Padlet is a free web platform which has the appearance of a virtual message board. You may have already used Padlet, but for busy tutors unfamiliar with it, the good news is that it has a very easy interface (if you can work a Post-It Note, you can handle Padlet) and it requires minimal-zero tutor preparation time as the content is student-generated. I’ve attached a guide to Padlet including short tutorials, but if you go to the site you can very quickly see how to make one.
Padlet is extremely versatile. Multiple students can post text, documents, images, videos, audio and links synchronously in the class room, or at home as preparation. It has been widely used for brainstorming, but it has a great deal more potential to be used as a collaborative knowledge building tool. When I introduced it to IFP psychology and law students they used it to acquire, construct, revise and visualise knowledge of these conceptually dense disciplines together.
For example, psychology students created a social psychology research timeline. Each week they summarised a key experiment, using the Padlet to present and discuss the research for the class (above).
To encourage the law students to engage more with their British constitutional history reading, I asked them each to post references to their sources:
Padlet can also be used to document students’ social experiences. During the pre-sessional last year, Blair Mathews created a Padlet for his students to share and discuss the photos they took while out and about in the U.K:
Stuart Marshall created these Padlets for the 2017 Pre-Sessional Content Strand (British Society) for students’ to share their thoughts on Conflict or Consensus: How well do these images represent one or both of the theories? Give explanations / reasons and evaluate one another’s comments
and Startling Statistics: Do these examples from Browne (2011) better represent Conflict or Consensus theory? Give reasons for your answer
Students have enjoyed getting creative with Padlet, finding it engaging, motivating and fun.
Here are a few ways you could use it on the pre-sessional:
- Matching / grouping exercises
- Learning journals
- Peer review / peer correction / peer feedback on sentences / paragraphs
- Evaluating teaching/lessons (e.g. stop / start / continue)
- Alternative to PPT
- Collaborative note-taking
- Collating articles
- Vocabulary notebooks
- CATs – e.g. the muddiest point, minute papers, exit tickets
- Concept checking
Other ideas for using Padlet during the pre-sessional can be found here:
Please feel free to add more ideas, tips and examples!
For tips and tutorials: