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June 27, 2019

Yellowdig and the Future of Lifelong Learning in the Digital Age.

In 2014, we founded Yellowdig to reimagine the university-level learning experience for the digital age. We sought to create a social platform that could drive student engagement, retention and success while simultaneously empowering educators. 

And in just five short years, we’ve made significant strides towards those goals...

 

  • 1. We’ve impacted over 250,000 learners through partnerships with world class institutions including Havard, MIT and Arizona State. 
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  • 2. We’ve repeatedly demonstrated the platform’s ability to double student engagement. 

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  • 3. Through Yellowdig’s gamified approaches, we’ve reduced the amount of time faculty and administrators spend on grading and facilitating discussions by nearly 80 percent. 

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4. We’ve evidenced that students that use Yellowdig are up to 10 percent more likely to complete courses and continue their degree path while also reporting higher overall satisfaction in exit surveys which, in turn, produce positive educational and economic impacts for both students and institutions.

 

While we are proud of these achievements we are equally energized by what we have learned and where we are going. We are committed to enhancing interdisciplinary thinking, curiosity and creativity in our future learners, that allow them to thrive and become productive global citizens.

 

The Entire Student Lifecycle

We’ve come to learn that the student lifecycle doesn’t begin on the first day of freshman year. Nor does it end at graduation. Some of the most important “college years” occur outside of those milestones. Consider the 18 months leading up to that first day of class. Or the first year after school. Or the next five. Or the next 50. 

 

What’s more is that today’s student is increasingly nontraditional. In fact, nontraditional learners are the fastest growing segment in the higher ed ecosystem while traditional enrollment continues to decline. Technology has played a big part in that, enabling working professionals to earn online degrees, certificates or “micro masters.” The rise of reputable online institutions is allowing learners of all ages, backgrounds and experiences to shift careers, learn on their terms, or do whatever they need to do to pursue their dreams in a way that aligns with their needs and lifestyles.

Lifelong Learning

The modern definition of a student, the evolved student lifecycle and the qualitative and quantitative data we (Yellowdig) have amassed over the last five years point to a key truth: learning is lifelong. Sure, we all more or less know that, but now we have parameters.

 

In parallel, there are multiple facets of “life” as a student. From student groups and support services to internships and volunteering, there are countless elements that make up “student life.” This adds another layer to the lifelong learning concept.

And it is with that wisdom gained we are excited to introduce the next evolution of Yellowdig. 

We’re going beyond the classroom and into the entire institution. We like to think of it as a digital campus. The solution is purpose-built to support every aspect of student life, across the entire student lifecycle. It is designed to enrich the institutional experience at a macro level, driving engagement and improving retention. 

 

Social connections are still at the core of Yellowdig, but they now will be able to happen beyond the initial course of study. For example, imagine an incoming freshman emailing with a rising sophomore as part of an orientation program. Instead, they can connect on Yellowdig, despite not having been in a class together. Similarly, students in a computer science group can connect and engage with alumni working in the field to seek out mentorship. 

 

The idea is that Yellowdig will facilitate social connections and relationships within an institution that in all likelihood would never have happened. Carrying over the data-supported best practices that validated Yellowdig in the classroom we are now ready to exponentially expand the learning experience in a way that is authentically engaging for learners and a true driver of value for institutions. 

 

Finally, this moment has also given us the opportunity to invest heavily in security and WCAG 2.0 AA compliance to ensure that every person, regardless of physical abilities, will have the opportunity to connect and learn with everyone else.

 

 

From Shaunak Roy (Founder & CEO, Yellowdig)

Want to see the future of Yellowdig in action? Sign up for our next webinar, happening July 23 at 1:00 p.m. ET.