Flipgrid is becoming increasingly popular for use in the classroom due to its interactive nature and similarity to widely used social media platforms. Faculty first create groups or classes on the site for students to join. They then create topic cards that provide prompts to which students respond by shooting webcam videos of up to five minutes. Once students respond, other students in the group can view the videos and respond to their classmates through video or text.
Faculty can use Flipgrid for icebreakers, mini-presentations, reflections, text responses, collaboration, video discussions, and assessments and can structure it to assist students in developing important critical thinking skills, applying course concepts, and deepening their understanding of concepts.
Flipgrid is an effective tool to use for icebreakers and beginning-of-the-course introductions. Of course, students can introduce themselves to each other in pairs using Flipgrid. Instead of the typical first-day introductions, however, try something more creative and engaging. One idea is to play a variation of the game Two Truths and a Lie. Each student records their three statements, and peers guess which statement they think is the lie. Eventually, each person responds to the guesses by revealing their lie. Another idea is to connect a course goal or theme to something personal students can respond to. For instance, on the first day of class in an education course, students can create and share on Flipgrid a teaching and learning metaphor that reveals their philosophical standpoint on the role of the teacher and student. Not only does this activity facilitate the process of students getting to know one another, but students will also hear a wide range of their peers’ viewpoints. At the end of the semester, students can revisit their metaphors to determine whether their learning throughout the term changed their initial perceptions.
To help students better think critically, faculty may pose open-ended questions to students before or during a unit of study. Students should be encouraged to integrate the content from the course, but they may need to add their own experiences as well. In a psychology class, faculty may pose the question, “What is intelligence?” Because there are so many theories about this topic, students can integrate content while considering their own beliefs. In an economics class, students might answer a question about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected business profits and share their beliefs in addition to market data on these downward trends. These open-ended statements allow faculty to assess students’ understanding of content while also encouraging students to integrate the content with their experiences and background knowledge.
Faculty can use Flipgrid to enhance students’ basic reasoning skills and apply knowledge and skills. To prepare students to grasp the theme of the day’s lesson in a literature course, faculty first pose pre-reading prompts to which students must respond. For instance, a pre-reading prompt might state, “Tell about a time you experienced a difficult life situation that you faced and overcame” because the text deals with overcoming adversity. In a college algebra class, the teacher could assign students different practice problems that they have to solve, detailing the step-by-step process, on Flipgrid. In classes where students learn skills that can be broken down into parts, students could use Flipgrid to demonstrate or instruct on that skill. For example, in kinesiology, the teacher could ask students to record themselves on Flipgrid teaching their peers how and why to use a weight or rehabilitation machine.
Flipgrid was developed for students to share video responses with one another, so by nature it is a collaborative tool. Members of the class or “grid” respond to one another’s videos addressing a prompt on a “topic card.” Although students in an online class might find it challenging to present together in a video when they are not in the same location, Flipgrid has an option. For instance, students giving a collaborative presentation in their class can use the “screen recorder” option to record a meeting on a web platform, such as Microsoft Teams. In addition to collaborative topic cards, faculty can increase the cooperation by using the GridPals and Co-pilot features. GridPals allows whole classes to collaborate with other classes no matter the distance, so the collaborative presentations students have recorded using the screen recorder function can be shared within their GridPals class. When sharing with another class, students receive more feedback, a wider variety of ideas, and fresh opinions.
Flipgrid is both visual and verbal, making it an excellent tool for allowing students to see and hear as well as provide peer responses that appeal to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. Students perceive that Flipgrid improves the development of speaking and listening skills (Mango, 2021); therefore, Flipgrid can be beneficial by giving students an opportunity to practice oral communication skills. Faculty can create prompts to formatively assess student learning and communication skills using Flipgrid. For example, a psychology teacher might have students explain one developmental theory they learned in class and offer their own examples. Students can also critique and evaluate either themselves or a peer. For example, students can record themselves demonstrating an assigned skill (e.g., brush strokes in painting or the proper technique for holding a tool) and then complete a self-evaluation or peer evaluation of the skill using an observational checklist provided by the teacher. In addition to being easy and enjoyable for students to use, Flipgrid has many applications to encourage engagement and peer collaboration in an online college environment.
Mango, O. (2021). Flipgrid: Students’ perceptions of its advantages and disadvantages in the language classroom. International Journal of Technology in Education and Science (IJTES), 5(3), 277–287. https://doi.org/10.46328/ijtes.195
Stacia Miller, PhD, is an associate professor of kinesiology, Christina Janise McIntyre, PhD, is an associate professor of education, and Suzanne F. Lindt, PhD, is a professor of education at Midwestern State University.