Remember those boring discussion boards from your last online course? Well, this fall I started teaching for a local community college in my “spare” time. MOODLE is the LMS with an advanced forum option for threaded discussions. Nothing wrong with that… However, during my “day job” I get to see K-12 students using FlipGrid for fluency, to explain their thinking, and for an opportunity to speak when otherwise they won’t. For example, check out this Explorer Series from FlipGrid where students can ask questions and discuss fossils with a real paleontologist! Find many more great examples of FlipGrid fever on Twitter @Flipgrid.
Most of my college students are non-traditional students who never see (or hear) each other. Text-based threaded discussions are fine, but, like email or texting, you can’t hear voice inflections, passion, anger or know if someone is just joking (unless you add an emoji 😉). FlipGrid to the rescue! I purchased the $65 full version because I wanted to be able to have several grids, add rubrics, and allow my students to reply to each other. The free version lets you have one grid and as many topics as you’d like. There are other differences in the paid vs free versions which you can check out here.
I create a new topic each week then “share” it by embedding it right in MOODLE’s advanced forum post. (It will integrate with Canvas too!) Students can use any device (there’s an app for that!) to respond and reply to each other. I’ve gotten so many positive comments from my students and, as an instructor, it really helps me get to know each of them personally and learn from them as well!
FlipGrid is easy to set up and use. Students don’t need accounts, just the code for the topic you have created. Even better, when you click on Share – you can share right to your Google Classroom (if only we could get our higher ed friends to embrace Google!) All students have to do is click on the BIG + sign and start recording!! You can give them a prompt, ask them a question, provide a URL link, or even add a video to give them something to talk about! Try it once… and I’m betting you will have FlipGrid fever too!