Using FlipGrid Video Discussion Boards in Canvas

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FlipGrid is a free video discussion tool that allows for threaded video discussions in your Canvas course.  It’s become very popular in both K-12 schools and college classes lately, possibly even more popular that Kahoot 🙂  And Microsoft recently bought FlipGrid and opened up all the premium features (such as maximum video length, now 5 minutes) for everyone for free.  Here is a video of James May introducing FlipGrid:

Try It Yourself!

Feel free to try it yourself by recording your thoughts about FlipGrid on this FlipGrid “grid”.

How to Use FlipGrid as a Student in Canvas

If you are using FlipGrid in a Canvas course, here are a couple of videos showing students how to use FlipGrid in Canvas with a computer or their phone with the Canvas Student app (Android, Apple) and FlipGrid app (Android, Apple) installed:

If students do use FlipGrid with a laptop or computer, they may get errors that Flash is required.  Here are instructions on how to enable Flash in Chrome and enable Flash in Firefox.

I might recommend if you create a FlipGrid assignment in your course to link to those videos (or make your own) to help students both see how to successfully use FlipGrid and also help assuage any fears some may have about recording video.

How to Set Up and Use FlipGrid as a Teacher in Canvas

FlipGrid has a nice handout explaining how to set up and use FlipGrid in Canvas.

It is missing a few things that may come up though: 1) what do you need to do when you roll over your course from one semester to another? 2) what if you have more than one instructor/facilitator, and 3) what if you share your course with someone else to use?

This video walks through setting up and using FlipGrid in Canvas, and it addresses those issues at the end:

But as to those 3 issues about using FlipGrid in Canvas:

  1. When rolling over your Canvas course from one semester to another, go back to each of your FlipGrid assignments and create a new grid to use.
  2. If you have more than one instructor/facilitator, click on the FlipGrid link in the course navigation menu and click on “Add CoPilot” to add another person who can administer the FlipGrid grids in the course.
  3. If someone else copies your Canvas course or if you import and use a Canvas course that someone else created and which uses FlipGrid, go to Settings -> Apps -> View App Configurations, and enter your own FlipGrid consumer key and shared secret as explained in the handout and video above.  Then go to each FlipGrid assignment and create a grid to use.

Other FlipGrid Options: Captions and Email Notifications

A couple of things I didn’t mention in the video: captions are not enabled by default in FlipGrid, and by default you will get an email notification every time a student posts a video.

To enable captions (which I recommend), click on the FlipGrid link in your course navigation menu, then click the pencil icon, scroll down, and toggle on the “Captions” option.

If you wish to turn off email notifications, toggle off the “Notify Me” option.

Pedagogical Uses for FlipGrid

FlipGrid seems like an excellent tool to use for an introductory discussion, so that folks can get to know each other.  And it’s also not hard to see using it in courses like a foreign language course where students can use it to practice speaking in the language they are learning.  But FlipGrid has also been popular in STEM and all kinds of courses.  See for example:

 

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