Flipgrid can be an amazing tool for getting students engaged in your courses. While many instructors are already using Flipgrid, many are interested but aren’t sure how they can integrate it or why it might be useful. Here, we’ll discuss when Flipgrid can be useful, give you some ideas for utilizing it, and share some tips that will help you make the most of this tech tool.
Why Use Flipgrid?
Flipgrid offers a way to give students an additional, media-based format for interacting with you and their classmates. In an online course, where synchronous interaction may be limited, this can be especially useful in building a sense of rapport. Flipgrid can also be useful in allowing students to be more creative and engaged in responding to certain types of questions and as a way to break out of the humdrum of Blackboard discussion boards.
In short, it’s a great tool to use if you’re looking for more ways to build instructor presence and course connection and/or to allow students to work together in a different and potentially more engaging way. It’s not perfect for every course or every application, but it’s a great resource to have in your toolbelt, even if you just use it a few times a term.
Ideas for Using Flipgrid
Here are some ideas of how you can integrate Flipgrid into your courses:
Apply course concepts to the real world. You can use Flipgrid prompts as a way to have students explain how they would apply an idea they learned in your course to a real world situation or problem.
Have students reflect on the class. One idea suggested by Flipgrid is to have students complete a reflection on the course. This can be for you or offering some advice to future students on how to be successful.
Have students present on Flipgrid. Students can present their research, paper, speeches or other course work via Flipgrid. They’ll just use the screen record feature and can lecture to their peers as you would to a class.
Sub in Flipgrid for the discussion board. Bored with the discussion board? Flipgrid can be an alternative to text-based discussions!
Ask students to demonstrate hands-on learning. Because students can access it pretty much anywhere, students can record videos that show them performing tasks, doing experiments, completing problems–whatever kinds of work are relevant to your course.
Use Flipgrid for student questions. For non-urgent questions, Flipgrid can be a useful place for students to post their questions and for you to answer them when you have time.
Ask students questions in Flipgrid. One way to flip your lectures is to have students respond to questions you ask them outside of course time. Then, you can spend your synchronous time focusing on areas where understanding seems more tenuous or on topics students seem more interested in exploring further.
Require a Flipgrid introduction. One way to get students into using Flipgrid, to learn a bit about each other, and to ensure you’re pronouncing names correctly is to have students post an introduction on Flipgrid at the start of the term.
Let students work together. Flipgrid can actually be very useful for small group work. Students can have a discussion, work on a project, or help mentor each other with feedback and advice on their work.
Give feedback. Instead of writing out feedback, use Flipgrid to record a short video offering feedback to students on their work.
Bring in experts. One cool way to engage with Flipgrid is to have visiting experts. Students can ask questions and get answers in return–without everyone having to be on at the same time.
If you’re thinking of trying out Flipgrid, these tips can help you be more successful and head off potential issues.
Flipgrid might not be a good fit for every class. Flipgrid requires that all of your students have access to a video camera and good quality internet service. This can be an important equity issue, so it’s key to ensure all students have access or allow alternative methods of completing assignments. In fact, alternatives are a good idea anyway–not all students want to appear on camera, so allow them to simply voice over if needed.
Let students practice. If your students are new to Flipgrid, they may need some practice. Let the first assignment be just that, and not count for a grade. They can introduce themselves, share a story, or just respond to a simple, low-stakes prompt.
Plan your Flipgrid assignments. Just as you would for any discussion, it’s key to have a learning objective, key takeaways, or other goals for completing Flipgrid activities.
Relate prompts to course content. Much as you would with a discussion board prompt, you can directly relate your Flipgrid prompts to course reading materials, videos, or discussions from class.
Use smaller groups. You don’t have to have the entire class responding to the entire class. You can break your students up into smaller groups and have them work together.
Let students ask the questions. While it can be great to give examples or start things off, Flipgrid suggests having students pose questions for their classmates at the end of their responses.
Allow creativity. Flipgrid has a lot of built-in tools that let students use it in a wide range of ways. Let students explore using Flipgrid through a couple of different options each week.
Limit access. Make sure to limit access to Flipgrid to only those with dupage.edu or cod.edu email addresses!
Make a mixtape. Flipgrid lets you easily pull out some of the most interesting or engaging bits of course discussion and make them into a single video that students can watch and learn from.
Keep it fun. Using Flipgrid shouldn’t be a chore for you or your students. Try to keep it lights and to ensure that students are enjoying it rather than feeling bogged down by it.
Check out our calendar to see if another informational Flipgrid workshop is coming up, or sign up for Foundations of Online Teaching to learn more about Blackboard, online teaching, and tools like Flipgrid!
Learn more about using Flipgrid from these resources.