Flipgrid (Instructor Version)

This service is for faculty and staff.


Flipgrid is a simple, free, and accessible video-based collaboration tool that makes teaching and learning more personal, fun, and engaging. Flipgrid accounts and videos are hosted and managed by Microsoft. It is loaded with features and continues to increase in capabilities. This article will cover the basics for instructors who would like to use Flipgrid with their students.

Before using Flipgrid, please review the following important topics:

  • Security and Privacy
  • Preserving Student Videos
  • Setting Up FlipGrid Groups
  • Moderation and Notifications 
  • Getting Started

Security and Privacy

Flipgrid recommends requiring students to log in with an institutional email address. This can be accomplished in two ways: 1) email-based group or topic membership or 2) integration with Canvas. 

Creating public groups for your courses is not recommended. To allow a guest to participate in a Flipgrid discussion in a class, add a guest password to the discussion topic within a secured group using email-based membership. In this case, also turn on topic moderation to prevent an unintended video being published to the class topic. For more information about using groups and topics see: Topics and Groups: When and How to Use Both.

Preserving Student Videos

Flipgrid is recommended for low stakes or formative assignments like discussions, reflections, and demonstrations. Student control over their video content is determined by how you set up group membership.  

Downloading Video Content

Instructors can download and manage all student video submissions. If you need to preserve these videos for an extended period, upload them to a university supported service like Panopto or OneDrive. For details, see Educators: Download student videos.

Students can download a copy of their video submissions immediately after recording as seen in the picture below:

Flipgrid download video button

Student access to previously recorded content is based on how instructors or topic owners set up group membership.

  1. If using email-based group membership, students can download, delete, or hide their video content through their My Flipgrid portal at any time. For details, see Students: Download your videos.

  2. If using the Canvas LTI integration, students cannot manage their previously recorded video content in their My Flipgrid portal. If they want to save a video, students must download it immediately after recording and can only download the video once. The Download Video option is circled in red above.

Setting Up Flipgrid Groups

In Flipgrid, instructors create topics for students to respond to. These topics can stand alone or can be grouped. In most cases, the instructor will first create a group for a class and then add discussion topics to this class group or have groups automatically created by Canvas. Groups are the primary way to manage security and student access to topics. The table below identifies the capabilities and limitations of each type of groups.

Differences in capabilities between using email or Canvas LTI groups
Functionality Email Based Canvas LTI
Sharing Topics Link / QR Code / Join Code Canvas assignment or external tool resource
Student Login Email Canvas
Guest Access Yes (topics) No 
Speed Grader No Yes
Canvas Role Needed to Grade N/A Teacher
Student Control of Content Yes No
Reply to Video & Audio Comments Yes Yes
Text Comments Yes No
Moderation Yes Yes

Choosing Email vs. Canvas LTI Integration

Why choose the Canvas LTI method? 

Using the canvas LTI integration will streamline Flipgrid video discussions for both instructors and students.

  • Groups will automatically be created for the course
  • Topics will be built for every Flipgrid type assignment you create
  • Submissions will be shown in SpeedGrader
  • Students can access the course discussion topics without ever needing to create a My Flipgrid account. 

See Canvas LTI Integration- Setup before creating any course groups or topics.

Note: The teacher role is required to grade FlipGrid Canvas submissions

Why choose email-based groups? 

This option is best if:

  • Assignments are not graded with Canvas SpeedGrader
  • The instructor wants the flexibility of inviting students to discussion using a variety of communication channels
  • It is important to give students more control over their content

Note: If communication channels will be shared publicly, add students with individual email addresses (studentname@stthomas.edu) instead by email domain (@stthomas.edu) when creating membership groups or turning moderation on. 

See Getting Started: Educators to learn more about using email-based groups.

Moderation and Notifications

  • By default, topic moderation and notifications for Instructors (topic owners) and students (topic followers) are set to off
  • Moderation helps you control the visibility of video posts to your topic. You might turn moderation on to add security to your topics or assess student submissions individually. When moderation is on you can manage submissions individually or release all in a topic group. 
  • Weekly, daily, and immediate email notifications can be enabled for new submissions. To enable students to get notifications turn topic followers on

For more information on Topic Moderation and Notifications see:

Getting Started

To get started, create an educator account using your University of St. Thomas Microsoft account login.

  • Do not use this account to you teach classes at another institution and do not teach St. Thomas courses with the Flipgrid account from another institution.
    • Tip: If you have multiple FlipGrid accounts, dedicate a browser to each account, or create separate computer accounts for each institution.

Picture of educator signup for flipgrid with Microsoft choice emphasized

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Article ID: 124698
Fri 1/15/21 12:41 PM
Thu 10/13/22 1:09 PM

Related Services / Offerings (1)

St. Thomas offers Zoom and Microsoft Teams that allow you to host virtual audio/video meetings.