Flipgrid is a really quick and simple video creation platform that you can use with your students. You post a topic you’d like the students to respond to and you can control the length of the video replies and how students can respond to each other’s videos.
It’s a great platform for reflective blogging, asynchronous debates, discussions, presentations or performances. There’s a wide range of activities you can use Flipgrid for and in this Take 5 blog we’re going to explore why you might want to give it a go.
- Increased Sense of Community
During online learning, and particularly the current emergency remote education (Williamson et al, 2020) being delivered due to the pandemic, developing a sense of community is an important factor to student engagement and retention on a course (Yang et al, 2017, Meyer et al, 2009). Flipgrid provides tutors and staff with an easy means of posting short video responses to a task. By asking students to use Flipgrid to respond, rather than a more traditional written forum, it provides students with a richer mode of communication (Stoszkowski et al, 2020), and a greater sense of connectedness (Johnson & Skarphol, 2018).
- May constructively align better to your learning outcomes
When you are deciding on the activities you would like your students to complete as part of the course, it’s useful to reflect on how well these activities constructively align to your learning outcomes and assessment criteria for the course. For example, if the assessment of your unit is a presentation, using flip-gird as a way for students to present their thoughts and ideas succinctly, gives them a more authentic way to develop the skills needed, then they would from exchanging ideas in a forum for example (Stoszkowski et al, 2020, Keiper et al, 2020 )
- Enables a more democratic debate
Flip-grid is also an effective way of making sure that everyone gets the chance to express their ideas/thoughts/reflections, without risk of the debate becoming dominated by stronger individuals in the group (Stoszkowski et al, 2020).
- Tasks can be carried out asynchronously
Students report appreciating the asynchronous nature of a video debate, as it gives them the opportunity to formulate their ideas and reflect, before responding (Keiper et al, 2020) whilst also increasing the sense of being connected to peers in the classroom (Bartlett, 2018). Students also fed back that they found watching the video debates more engaging and perceived them as less time consuming, than partaking in a forum discussion (Keiper et al, 2020).
- Other things to consider….
Some students may find the prospect of video sharing uncomfortable, or a source of anxiety, and although the research states that this was the experience of a small minority, (Keiper et al, 2020) it is worth bearing in mind that you might experience resistance to the task from some students. As such if you do decide to deliver a task in this way we would recommend that you express how the skills developed in doing the activity link to the learning outcomes to the course and the rationale behind asking students to partake in this way, so they clearly see the value of participating. You might also set up your activity so that the students are working in smaller groups, which they may find less intimidating (Stoszkowski, 2018), this can be done within the settings in Flipgrid.
- Give the students an easy ice-breaker style activity to give them a chance to play with the tool in a low risk environment.
- Demonstrate to students how to use the Flipgrid boards so that they can share their voice without their face showing
- Post a video response yourself first! It can be intimidating to be the first person to post a response, so if your students seem shy, record your own video first
- Engage with the student responses, you can provide written or video replies
- Be wary of enabling “likes” without considering potential impacts of this, research has shown that it can create a competitive element that can be counterproductive to encouraging engagement (Stoszkowski, 2018)
Sounds great! Where can I find out more?
You can find help on how to use Flipgrid within their help pages: Flipgrid: Getting Started
Bartlett, M. (2018). Using Flipgrid to Increase Students’ Connectedness in an Online Class. ELearn, 2018(12). https://doi.org/10.1145/3302261.3236703
Johnson, M., & Skarphol, M. (2018). The Effects of Digital Portfolios and Flipgrid on Student Engagement and Communication in a Connected Learning Secondary Visual Arts Classroom. Masters of Arts in Education Action Research Papers. https://sophia.stkate.edu/maed/270
Keiper, M. C., White, A., Carlson, C. D., & Lupinek, J. M. (2020). Student perceptions on the benefits of Flipgrid in a HyFlex learning environment. Journal of Education for Business, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1080/08832323.2020.1832431
Meyer, K. A., Bruwelheide, J., & Poulin, R. (2009). Why They Stayed: Near-Perfect Retention in an Online Certification Program in Library Media. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 13(3), 129–145. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ862361
Stoszkowski, J. (2018). Using Flipgrid to develop social learning. Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching, 11(2). https://doi.org/10.21100/compass.v11i2.786
Stoszkowski, J., Hodgkinson, A., & Collins, D. (2020). Using Flipgrid to improve reflection: a collaborative online approach to coach development. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2020.1789575
Williamson, B., Eynon, R., & Potter, J. (2020). Pandemic politics, pedagogies and practices: digital technologies and distance education during the coronavirus emergency. In Learning, Media and Technology (Vol. 45, Issue 2, pp. 107–114). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2020.1761641
Yang, D., Baldwin, S., & Snelson, C. (2017). Persistence factors revealed: students’ reflections on completing a fully online program. Distance Education, 38(1), 23–36. https://doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2017.1299561