Is Yellowdig Just a Discussion Board?
What's the difference between Yellowdig and the discussion board offered in Canvas, Blackboard, etc?
Learning Management Systems offer a discussion board feature. However, this feature is (1) text heavy, (2) visually unappealing, and (3) treated as a prompt-based, transactional assignment occurring on a weekly or bi-weekly basis throughout a course. Instructors post a prompt, then learners login and reply to that prompt for credit. Once complete for any given week, there's no reason for learners to go back in and view other posts, or to engage with other learners.
Here's how Yellowdig is different:
Why Not Just Use Facebook?
Professors and TA’s at colleges and universities frequently create Facebook Groups for their enrolled students to communicate with one another, ask questions, and discuss course content. Facebook Groups are free to create, free to join, and easy to manage. The real difference between Facebook and Facebook-alternatives like Yellowdig is that we are not complicit in sharing data. Facebook’s business model relies on selling and sharing user data, whereas EdTech companies live and breathe by meeting FERPA standards. FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.
Here at Yellowdig, we meet FERPA requirements, and implement additional methods of data protection beyond what FERPA requires. When colleges and universities license Yellowdig, we store all of their data via Amazon Web Services, and their instructor and learner data belongs to the institution. There is no Yellowdig user data shared outside of the institution's Yellowdig account. Below are a few of the methods our engineering team takes to ensure data protection and privacy:
(1) We keep the vast majority of our AWS storage in Oregon (us-west-2), which is a FERPA-approved storage environment.
(2) We use firewalls to ensure that only privileged applications can access student data.
(3) We use an audit log system where breaches can be alerted, intrusion detection.
(4) We automate security scans of our software.
(5) We use the CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) system to scan all images.
(6) We complete automated security scans.
(7) We use mutual TLS. If two services want to talk to each other, they use private keys to do so.
(8) We encrypt our secrets in version control.
(9) We do regular third-party security audits at the request of customers.
(10) By storing all Yellowdig data via AWS, we prevent physical access to our servers.
On top of these privacy differences, Facebook doesn't offer the following Yellowdig features:
Who Uses Yellowdig?
Here are the various types of institutions using Yellowdig:
- Community Colleges
- Liberal Arts Colleges
- Non-profit Institutions
- For-profit Institutions
- State Schools
- Business Schools
- Medical Schools
- Online Programs
- Distance Learning Programs
- Adult Learning Programs
- Continuing Education Programs
- Nursing Schools
- Technical Schools
- Blended Learning Programs
- Masters Programs
- Doctoral Programs
- International Schools
- OPM's (Online Program Management companies)
- MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) providers
Here are the various types of courses using Yellowdig:
- Undergraduate courses
- Graduate courses
- PhD courses
- Corporate Learning courses
- STEM courses
- Liberal Arts courses
- Studio Art courses
- Writing courses
- Language courses
- Computer Science courses
- Learning Design courses
- Advanced STEM courses
- Business School courses
- Medical School courses
- Law School courses
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