Compassionate Assessment: Speaking Edition

Yesterday I wrote about trying out a new tool for providing feedback to students about their written performance.  Today we are applying the same concepts to a speaking performance, but also using another new tool:  Flipgrid.

Evaluating oral presentations has always been a logistical struggle for me.  Though we have liberal access to iPads, we have had limited options for collecting video performances in one location, requiring that I check each iPad individually.  We have tried one-on-one options, but that requires an independent assignment for the rest of the class–an option that sometimes works, but also sometimes…not so much.

This is where Flipgrid comes ins another option.  I am a first time, free trial, Flipgrid user, but so far, so good.  Flipgrid allows you to pose questions for your students, who then see the questions and video record their responses.  The responses are aggregated on one page for you to see, which helps streamline the assessment process.

You begin by creating a “grid”.  Each grid is a collection of questions.   Since my intermediate students are independently reading novels, I want to check in with their progress from time to time.  Martina Bex has a very good collection of questions that can be used with any story here; I’m using questions like them in my first grid called “story questions”. A grid could also be a class, a period, or any other group.  Think of it like a folder, and your questions (below) are your files.  Each grid receives a unique URL that students use to find your questions.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 8.59.38 AM

Next, you enter your questions.  I opted for text questions, but I understand that there is a video option as well.  The teacher controls which questions are available to students and when–another feature that I like because I can load up all the questions that I plan to use and then turn them off and on as needed.  Questions appear on the same teacher page as the grid.  You only need to scroll down to see them.

To begin, students go to the URL that corresponds with the appropriate grid.  They take a quick selfie for their profile, then see the question that you have prepared. When they are ready, they click the + button and a 3…2…1 countdown begins.  They have 90 seconds to video record their responses.  They have the option to edit their responses before finalizing.  This is a quick process in all–about 5 minutes for the entire class to be done!

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 9.02.01 AM

Here’s my one question so far.


As students complete their videos, my screen gets updated, looking like this (photos and last names blurred for privacy).  Clicking on each student’s picture brings their video up on my screen.  Then I can use a rubric like described in part one to provide feedback for students.

student responses.001


Other features of the site are a variety of security options, but also some social networking options.  I’ll need to work with those more before deciding how to proceed.  The Flipgrid staff has been very quick and helpful with answering questions.  There are tutorials built into the site to help teachers get up and running.

One minor struggle: you must have the app installed on iPads in order to use them–you cannot use the site from the URL.  However, this was quickly resolved and did not impede our overall experience.

In summary, I have had a positive experience with Flipgrid, and will continue to explore it for potential use in my classroom.  I like that it has a smooth interface that requires little advance preparation, and streamlines the process of viewing the videos.  I love that it saves me class and preparation time, which hopefully will allow me to spend more time providing compassionate feedback to students.

Stay compassionate, my friends!






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