Using FlipGrid in Canvas

Learner II
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FlipGrid logo

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 than Kahoot   And Microsoft recently bought FlipGrid and opened up all the premium features to everyone for free (such as maximum allowed video length, now 10 minutes).  My colleague James May posted a short 2 minute video about FlipGrid & Canvas that includes some comments from his students about using FlipGrid:

Try It Out for Yourself

Feel free to try it out for yourself and post a video reply to this FlipGrid discussion "grid": Using FlipGrid in Canvas

How to Use FlipGrid as a Student in Canvas

Michelle Pacansky-Brock made a couple of great videos showing students how to participate in a FlipGrid discussion in Canvaseither with their computer and a webcam:

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.

Or students can participate with their smartphone and the Canvas Student app (Android, Apple) and FlipGrid app (Android, Apple) installed:

These videos can help students not only see how to successfully use FlipGrid but also help assuage any fears some may have about recording video.

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

Setting up and configuring FlipGrid for use in a Canvas course requires a few steps, but should not take too long, especially once you get used to using FlipGrid.  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

When I've introduced FlipGrid to teachers and faculty, they are excited about it, and they get some of the obvious uses for FlipGrid such as an introductory discussion or using it in a foreign language course or the like.  But FlipGrid has also been popular in STEM, history, and all kinds of courses.  See for example these resources:

10 Comments
Community Advocate
Community Advocate

I've heard conflicting answers - when Flipgrid is integrated into Canvas and used as an assignment, do students have to create a separate Flipgrid account?

Community Coach
Community Coach

Doug ~

Thank you for taking the time to collect these resources and for demonstrating the student and teacher perspectives! I can think of several times when I've wished that I had something like these videos to share with colleagues. Having examples from multiple disciplines collected in one place is also very helpful. Once you get started, it's rather easy to keep thinking of ways (or excuses!) to use FlipGrid with students.

I think FlipGrid is an amazing tool, and when they became partners with Canvas, I was elated about how easy it became to provide class credit for the FlipGrids they completed.

Keep spreading the "FlipGrid + Canvas" love. Smiley Happy

Learner II

I don't believe so.  There is is an option in FlipGrid grids about requiring students to enter an email address, but it should be off by default.

Learner II

Thanks! And I had forgotten that my colleague James May had already made a 2 minute video about FlipGrid that shares some thoughts from his students, so I added that to the top of the post: Digi-Know about FlipGrid? - YouTube 

Community Member

Oh, THANK YOU for this dholton@floridapoly.edu‌: I met James at InstructureCon and he told us about this Digi-Know series: we need to get him at the Community. I think he is really onto something with these videos!

Pinging awilliams‌ and stefaniesanders‌: do you know about this video series?

Digi-Know about Hamburgers, Invisible Snowmen & Cogwheels? - YouTube 

I'm not sure if all of them are in the playlist there or not; anyway, very nifty stuff! 

Thanks again for the reminder, Doug! 

Learner II

Thank you so much for adding this resource to the community! I didn't see anything about enabling auto closed-captioning in your instructor set up video. Did I miss that piece?

Learner II

Thanks for catching that.  I had assumed captions were automatically enabled, but I guess not.

I see now after some digging that you have to click on FlipGrid in your course navigation menu and then the pencil icon to edit the settings and you'll see the option to turn on captions.

I really wish they would enable captions by default like Youtube does.

Surveyor II

OK, after I wrote that below, I found this:
https://help.flipgrid.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002727834-Canvas-LTI-Integration-Setup

Also, none of the videos above seemed to show a student view of the assignment after a student submitted a video and returned to watch the videos of others, which seems to me the point of the app.  Or did I miss something.   I'd like to see what a student sees when they return.  I'd also like to know how one ensures that the students viewed the other videos.  If there's no way to ensure that, then one cannot be sure that the tool is being used as designed, for actual discussions and interactions (or perhaps my assumption is incorrect...).

Hope to hear from you experts!

--------------------------

Very helpful, but already outdated.  : - ( 

The settings for Canvas integration have changed and there seem to be new options.  Wish you could update! 

I noticed, for example, that one can add existing assignments, which doesn't show in your video.

Indeed, I was able to add a Canvas Discussion (not Assignment, and organized as a Group Discussion), in the Flipgrid topics, under "Discussion" in Flipgrid, without the LTI.  I doubt it works since one needs the LTI and must therefore create and assignment. 

Hope you get time to figure out and update.  I'd like to try it.

 

Learner

Flipgrid needs to be available as a system-wide LTI tool installation into the root level or Sub-Account level.  We do not allow instructors access to install Course level LTI tool installations like what Flipgrid only offers for better security to prevent rogue, unapproved, untested tools that instructors may install.  Instructors also should not have to worry about installing tools.  Let the Canvas Admin install once and then all instructors can use that tool (if the LTI has Course Navigation link then prefer Default Disabled since not all instructors may use that tool).

Many other third-party tools support system-wide LTI tool installations and Flipgrid needs to get on board with that as well.  Instructor specific linkage can be done with pairing the tool to their third-party account.

Surveyor II

Not sure who Michael Ward above was addressing, as the post doesn't respond to my concerns.

I would still love to hear a response to these issues from my prior post:

  • None of the videos above seemed to show a student view of the assignment after a student submitted a video and returned to watch the videos of others, which seems to me the point of the app.  Or did I miss something.   I'd like to see what a student sees when they return to make a second post.

  • I'd also like to know how one ensures that the students viewed each others videos.  If there's no way to ensure that, then one cannot be sure that the tool is being used as designed, for actual discussions and interactions ...
About the Author
Director of Teaching and Learning at Florida Poly. My background is in psychology and education. I have mostly focused on STEM education and educational technology.