide. Journaling is a little probably a bit, the one that's probably a lot different from how other instructors are using Yellowdig.

I like to have them, I'm a writing teacher, I'd love to have them reflecting right inside the tool itself. So I asked them to often leverage the reading and apply it directly to their manuscript that they're writing in this particular class. And Christina commented on that as well. The third way that I use Yellowdig is what I call extending. And this is where I hope the most for and I was so attracted to Yellowdig in that in that visual that Jamie showed with the traditional way that discussions were handled. And then looking at the way that Yellowdig allows student autonomy, and flexibility and really gets their engagement up. In this in this extending area. I'm really looking at finding new examples outside of what we talked about in class, having them connect to different articles, news that things in the news, and really extend the learning outside of the classroom. And the final area that I found, or the final category that I found, I use Yellowdig is first supporting. This is the one I didn't quite expect, but and I'll show it through a couple of different examples. But this is really helping students find confidence in their skills and knowledge. Let me show you a couple of examples of these.

So first connecting, I am connecting them to university events. I'm trying to get these particularly first year and sophomore students as connected to the university as I can in extracurricular co curricular events. This happens to be a reading that my esteemed colleague chain Hinton gave. And so I wanted to make sure that I connected students who were writing majors to this in terms of students connecting let me preface this first by saying the larger the larger thread here was an extending post actually, I had had students just finish up a, an assignment that was based on in my technical writing class on a technical description, and specifically, we're using an infographic through Canva to do this. And the the discussion item was about cookbooks. Are cookbooks going to become more of an infographic. Are they going to stay text heavy? Are they going to be the old Betty Crocker's that we see? In our in our, in our crowded cupboards? What what is the future of the cookbook? And through this very lengthy discussion, I grabbed this one because students this is students connecting to students. And one student shared that she actually is a foodie, and she has her own food Insta, and she gave her her username, which I'm not sharing with you guys but she she wanted to share that with her classmates and then many others started to comment. If you look at that second comment there. I looked at your Instagram and all of your food looks amazing. I'll need some tips from you for sure those truffle fries look incredible, creating really great connections and conversations amongst students.

In terms of journaling, in the, in my introductory writing classes, I'm trying to get them to connect to a citation format. Specifically, I'm using MLA in this case. And I'm, I'm looking for them to extend the learning to their manuscript and apply that learning. So I'm using Yellowdig, to sort of push and extend that learning in many ways. And so I try to create what I would consider to be a model post. And well, it's the best of my ability and the timeframe I have anyway. And so I can show them how to do the in text citations, I could show them how to extend from the readings. And in this next post from a student, you can see them sort of trying to mirror that in a way so they didn't put the citations in there. But you know, I'm getting there. It's it's a process. So you can see them drawing from the chapters, and then saying, it brought me to a realization, realization of what I have to do in my prospectus research paper in general writing, I need to do a really good job of outlining how I am going to impact my audience, and even possibly change the standard frame of thought when it comes to my topic. And you can just really feel the students internal conversation, and how they're really applying that metacognitive experience to the project self.

Jamie Snow 31:37
And me, there's just one question. Okay. Yeah, from Kimberly, where and I think you answered the first part, how do you respond as an instructor to their journaling and extending? And then the follow up is, do you read slash view? All that they submit?

Aimee Whiteside 31:52
Yeah, that is such? That's the Thank you, Kimberly, that's such a great question I, I try to is, is the best answer I can I can give. But often, I do allow the rest of the community to respond as well. And often, it starts off, but just like any discussion area, right, where they need me in the beginning, and then they connect to each other a bit more. And this happens more quickly, I would say in Yellowdig. But no, I don't respond to everyone. I just don't have the time. But I do try to connect as often as I can with them. Any other questions out there? And Jamie?

Jamie Snow 32:37
Um, yeah, so Kimberly just followed up with when you have a ton of students, I think it could feel overwhelming. And yeah, yes, I think we could both agree with that. And going. Yeah, going back to the point you made, Amy, it's, we want the students to teach one another and to have those conversations and there is a question in the chat as well, kind of about points and comments versus post. And so we'll definitely answer that in more detail. But just quickly, the we value the commenting ability, actually, per word is higher than the posting per word is if you're assigning a value to each word, the student types, and that is because we do want the back and forth between the students. But there's also more science in detail. So we can we can follow up with that other question later.

Aimee Whiteside 33:29
Excellent. Excellent. Thank you, Jamie. Keep the great questions coming. Another I mentioned that another way that I tend to use Yellowdig is through the extending, which I thought was going to be key for my graduate students and ended up to be even more important for my undergraduate students. And in extending, what I do is just take something we talked about in class and again, just extended so my students were talking about being freelance editors. And so I connected them to this professional association. And you can't see it but down at there was quite a bit of conversation about this. So that's one way of extending on the student side. In my technical writing course, students were taught, we were talking about Hofstede framework, we were talking about intercultural communication, and I had asked students to have a little fun and find some translations gone wrong. And so this is one example of how the translation of KFC is finger licking good I don't think they've used it for quite some time.

Anyway, translated literally to eat off your fingers, which was quite an embarrassment and an expensive mistake. Another example of extending from a student point of view is in in Introductory writing class where we had a leadership theme. And students in this particular situation, I had asked that we started with a working definition. And then all semester long we had been adding to that definition. And this student posted in his second part about how vulnerability had become such a huge part of what he took away from leadership during the the whole semester. And he indicated that he didn't think we talk about vulnerability enough and how that's critical in leadership. Because if leaders are not vulnerable, they lose a point of connectivity. That's critical in establishing trust. So I thought that was really quite fascinating. And then the last category is supporting and I, I found this is my senior portfolio course. And these students are graduating either this December next spring. And I found there was just such a heartfelt post from a student about how she felt so underpowered, and so on. So lacking readiness for the job market. And I just, it really hit me hard, because I felt like these students were being so hard on themselves. And so I found myself in a position where I was, a lot of times, I think they see their parents, they see me, they see their professors as being successful role models, and they feel like at 1819 20, they have to sort of sort of fast forward their lives.

And so I offered a little bit of support with this post. About the same time there was another student who, who also commented, and she was saying how we have to remind ourselves that we're still in college, we're still barely adults. And I loved how at the bottom, she just said, thank you, again, for sharing your thoughts you rock and you could just sort of feel the love these students have for each other, they've known each other for quite some time in our in this senior portfolio capstone course with each other. In addition to I thought it would be great to kind of give you a primer on how I use it, because it does affect the study. We are also my colleagues, Dr. Suzanne ends, Minh and I are conducting a research study. I'm going to go pretty quickly through this part. But I wanted to give you a sense of you know, overall, this is kind of a meaty research question. It'll probably get refined at some point. But But in essence, we wanted to know what the experience was like for students with Yellowdig. And you know, is it improving learner self regulation, cognition, satisfaction. And so far, in just a little bit about our university, we are a midsize private four year residential university. The important part two to understand, as you hear the preliminary results is that we are very much a traditional face to face institution that was sort of up ended. And that might be putting it lightly during the lockdown period. So instructors had to learn a lot on the fly, as we all did, but in our institution, there are very few blended hybrid or on learning options. We are a mid sized institution with about 10,500 students.

We have students from all over the courses involved in this study, and you're seeing some of the posts from these courses already. We started in spring 2021 continued through summer, and then we have a number of them in progress. What I want you to take away from here is that we really have a mix of all classifications of students, higher ed students anyway, from the first year all the way through seniors as well as graduate coursework in two different graduate program. So my coursework in in professional communication and my colleagues in Instructional Design and Technology. And you're seeing some English and writing courses, you're seeing some instructional design courses, so a little bit of a mix of courses as well. Oops, my apologies. Fingers got away from me. So we are using a disruptive innovation framework for this But I can easily see us applying the social presence model and perhaps even Zimmerman's self regulated learning at some point, our methods, our students surveys, at the end of the course, also interviews and focus groups. And we also deliver to them the L. E. S S, or electronic learning satisfaction survey. This was developed by University of Florida, Professor Albert redtop, and his colleagues at the University of Florida. And it's using a Likert scale of adjectives to really determine the participant satisfaction it with a particular community building discussion to and you're seeing some of the results here.

So the first, if you can imagine this on on a Likert scale, hard to learn being one easy to learn being five, you can see that Yellowdig is writing pretty highly with students most finding it pretty easy to learn. Likewise, in terms of naturalness, this is natural LIS in accordance to social media, does it feel natural to them. And for the most part, again, you can see their rating is rather high in that area as well. And same with effectiveness, students are reading it in the four and five range. And you can see it go up for clarity, they find it clear to us, they find it supportive rather than non supportive. And we're going to talk about towards the end, you can see the ones and twos there are some in there, we're going to talk about those students in a minute as well. And then finally, on a scale from frustrating to gratifying, you can see that a lot of our students are raising it as as particularly gratifying for them.

So preliminary results, again, we are doing a longitudinal study, but we do have results from spring and summer that that we're still continually processing and working with, I wouldn't say this is a challenge that very first, reintroducing and reminding students, I wouldn't, I wouldn't actually classify that as a challenge. But just a, a realistic expectation for all of you is that you will need to re introduce Yellowdig and go through it, remind them how the point system works, what the expectation is how they earn points, and I'm going to show you that in just a second. And I still remind them even in week 10. Now I remind them as well. challenges that we have faced, that students have mentioned to us are the sort of the connection or the tension between gamification and authenticity, which I'll talk about a second. And we have noted some generational differences as well. And these were the, the ones and the twos that you saw on the previous graphs. So in terms of reminding students just remember you, I just had to remind myself at the top of every class and my face to face classes, I had to go through this, I would do the same in a hybrid course. And I would just remind them that this this, what you see on your left hand side would be on the right hand side of their little yellow dig. And they can click where it says how to earn points.

And it reminds them Oh, I get this many points for a new post. And it's this many words, it will tell them if I comment on on somebody else's I earned this many points. And it has to be this many words. So they have all that information. And they can, they can also very quickly click and find out where they are in terms of the course what their course grade is at that time, within Yellowdig. i And this happens to me my screen so you can see this this week. We're in week 10. So I have a maximum of 10,039 points for this week. And since I'm doing this presentation, I'm not out there the way I should be. But But I have a number of points that I can earn this week. On the right hand of your screen. I wanted you to also see this this is actually a snapshot of the upper right agenda students walk into my face to face classrooms. So I created in Canva. But a lot of people do in PowerPoint, they come in the room, they see my plan on the left hand side, and in the upper right hand corner, they see what's due. And what I've been doing is making sure Yellowdig is always a part of that. So they see it as an integral part of the course and something they need to be doing all the time, not just at the end of the week.

So I mentioned arts, authenticity, and gamification. There is a little bit of a tension there. So students did make some comments in the surveys, they said discussions weren't genuine. One thing I would change is the points and the time of participation. Sometimes I felt rushed, I wish we could just post when we needed and didn't need a certain amount of words. So they felt the need to sort of fill in extra words. My only gripe with it, it was that at times it needed to make a post or comments that didn't necessarily benefit me and see forced. Okay, so they're trying to hit that point, Mark? And, you know, maybe, maybe not, maybe it's not exactly extending their learning, right. And the last one, I feel if the point requirements for each week was lower, there would be much more quality and posts and comments, rather than just typing to reach the point maximum. I'd love to do a study on that last one, because I don't know, I don't know, without the carrot, I'm not sure if they would, they would just do it out of the bottom of their hearts. So there is that that tension there between authenticity, and gamification. The one statistical difference that we've seen so far in in the study is that there are generational differences.

So if we look at Generation Z, the younger students y the millennial students, and, and x, you know, old fogies like me, there, there are some generational differences out there. This is from a student who fits within the why demographic. And you can see, I won't read all this, but he definitely is trying to game the system a little bit. And he says, I feel like just coming in here and typing potato, but 250 times to reach the post. And that's not really what the tool should be doing feels like forced engagement. So he actually did do that. There's this post, or, or, you know, he went ahead and typed potato 250 times, or whatever it happens to be. And then you can see at the bottom, he said, See, it worked, I got credit for this, and will right away, of course, my my research partner, and his instructor for the course flagged this as off topic, which anybody in the community can do. And then it became a teachable moment. Yeah, you can do these things, but someone's gonna catch you, and you're gonna eventually lose the points for this. So no, you cannot game the system. And interesting, this is actually the, the, the gentleman in red. And you might have seen this earlier in Jamie's portion of the presentation, too.

This is the I shouldn't call him the potato student, but the gentleman who, who posted the potato comment, and you can see that he had at one point in the course, only the instructor reaching out to him, right. And then he's sort of out here, he's not connecting at all to the other students, because he doesn't see the value, he hasn't experienced the value of community at this point. And on the left hand side, you can see there are a couple others who are in that same sort of boat where they probably posted their introductions at this point, but didn't do much more. And if as we look at it provides a really great opportunity then for instructors to get involved because I can see oh, the student needs some intervention. Okay. And then you could see that right away, the the two on the left hand side are now getting involved at but the student is still a little resistant. People are reaching out to him, but he's not engaging. And so we did find those generational differences. And this quote also presents another generational difference. I'm going to try to speed up here a little bit, but there was a lot of students who felt like the they

The students might have been hiding behind a screen instead of actually articulating these things in class. And that's actually one of the reasons why I love Yellowdig. Because it allows both introverts and extroverts to get involved in the conversation. In terms of benefits, it's very valuable for those interactions and connections.

It helps us allows us to catch those struggling students early and mitigate and help them engage. It allows me as an instructor to really sit back and focus on the learning and not the points, it's wonderful. And students have reported positive results for it, as you saw earlier, they find it fun and modern, they can engage with their classmates, it's a, they can see it's rewarding to see when they get the points, and that they just really enjoy using this platform. And it helped them connect with their peers and get advice from them as well. I want to leave us with this quote, because it really connects to the title and what Christina was saying in the video earlier. Yellowdig really allowed me to connect better with my classmates, and allowed for me to realize that I was not the only one struggling at times, or the only one procrastinating. I think that's really valuable. The the key valuable element that I've seen for Yellowdig is, is that students don't feel like they are alone in the process that they have a learning community, and that we're all here for them a little bit on my references. And then Jamie, do we want to open up for q&a at this time?

Jamie Snow 51:53
Yeah, I think that's a great idea. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience and your students experiences. And I really love seeing the support that they give one another I'd love, you know, being able to see the support that you're giving to the students. I I think the the support piece is so it's so important to student success, regardless of what their classification as a freshman, sophomore, junior senior might be.

Aimee Whiteside 52:22
I agree.

Jamie Snow 52:25
Yes, so if there are questions, feel free to drop them in the chat or use the q&a feature. We have about eight minutes for questions.

Aimee Whiteside 52:38
I'm just scrolling down the chat. It didn't miss anything.

Jamie Snow 52:43
Yeah, that might take you a few minutes. We were having an internal conversation yesterday. And, and it came up that we're able to see students actually like say goodbye in their Yellowdig communities. So and the comment was made, I've never seen that in a traditional discussion board or online platform. And I thought that was a very powerful statement, because you do, it just kind of further verifies the humanistic piece of the platform and student's ability to connect to one another. And it's not just about the grade. And, you know, I think we all go through that, that timeline of you know, where we're focused more on the grade, or focus more on the social aspect, or all these different ways in which we, you know, might be at a particular moment in a particular class. But I think being able to see students actually, you know, saying that they were enjoyed the connections they made and able to actually feel the need to say goodbye, or, you know, I'll see you in the next class with Yellowdig. I think those things are, are valuable. And I can sit and talk all day in theory about how the platform and the program works. But I think it's so important to hear from instructors and students because it really does. They are the best spokespeople for us.

Aimee Whiteside 54:03
That's great. I think that's so powerful. Jamie, in response to Kimberly's question, Kimberly were in the in the chat, she's asking about what the go to tips are for helping her student resistors Um, honestly, I, part of me as a realist, so this is part of your course grade, it's not going away. So you can resist it if you want to, but it's not, you know, pragmatically, it's not a good idea for you as a student. And so often, I just encourage them to get involved. But quite frankly, I don't, I don't focus on it a lot and I allow students through their own discovery learning process to to make their own decision. And the process process. But what I do say is the value that I see overall to the whole class. And so I try not to focus attention in sort of a negative way, if that helps at all. Next, Laurie has a follow up, let me see. Okay, Lori's question I hope I'm, um, I just read it really fast. But I, what I'm seeing is that students, they can do the the 1000 points a week is 100%. And then what I tell them is Yellowdig is so very generous, it gives you 400 More points that you can earn. And if you choose not to use it in that week, you can the next week, it comes back. And, and so I feel like students get 1000 points equals 100%. And then you can times that by the week, and they they get the math pretty quickly. And so I just keep mentioning that to them. Nicely. Yeah.

Jamie Snow 56:19
I mean, I think what you're describing that we specifically call it the buffer. So there are there are particular settings. So the platform is designed with our best practices and best settings in mind, as far as points and buffers, and word counts and things like that, you have the ability to change those, if you so desire, we do kind of recommend that you you leave those those points settings. And those best practices, at least for the first term that you use Yellowdig. But that buffer of 30%, or 40%, those are going to be that the 300 or 400 Point example that you're giving based on the 1000 points per week, that's going to give that leniency to the individual students, because we realize, you know, life does happen and and sometimes, you know, maybe a student goes on vacation or has an illness with a family member or something unexpected come up. And so they might participate less this week or this particular term, and then they're able to kind of make up those points. Or if they know, for instance that a vacation is planned, then they'll do a little more work in this particular week setting compared to the following week when they're know that they're not going to have access to the internet or be able to be in class. And so yeah, that that buffer is there, just designed to help the student not hurt them.

Aimee Whiteside 57:38
And Laurie to also I think the best practices that Yellowdig has set up are really good ones so that I my my point value for my entire class is 100. Just because I'm not I teach writing, not math. But but the Yellowdig points are set at 1000. So there's no question that this point system is very, very different from the class as a whole. And I think that's something to keep in mind as as you build your Yellowdig communities, because it makes it easy for my students, they know Yellowdig is 10% of their grade. And then they know that that comes from this pool, this other pool of numbers. And they very quickly can equate that 1000 points a week to 100%.

Jamie Snow 58:32
Yeah, and we often see that that Yellowdig is used as the participation points within within a particular course. I know we are coming up quickly on the top of the hour. So I do thank you all for joining and for being so interactive with your questions. If Yellowdig is currently not being used at your institution, and you all have never piloted Yellowdig, there is a spring pilot that you are able to participate in. So feel free to scan my QR code there and we can definitely have a follow up conversation to that. Looks like the registration link for the pilot is also in the chat. Now if you'd like to look at that.

Aimee Whiteside 59:16
Let me move us forward. There we go. Sorry about that.

Jamie Snow 59:22
So you there's a QR code on the screen now. For the winter pilot. One on the left is the sign up. And then our new ebook which is titled paid for humans. So we we really do try to drive home the humanistic aspect and the way that the platform is designed so feel free to scan both of those. You can look at the ebook with the download and then sign up for the winter pilot. See all the rules and regulations there if you're eligible. Thank you all so much for taking the time to join and me thank you so much for sharing your experiences both yours and your students with all of us today.

Aimee Whiteside 1:00:00
My pleasure thank you all thanks everybody!

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