3 Icebreaker

Dr. Diba Mani

Course: Motor Learning (APK 3200), Neuromuscular Aspects of Exercise (APK 4115), Graduate Research Methods (HLP 6535)


Flipgrid video of Diba ManiEveryone in the course (instructor(s) included) completes a short video to introduce themselves, their preferred name and pronouns, and connect in a way relevant to the course. The recommended platform: Flipgrid, a free social learning platform that allows for recording videos and comments.

The video introductions allow for some originality and an audio-visual way to connect students to the instructor, the instructor to the students, and students to one another. Students enrolled in my online courses in FA 20 that incorporated this activity made comments such as, “this was my most engaging class” and “I felt connected with my classmates, even early during Period 1 [at 7:25 AM EST]”.

Assignment Goals/Outcomes

To help everyone involved in the course get to know one another in an open and welcome environment, recognizing that the class is a welcoming space to everyone.

Assignment Setup (Instructor)

Setup a Flipgrid account and create prompt relevant to the class. Create an example submission, and assignment within Canvas to prompt students to complete the task in Flipgrid (external tool).

Student Instructions

To help us get to know one another in an open and welcome environment, please make a post on Flipgrid, a free social learning platform that allows for recording videos and comments. Let’s introduce ourselves to the rest of the class. Please comment on the posts of at least two other students. Include the following items in your recording:

Your preferred name and your pronouns, if you feel comfortable sharing.
Let us know what your sport or exercise of preference is, what you’ve practiced previously (i.e. high school).
What’s something unique or interesting you’d like to share with the class?

Please check out everyone else’s post and comment on at least two of them. Who knows? Maybe we can make our own “Motor Learning” soccer/futbol team if we have enough footballers… or maybe our own dance troupe? Either way, getting to know each other will help with collaboration and engagement. Your peers are excellent resources for helping us succeed in a meaningful way this semester – although the fact that we’re all in the same course together this term suggests we have the foundation for a learning community, smaller groups of colleagues have been shown to be the most effective. By learning a bit about each other and finding commonalities and differences, the hope is that you find some connection and/or intrigue with at least some classmates.

Suggestion: be creative and memorable!


Grading (Instructor/TA)

Grade for completion (of own post) and commenting on the posts of others.

Tips and Suggestions for Instructors

Do make your “special topic” relevant to your course. My example above is for APK 3200: Motor Learning. The focus of the class is how we learn and control physical movements, so asking about preferred sports or activities is appropriate. DO provide relevant tutorials.

Keywords: introduction activity, Flipgrid, video, interaction, social learning


No Walls Teaching: The Book Copyright © by Dr. Diba Mani. All Rights Reserved.

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