EME 810
Solar Resource Assessment and Economics

1.3 Discussion Activity



This semester we are adopting a new platform for class discussions – Yellowdig! If you have only participated in the Canvas discussions so far, this may feel a little different. My hope is that this tool will help us make the discussions more engaging while maintaining the breadth and depth of learning we hope for. Please refer to the course orientation page that explains the steps to establish your Yellowdig account and set yourself up for participation.

Already have the Yellowdig account? – Then go to Canvas course menu, and click on “Yellowdig” link on the left to enter the conversation space.

Lesson 1 Discussion: History of Energy Resources

For this first week of the class, I would like you to engage in conversations about the historical development of energy resources in your area – solar and beyond! Here are some guiding questions that will set you up and help you create good posts and initiate productive discussions:

  • How far back in time can you find historic energy information for your locale?
  • What are the traditional sources of energy and fuels (geofuels) your region relied on in the past?
  • What is the history of solar energy use in your area (not limited to solar panels – think broader!) for heating, cooking, power etc.
  • From your own perspective, how good is the solar resource where you live and what it may mean for the economy of your locale?

Some of these questions will require you to dig in a bit and research outside of this class content. Expect that it will take some time to find good, resourced information.


Yellowdig Tip: When you create a post in the Yellowdig discussion space, you are required to choose a topic tag. For Lesson 1 discussions, use either (or both) of these tags:

You can create a single post or split it into two different topics – whatever feels best for you!

Importance of interaction

When it comes to Yellowdig, your posts, comments, replies, questions and answers – all these may add points to your yellowdig score, so don’t hold back! In order for these activities to work best for your learning, you need to participate frequently, keep up with conversations going and take opportunities to interact with your peers. Sometimes spontaneous conversations sparkled over a single fact mentioned bring more value than initial content.


Yellowdig discussions will account for 15% of the total grade in the course. Your posting and interactions will contribute to your weekly participation score (1000 pts.). After each week, all the Yellowdig points you earned will be transferred to Canvas and added to the your cumulative participation grade. Check the Orientation Yellowdig page for more details on the points earning rules – how many you get for starting a conversation, posting a comment, or attracting traffic on your post.


Be sure to set notification preferences in Yellowdig if you’d like to receive emails about someone posting or replying to your post. That will allow you not to miss important action as you go through the week.


I encourage you to create your posts in the middle of the study week (Sunday) and not to wait until the end of the lesson. That will allow others to respond in a timely manner. Each conversation will stay open after the lesson is done, but it will be harder to earn a high score with your work once everyone moved on to the next lesson. Note that point earning window for each lesson is limited to one week.