November 2013Technology

Flipgrid: Discussion Grids

Adrienne GonzalesBy Adrienne Gonzales, PhD, Foreign Language Pedagogy & Technology Specialist at University of Denver, CO.

Flipgrid, produced by the LT Media Lab at the University of Minnesota, is a web-based platform that allows teachers to create “grids” of discussion-style questions.  Grids can be organized as classes, sections, or groups of students.  Each Flipgrid admin account can hold four grids, but additional grids are available for purchase.  These grids house an unlimited number of short, text-based prompts.  The image below shows a teacher admin page containing one grid with two questions.

Flipgrid interface of available grids and response questions.













From the student’s end, the grid appears as a timeline of questions posted by the instructor:

Student view of Flipgrid.










Students are directed to the grid or the individual questions and answer the prompts by recording a video of up to 90 seconds. The image below shows a question page with four video replies. Feel free to test out this question and contribute an answer!

Flipgrip’s appearance is highly customizable and offers a number of helpful admin tools and settings. Grid creators can change a grid’s Color Style (background and highlight colors), Moderation (if you want to approve videos before they are posted), Privacy (password-protected or not), Social Links (whether videos can be shared outside of Flipgrid on blogs, Facebook, or Twitter), Activity (whether the grid is live or in development), and Notifications (if you’d like to receive emails when students respond).

While the question prompts are limited to text, one major benefit of Flipgrid over a similar program that facilitates asynchronous discussion program, such as VoiceThread, is that is does not require students to create and account. Anyone can easily access and contribute a response (unless the question is password protected). A Flipgrid app is currently in production and its release will further facilitate student participation and access. Overall, Flipgrid is a very practical activity creation tool. Its simplicity and ease of use makes it an ideal supplement to the foreign language classroom for face-to-face, hybrid, or online courses.

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