Using Padlet as a social engagement tool

Wendy Garnham & Tab Betts – University of Sussex

Active workshop

This workshop will provide delegates with an opportunity to experience the Padlet Project, a staff-student collaborative project aimed at improving student engagement and improving students’ digital literacy.

As the volume of information uploaded to the internet increases, the traditional classroom model is being replaced with more active learning experiences which are socially directed and driven by a range of media (McLoughlin and Lee, 2010). There is increasing awareness of the importance of engaging students as co-producers of knowledge in Higher Education (Su & Wood, 2012) and the use of digital tools has been shown to be effective in enhancing learning (Cook & Babon, 2017). The Padlet project therefore combines both of these aspects into a single project.

Students are given a key reading to complete before the seminar. On entering the seminar, they are asked to work in groups to explore a fictional case study. They should use the prior reading to help them devise a solution but they can also extend their knowledge by exploring the area further. Rather than just report back, the Padlet Project requires students to engage in the active creation of a multimedia post for their proposed solution. This is then posted on a Padlet wall.

Padlet enables students to not only comment on other groups’ posts but also to raise questions and add additional material. This ensures that learning continues outside of the allocated seminar time and enables students to create a resource bank for exams and assignments which they can share with their peers. The structure of the seminar enables differentiation to be student-led with their choice of multimedia post tailored to their own learning preferences.

The Padlet project is now in its third phase with development being student-led. In the workshop, delegates will work in small groups on a fictional case study drawn from the Padlet Project. They will be asked to create a multimedia post to summarise their response to the case study. An article relating to the case study will be given as pre-reading, to model the experience of students on the Padlet project. Commentary on the responses posted will be possible and delegates will be de-briefed in terms of the project’s outcomes to date.


Cook, B. R., & Babon, A. (2016). Active learning through online quizzes: better learning and less (busy) work. Journal of Geography in Higher Education,41(1), 24-38. doi:10.1080/03098265.2016.1185772

McLoughlin, C. and Lee, M.J., 2010. Personalised and self regulated learning in the Web 2.0 era: International exemplars of innovative pedagogy using social software. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology26(1).

Su, F., & Wood, M. (2012). What makes a good university lecturer? Students’ perceptions of teaching excellence. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education,4(2), 142-155. doi:10.1108/17581181211273110


Digital, Padlet, collaboration, differentiation, multimedia, peer-review.

Relation to the theme

  • engaging, stimulating and challenging learners
  • reaching and engaging different groups of learners
  • enhancing employability outcomes
  • building staff and student digital capability and confidence