Marketing Management and New Media Marketing students posted, commented with purpose to earn participation grade
CHALLENGE : How do we boost student engagement?
Drexel University Lebow College of Business marketing Professor Lawrence Duke was noticing a trend: student engagement with the message boards set up through the courses’ learning management systems (LMS) was lacking. Posts were padded with filler language to meet word count minimums. Responses were by and large homogenous. Spikes in engagement were few and far between.
But Professor Duke was confident it wasn’t the students. They were active and engaged during class hours. Rather than spending his time constantly pushing otherwise active students to engage he turned his attention to the more likely culprit: the technology.
SOLUTION : Gamified Engagement
Professor Duke launched Yellowdig in two courses. One was a hybrid New Media Marketing course for advanced undergraduates. The other was a fully online Introduction to Marketing Management course for mid-level undergraduates. Professor Duke hypothesized that Yellowdig’s modern, familiar-looking interface, social components and gamification system would spark better, more frequent online engagement, higher participation and, ultimately, satisfied students.
In the New Media Marketing and Introduction to Marketing Management courses, Yellowdig engagement accounted for five and 10 percent of the course grades, respectively. Professor Duke began each week with a sample post to get the board active. Students then were encouraged to comment, post their own material and promote classmates’ posts.
RESULTS : “I felt like I was actually immersed in the content produced by my classmates.”
It didn’t take long for the discussions to blossom. The New Media Marketing course saw 31 students make 125 posts and 190 comments in four weeks. The 38 students in the Introduction to Marketing Management course made 219 posts and 417 comments across 10 weeks.
While these quantitative metrics evidenced markedly improved engagement, it was the qualitative feedback from students that indicated a higher level of satisfaction:
“I felt like I was actually immersed in the content produced by my classmates.”
“The interface of Yellowdig lets you to look at all the threads without having to go back and forth between different links to see what people said. It’s all on the same page.”
“Personally, I enjoyed using Yellowdig over the discussion board. Since the word requirements are reasonable, I didn't feel the obligation to write meaningless content in order to fulfill the work requirements. I was able to share my thoughts on that week's topic freely. I also like the interactive function that you can like others' posts and give credit to that person. It's a good way to encourage students to generate meaningful content and really get involved in the discussion. I hope to use it for other online courses' discussion.
Professor Duke echoed the same sentiment:
“There was such good content. And I think it's more enjoyable for the students too. I actually think they are reading what other people are doing.”
Yellowdig eliminated pain points all around. Students took to its intuitive, social interface and exhibited positive engagement behaviors powered, in part, by the platform’s gamified design. Professor Duke, meanwhile, saw higher student participation and meaningful, authentic engagement that reduced the number of hours he had to commit to evaluating discussion.