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Research Study 

 Large | Non-profit | State school


2,042 learners in the sample

LMS Discussion Board vs Yellowdig


Yellowdig Participation Averages:

12,515 pins

242 words / pin average


  • 85 words / comment average


8% decrease in dropout when Yellowdig was introduced in courses


8% is 163 students saved from dropping out



(name of the university must remain anonymous, due to FERPA legality)

Online University


Research Study

For-profit | Fully online school


1,541 learners in the sample

LMS Discussion Board vs Yellowdig


78% increase in average number of posts per student in Yellowdig


5.2% more learners passed the course with Yellowdig than without


4.9% - 5.2% drop in learner dropout across courses with Yellowdig






(name of the university must remain anonymous, due to FERPA legality)




Research Study

Large | Engineering | Corporation


1,541 employees in the sample


Can Yellowdig create organic knowledge transfer between

the most experienced employees and the newest?


61.2% of employees went above and beyond the instructed participation requirements in Yellowdig


Over 50% of the activity in Yellowdig occurred in the evenings and during weekends (outside of work hours)


(company name kept anonymous at the request of the company)

Associated Research Supporting Yellowdig

"Using collaborative learning methods vs. individual learning has a significant increase in outcomes."


Source: Ritu Chandra,  Collaborative Learning for Educational Achievement

"Cooperative learning methods improve students' time on tasks and intrinsic motivation to learn, as well as students' interpersonal relationships and expectations for success."


Source: Vanessa Vega and Youki Terada,  Research Supports Collaborative Learning

"From this research study, it can be concluded that collaborative learning fosters the development of critical thinking through discussion, clarification of ideas, and evaluation of others’ ideas. However, both methods of instruction were found to be equally effective in gaining factual knowledge. Therefore, if the purpose of instruction is to enhance critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, then collaborative learning is more beneficial."


Source: Anuradha A. Gokhale,  Collaborative Learning Enhances Critical Thinking

"The positive interpersonal relationships fostered by cooperative experiences may increase social pressure to learn and achieve, adjust to new relationships and become socially integrated into campus life, help set social goals, reduce uncertainty about goals, increase commitment to other students, and increase congruence between attending the university and relationship goals."


"The increased psychological health promoted by cooperative experiences may increase students’ academic self-esteem and self-efficacy, psychological adjustment, clarify personal goals, increase ability to cope with uncertainty, maintain constructive relationships with diverse schoolmates, form coalitions to achieve goals, and ability to adapt personal goals to current situations."


"In cooperative groups students can engage in discussions in which they construct and extend conceptual understanding of what is being learned and develop shared mental models of complex phenomena. Groupmates can hold students accountable to learn, provide feedback on how well they are doing, and give support and encouragement for further attempts to learn. Students can observe the most outstanding group members as behavioral models to be emulated. It is through discussions in small groups that students acquire attitudes and values (such as the need for continuous improvement)."


Source: Marjan Laal and Seyed Mohammad Ghodsi,  Procedia - Benefits of Collaborative Learning

"Learning is optimizing our connections to the networks that matter to us. This satisfies both the community concept of learning (Social Networking) and the knowledge aspect (gaining access to information and fitting it into the patterns in one’s head)."


Source: Jay Cross,  Informal Learning: Rediscovering the Natural Pathways That Inspire Innovation and Performance

"20% of what you learn you get from relationships and social networking / informal learning."


"With the rise and rise of social media, it’s almost inevitable that the ‘20’ will become more important as a channel for learning.”

– Charles Jennings (interview)


Sources: Morgan McCall, Michael M. Lombardo, Robert W. Eichinger,  The 70:20:10 model for Learning and Development

Learn Innovators, How Social Learning is Powering Up Today's Workplaces

"This research found that students found the following benefits from social media:


  • 1) Efficient way to gather information

  • 2) Efficient communication- easier/better experience than using email or LMS- students today greatly prefer social media tools to communicate than LMS or email based communication

  • 3) Quality communication- because all members of a FB group have a common interest or purpose, all information shared is relevant to all people in the group

  • 4) Informal peer learning- FB groups proved to be a good tool  for peer support and informal learning among students as well as increased communication over assignments and course content

  • 5) Community- a FB group was viewed by students as a supportive environment - for academic, social, and emotional support" 


"Studies show that social network tools support educational activities by making interaction, collaboration, active participation, information and resources sharing and critical thinking possible."


"Crook (2008) argues that a dynamic sense of community is formed from the solidarity of belonging to the same educational group because each member shares one common learning goal or purpose. Indeed, it is well documented that social software supports group interaction toward establishing communities, creating and exchanging content."


"Students exhibit a Web 2.0 mentality. Web 2.0 technologies for learning: The current landscape – opportunities, challenges and tensions. [Google Scholar]), in that they want to be highly connected, highly collective and highly creative and they expect technology to be the same. Furthermore, Digital Natives use social media as their primary source of information and communication. In fact, students favour using Facebook Groups as their preferred channel of communication and are critical of the official channels of communication, namely email and Blackboard, which they do not consider as their primary source of information."


Source: Liz Ahern,  Social media as a support for learning in universities: an empirical study of Facebook Groups

"Viewing others’ comments and postings provides a double feedback to the user: first, they are using the right application at the correct place; secondly, other people have the same questions, interests, or ideas. This promotes a much needed sense of community. This reciprocating interaction applied to the university environment offers not only benefits to students but in the long term to the entire community."


"... However, as learning has evolved from a practice taking place in the physical world to computer-supported learning systems that mediate interaction with the learning material, establishing a strong foundation for substituting the social part of learning has become crucial."


"Social software has provided many features that can serve the learning sector in different ways. Multimedia, or any content on the web can be highly useful in tagging learning material for sharing between peers. This methodology, usually referred to as “the wisdom of the crowd”, has been proposed [1] within social networks. Tagging can provide an easier way to obtain valuable experience from trusted members in the social network."


"Another area where social software offers value is within recommendations for learning material and sources of information. Recommender systems are usually based on similarities between the users. If users are from the same network and share similar interests, then it is easier and more reliable to apply recommendation algorithms for networks of learners rather than just individuals. In distance learning and virtual universities, the recommendation, tagging and sharing of resources and ideas can be highly beneficial given that students do not meet physically. The social value of face-to-face discussion can be partially replaced through the use of social software. Furthermore, if distance learners tend to be in the same network (university social network) and using social software for entertainment, this may result in their becoming more socially connected, thereby enhancing their social learning environment and student experience."


Source: Ilaria Liccardi, Asma Ounnas, Reena Pau, Elizabeth Massey, Paivi Kinnunen, Sarah Lewthwaite, Marie-Anne Midy, and Chandan Sarkar 

The role of social networks in students' learning experiences

"Informal learning accounts for over 75% of the learning taking place in organizations today."


Source: Jeffrey Roth, Research Shows Companies Should Encourage Social Learning

""Therefore, it can be concluded that students at the community college level benefit from the incorporation of post-reflective assignments such as individual written reflections or online discussion forums."


Source: Rachel Syring Ryan 

The Effect of Online Discussion Forums on Student Learning and Student Perception of Learning in a Science Course at the Community College Level

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