Categories: Video Discussion, Engagement
Availability: Desktop, Browser, iOS, Android
Uses: Discussion, Student Engagement, Collaboration, Reflection, Active Learning, Formative Assessment

What is it?
Flipgrid is a video response app that can be used to engage students, foster discussion and facilitate active learning. Flipgrid allows you to post discussion questions and have your students respond through video. You can ask the question through text and then record a video of the question to spark discussion. You can also attach links, upload a video from your computer or link to a video on YouTube as an additional resource.

When ready, you can share the link to the discussion topic with your students. Students can respond to the discussion question by recording a video on their computer or mobile device and can see the other student responses. Student responses are limited to 90 seconds in length.

How can I use it?
Flipgrid has a free option which has some limitations but would generally suit a lot of educators who want to use the app with their classes. Flipgrid lets you create “grids” which hold the discussion topics that you open up to your students. With the free account you can create one grid but have unlimited discussion topics, each of which can hold unlimited video responses.

To get started:

  • Go to https://info.flipgrid.com/ and click “Create FREE Account”
    • Complete the registration form and click “Create My Grid!” to continue
  • Create your grid by completing the fields in the form.
    • Some optional settings here include the ability to add a password to a grid, moderate responses (review the videos before other students can see them) and receive notifications for new responses
  • Once the grid has been created, click to create a new topic
    • Add a title and a question or description for the topic
    • Record a video or add a video from your computer or YouTube to supplement the discussion topic you have added
  • Each topic you create will be displayed as a list in your grid. Each topic also has a unique code which you can share with your students.

Why should I use it?
Flipgrid can be used to facilitate a number of teaching approaches. It can help to engage students by giving them a new way to participate in classroom discussions, foster a sense of community for learners and help them to consider other opinions and viewpoints by seeing responses from their peers.

Flipgrid can be used to:

  • gather short student reflections for formative assessments,
  • conduct quick interviews or focus groups,
  • gather feedback through “exit questions”
  • document procedures
  • practice language learning
Flipgrid requires students to respond to discussion topics or questions in 90 seconds, encouraging them to think carefully about their responses, to craft and condense answers to fit this time limit.

Flipgrid is a useful tool for a flipped classroom approach (more here: http://tel.cit.ie/flipped-classroom) whereby students can be provided with some information (a link to a document, video or a brief introduction to a topic) prior to a class and asked to provide their thoughts on the topic. The lecturer can then continue this discussion or address any issues when the class meets face to face.   

One thing to note, however, is that while Flipgrid offers a great alternative to text based student submissions, some students may not be comfortable uploading videos of themselves, particularly if their peers can see them. To address this, particularly if used for formative assessment, some flexibility may be required by allowing students to keep themselves off camera.

Top Tips
If you wish to create multiple grids, perhaps one grid for each of your classes, you can upgrade to Flipgrid Classroom for $65 a year and avail of additional features such as the ability to download video responses, export to excel or enable replies to the video responses.  

If you choose to “moderate responses” when creating your grid, you will need to review the video responses before they are available to other students. This might be a useful option if you want to keep an eye on the videos that are being submitted or if you want to have students submit their videos without having seen other responses such as in the case of some assessments. On the other hand, students can benefit from peer learning by seeing their classmates responses to discussions.

Where can I find it?
Unless otherwise stated, all reviews and recommendations are solely those of the Department of Technology Enhanced Learning team and do not reflect the views or opinions of any organisation, including Cork Institute of Technology. The Department is not responsible for any inappropriate, offensive or illegal content viewed or accessed through the tools and products reviewed.