Three Things You Need to Know About Yellowdig
This article was originally published on Northwestern's "The Canvas Post".
Yellowdig is available as part of a campus-wide pilot for the 2015-2016 Academic Year. It is a teaching and learning application that allows students to share relevant resources on class topics within the Canvas environment. It is dynamic and engaging – resembling many of the social media platforms that students use in other aspects of their lives. Additionally, it is seamlessly integrated and does not interfere with students’ personal social networks. These features make it a preferable alternative to traditional discussion boards and social media according to the students in my spring classes. My reason for utilizing Yellowdig is that it helps to achieve a higher level of learning and engagement than the previous technology I was using for theory and practice integration. In this blog post, I will share a few additional thoughts on why faculty should consider using the tool.
1. Evolving from class participation to class engagement
As part of a Digital/Online Grant at Northwestern, I was able to undertake a detailed analysis of the student experience on the platform in my spring 2015 classes. One of the findings from this preliminary research is that students were posting articles throughout the week regardless of whether it was a class day or not. Essentially, Yellowdig helped them engage with the class when they were thinking about it – not limiting them to the time in the classroom. Furthermore, the students were commenting and reading each other’s examples on the day of class as a way of warming up for the class and preparing to engage. This combination of findings helps to shift a framing of class contributions from participation to engagement. A broader view allows for both a more comprehensive perspective of student learning and a more inclusive one that facilitates contribution for all students.
2. Facilitating warm calls and creating a learning community
In each of the classes I teach, there is an important part called “In the News” which is intended to address the learning goal of linking academic frameworks to current events. Previously I used Twitter for “In the News”, but now I use Yellowdig for that purpose. The first 10-15 minutes of my classes are devoted to discussing, in depth, several examples from Yellowdig. If a student posts an article on Yellowdig and they are called on to elaborate on their example in class, they will be more prepared than a cold call on another topic which they had not thought about in advance. This teaching technique facilitates an environment where every student has a voice in the class – both online and in person. Warm calls help students who might not feel as comfortable speaking in front of their peers to have an additional way to enter the class discussion.
Read the rest of the article here :http://canvaspost.northwestern.edu/2016/01/13/three-things-to-know-about-yellow-dig/