Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

#Flipgridfever for Formative Assessments

Teresa Randall, Bj Sneed, Polly Base, Teresa Lansford | Published: August 19th, 2021 by K20 Center


Do you like to disrupt the status quo? Do you want new ways to assess students by using their favorite form of literacy: speaking and listening? Dive into the use of Flipgrid as an alternative formative assessment tool. The #Flipgridfever for Formative Assessments PD session focuses on using Flipgrid as a tool for formative assessment. Participants will explore strategies for creating formative assessments with Flipgrid and will brainstorm ideas about how to implement these concepts to promote student engagement and expression. Each participant will need a device with a QR app and/or capability to open multiple windows.

Learning Goals

  • Discover the key elements of a successful Flipgrid formative assessment.

  • Brainstorm ideas for Flipgrid classroom formative assessments.


  • Presentation Slides (access force copy link here)

  • "Why Do We Need Technology Integration?" article from Edutopia (access link to article here; print copies for half the group)

  • "Essential Elements of the Formative Assessment Process" handout (attached; print copies for half the group)

  • Flipgrid Idea Sharing (access force copy link here)

  • Strategy Harvest handout (attached; print one copy per participant; alternatively, access force copy link here)

  • Computer, tablet, or mobile device

  • Internet connection

  • Class set of headphones

  • Paper or sticky notes

  • Pens or pencils

Essential Question

  • How does Flipgrid support student expression of learning and connections?


Use the attached Presentation Slides to introduce the session. Display slide 4 and share the learning objectives for the session, then move to slide 5 and go over the essential question.

Have participants download and log in to Flipgrid. Display slide 6 with the link and course code to the icebreaker topic you created in Flipgrid. Then, ask participants to record an Elevator Speech to introduce themselves, share how much experience they have with Flipgrid, and explain what they look forward to learning in the session. Wait until all participants have completed their Flipgrid introductions before moving on to the next activity.

Next, let participants know they are going to watch a few video clips from a Holly Clark TED Talk to frame their discussions and learning. Explain that Holly is an author, speaker, and veteran classroom teacher. Play the video clips on slides 7–9.

Display slide 10. After participants have watched the video clips, ask participants to please go to Flipgrid and answer the following questions: "What am I thinking? How am I feeling?"

Visit your Flipgrid site and share out a few examples. Recognize participants for taking part in the session, which shows they are willing to be disruptors, lifelong learners, and innovators in instruction who champion growth mindset for themselves and students.


Display slide 11. Inform participants they are about to see some examples of how students and teachers use Flipgrid for formative assessments in their classrooms. Ask participants to consider the following questions about formative assessment as they view each video:

  • What does it look like?

  • What does it feel like?

  • What does it sound like?

Show the videos on slides 11–13. Stop after each video and ask: What does formative assessment look like, feel like, and sound like in a classroom using Flipgrid? Give participants time to share out after each question.


Display slide 14. Once participants have viewed several examples of classrooms that use Flipgrid as a formative assessment tool, inform participants they are going to use the Commit and Toss strategy. Have everyone get out a piece of paper or a sticky note and write their answer to this question: What are the benefits of using Flipgrid for formative assessments?

When participants finish writing, have them crumple their papers up into a ball. Have them throw their paper balls on the count of three.

Once all participants have thrown their paper balls, have them get up and find a paper to read that is not their own. Explain that this is a great strategy to assess student understanding anonymously. As an example of use with younger grades, students could draw a picture, and the teacher would then have them explain what they see in the picture.

Move to slide 15. Show the Why-Lighting video by clicking on the pink card on the slide or the text above it. You also can view the Why-Lighting strategy card on the K20 LEARN website.

Next, click on the yellow card on the slide or the text above it, which links to the Categorical Highlighting strategy card on the K20 LEARN website. Once you're on the webpage, click on the strategy card to make it flip over and read the instructions for using the strategy on the back.

Number off participants to place them in Group 1 or Group 2. Explain that Group 1's task is to read the attached "Essential Elements of the Formative Assessment Process" handout, while Group 2's assigned reading is "Why Do We Need Technology Integration?" from Edutopia's website.

The group that is reading "Why Do We Need Technology Integration?" should use Why-Lighting to make annotations. The group that is reading "Essential Elements of the Formative Assessment Process" should use Categorical Highlighting to annotate the chapter excerpt.

Give participants in both groups time to read and annotate their excerpts. In addition to their assigned strategies, ask them to note Points of Most Significance (POMS) as they read.

After participants have had time to read, highlight, and take notes, have them gather with others who were assigned the same article and discuss as a small group, sharing why certain passages are highlighted and whether the group would like to add any other POMS. Then, have each group select one person to share out to the larger group to explain what their reading was about and their thoughts.

Move to slide 16 and come back together as a whole group. Ask participants to share out their responses to this question: What are some ways you could use either of these strategies in your classroom?

Display slide 19. At this point, inform participants they have used six strategies: Flipgrid, Elevator Speech, What Am I Thinking/How Am I Feeling?, Commit and Toss, Why-lighting, and Categorical Highlighting.

Pass out copies of or provide participants with the force copy link to the attached Strategy Harvest handout. Allow participants time to complete it.

Slide 20 is a brain break slide. Use this slide's timer video to provide a 5-minute break.


Display slide 21. Before participants watch the video clip on the slide, ask them to think about ways in which innovative teachers are also lifelong learners. Show the clip.

Afterward, inform participants they are going to brainstorm some ideas for Flipgrid formative assessments that they could use in the classroom right away. Share a link to your session-specific copy of the Flipgrid Idea Sharing document for participants to add their Flipgrid formative assessment ideas.

Give participants time to add ideas to the Google doc.

Display slide 22. Come back together and have participants share out their ideas. Alternatively, as a presenter, you could highlight ideas from the document or ask for clarifications on what participants wrote.


Display slide 23. Explain to participants that in the session's final video clip, titled "Are You Ready to Disrupt?", we are reminded of the value of students' self-expression of their learning. Ask participants to use the I Used to Think… But Now I Know strategy to guide their reflection as they think about how Flipgrid could be used for formative assessment. Show the video clip.

Move to slide 24. Ask participants to use this session's Flipgrid link and take a minute to share their reflection by filling in the prompts: "I used to think… but now I know…" Afterward, highlight a few Flipgrid responses and ask for clarifications on what participants wrote.

Move to slide 25. Have participants revisit the Strategy Harvest handout and add notes for the I Used to Think… But Now I Know strategy.

Use slide 26 to cover any lingering questions participants may have and slide 27 to share more resources available through the K20 Center. Presentation resources and citations are shown on slides 28–29.

See slide 30 to provide participants with social media links to connect further with the K20 Center.

Research Rationale

Transliteracy and 21st-century Learning

Transliteracy is defined as "the ability to read, write, and interact across a range of platforms, tools, and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio, and film, to digital social networks" (Bush, 2012). According to Bush, the learner who is transliterate builds knowledge, communicates, and interacts across a range of platforms, tools, and media. To support transliteracy, educators should consider how technology may be integrated into instruction. Technology integration should support pedagogical strategies, increase information fluency, and facilitate the practice of 21st-century skills.

Research suggests that technology should support instruction, rather than dominate the learning experience. Educators have developed strategies that successfully balance the use of technology and pedagogical best practices. Clark provides several strategies that teachers can use to optimize the benefits of technology for learning:

  • Make student thinking visible

  • Give every student a voice

  • Make sharing work easy and accessible

  • Allow students to share work within the classroom and beyond (Passut, 2018)

Formative Assessment and Technology Integration

Mass and Bookhart (2019) describe formative assessment as "an active and intentional learning process that partners the teacher and the students to continuously and systematically gather evidence of learning with the express goal of improving student achievement." Formative assessment allows educators and students to gain an understanding of their abilities and develop a plan to tackle learning targets. Effective formative assessments are designed to focus on the opportunities for learning rather than the assessment of learning (Mass and Bookhard, 2019).

As educators develop the formative assessment indicators, technology integration can assist throughout the process of the assessment and provide learning opportunities and collaboration for both the students and the teacher. Research indicates that technology integration, when paired with solid pedagogy, can deepen the learning experience. Effective technology integration should focus on supporting the following learning components:

  • Active engagement

  • Participation in groups

  • Frequent interaction and feedback

  • Connection to real-world experts (Edutopia, 2007)

As formative assessment requires feedback and collaboration, technology integration can play an important role in recording learning and disseminating feedback individually and among groups.


Ask participants to go over this OSDE Introduction to Flipgrid before this PD session.