Guest post – DigiLearn: Using Flipgrid as a video-blogging tool for students
Author: Deborah Spencer – Senior Lecturer (School of Health Sciences)
For this blog I want to talk about how I have used Flipgrid in my digital teaching and learning strategy.
Students on Post Registration study can sometimes feel daunted using technology in their programmes. I deliver a module on Transcultural Health and Social Care and in the assessment strategy, students are required to develop a blog as the formative and summative assessment. To date, this process has been rather two-dimensional, and I wanted to inject something different into the process for the student experience.
I had come across Flipgrid at the UCLan CELT Teaching, Learning and Assessment conference in 2018, and was inspired by the three-dimensional aspect of the student engagement. I felt that this was what I was looking for as an academic trying to nurture the students to think more creatively about the concepts and themes within the module content. Following a meeting with TELT technologist, I proposed the implementation with the module team, and we decided to introduce this as part of the formative process so that students could share their experiences and develop discussions about the issues involved in their individual reflections. The intention was that this would help them to develop their work and inform the summative assessment which they submit at the end of the module.
To be honest, this was a slow burner and the concerns about videoing themselves and sharing this proved to be a challenge. Once this was overcome, they did embrace the platform. However, the peer interaction was not as successful as I had hoped. I will take this forward into the next academic year, learning from the experience with the current cohort. I will also provide increased support in the use of the app and the purpose of the activity, from much earlier on. I made the mistake of thinking that the students would be familiar with this type of tool, but as mature students, they demonstrated the lack of IT skills that is talked about in the literature.
I also think that there was a lot of new technology to contend with, not only Blackboard, but we also introduced Microsoft Teams at the same time. This needs to be better managed in the future. But I hope to report improved results after the next academic year. I would be interested to hear from anyone who had overcome similar issues with their students and who has used Flipgrid within summative assessment processes.