Worried about engaging students online? Try Flipgrid! (Part 2)

Stephen Ganfield - Learning Technologist

In part 1, we created a Flipgrid to facilitate student introductions as an ice breaking activity. In this part 2, we look at how to add the topic for students to respond to, how to share the grid, and demonstrate the experience from the student perspective.

Creating a topic


This is the My Grids page listing for all grids created
Find the desired grid on your My Grids page


In order to add a topic to a grid, select the grid from your My Grids page. Having accessed your grid you will find, as luck would have it, there is already an icebreaking topic included! In order to change the features of the topic (some examples listed below) click the pencil icon:

  • Length of student video responses (ranging between 15 seconds and 10 minutes).
  • Enabling students to include an external link to OneNote or Google Docs.
  • Ability for students to edit their recordings, like each other’s posts and respond to them.
  • Enable moderation so that you can vet responses before they appear on the grid.
  • Provide basic feedback or build and assign custom feedback rubrics that may be discipline dependent.
Screen of the topics listed within your Grid that are listed like discussions in a discussion forum in a list a format highlighting the editing 'pencil' icon
To edit the features of a topic, click the pencil icon







Screenshot of various features that can be turned on and off within a topic using slider buttons
Just some of the features of a topic that you can customise

Sharing your grid with students

As stated in part 1, there are a number of methods in which to share your grids you can: email the flipcode to students, embed your grid in a label on a Moodle module using an embed code and the HTML button of the text editor, add embedding it into a Microsoft Teams discussion. For this example I will be embedding it into MS Teams.

To share your grid, go to My Grids and click the Share button on the desired grid.

This is the My Grids page listing for all grids created
In order to share a grid, click share from your My Grids page

On the resulting screens, click on the Microsoft Teams icon and select the desired team.

Screenshot showing the various sharing mechanisms for your grid including embed codes and Microsoft Teams
Sharing options for your grid


Screen enabling users to search for an MS Team to share the Flipgrid with the flip code access details and any accompanying message
Search for the appropriate Team to share your Flipgrid with


Cartoon of a man and a women giving the 'thumbs up' to confirm the link to your grid has been shared
Confirmation that your Flipgrid has been shared


Screenshot of the link to the Flipgrid in MS Teams including the link, accompanying image and message
View of Flipgrid embedded in an MS Teams discussion

Recording a video to the grid

One of the easiest ways for students to engage with Flipgrid is through the use of a smartphone and the Flipgrid IOS (iPhone) and Android apps. Here I will demonstrate the process in a series of iPhone screenshots. (Please forgive the haggard appearance – it has been a long lockdown!).

Screenshot from an iPhone where users input the flipcode to access your Flipgrid
Having opened the Flipgrid app, enter the flipcode


Screenshot from an iPhone showing how students can log in using their University Microsoft account
Students log in using their University account via the Microsoft option
Screenshot from an iPhone of the Flipgrid topic showing the '+' button used to start a recording
The topic screen where you click ‘+’ to record a video to the grid


Screenshot from an iPhone of all the recording functions including adding emojis, present using a whiteboard and add images
Students record their response and can add emojis, play with colour filters, present via a whiteboard and add photos


Screenshot of an iPhone showing the editing functions students can use on their recordings
Students can review their recording and then take a selfie that appears in the grid


Screenshot from an iPhone showing applause emoji to signal a successful upload to the grid
Confirmation of a successful upload to the grid

Viewing submissions from the grid

Once the grid has received a few responses, you can check them out in an overall grid view. As you will see from the following screenshot the selfies can be as minimalist or as extrovert (within reason) as students see fit. Once accessed students can also like and record a video response to other’s posts.

Screenshot of video selfies showing responses made to the icebreaker topic Flipgrid
A view of responses made to the grid


Screenshot of the student view of other students' uploads to the grid
Student view of other students’ posts. The speech bubble icon enables them to record a response to that student’s recording

Providing tutor responses to submissions to the grid

Having received responses from students, Flipgrid gives tutors various methods of providing feedback to them. To access these, you need to go to flipgrid.com, go to My Grids, select the desired grid and topic within it. You will then see submissions to the topic and by clicking these you will then arrive at a screen where you can record feedback and grade these submissions against topic criteria rubrics be they basic defaults or custom ones.

Screenshot of the grid homepage and the lists of topics within
Click on the topic within the grid to access student responses


Screen shot showing all of the student responses in a list. Tutors click on these to access the feedback screen
Click on the individual student responses to open the feedback screen


Screenshot showing methods of feeding back to students including recording video feedback or grading against default or custom rubrics
Record video feedback or grade the response against default or custom rubrics


So as you can see Flipgrid could very well be a useful tool in engaging students at a distance to foster a vibrant academic community during what will be a very different start to the 2020-21 academic year!

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