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Using Padlet to Generate In-Class Discussions


Dr Julie Lobalzo Wright uses Padlet in her module on Classical Hollywood as a site of non-graded student submissions, which she later relies on as a starting point for in-class discussions. Before each class, she asks students to respond to a subject-relevant question on Padlet (either anonymously or not, depending on the student's preference) by writing a 'post' optionally containing various supplementary links, images, and videos. By doing so, the tutor is able to increase student engagement, ensure their preparedness for an upcoming class, gauge their opinions on the subject, and communicate what a given week's lecture will be about beforehand.


Julie Lobalzo Wright, Film and Television Studies

A photograph of Julie Wright

Module: FI249: Classical Hollywood (2021)

Lesson plan

  1. Before each class, the tutor requires their students to write a Padlet 'post' with their answer to a subject-relevant prompt. Students have a degree of freedom in approaching this task: they may submit their entry anonymously or not and choose to embed links, images, and videos into their texts. The tutor indicates that Padlet submissions are mandatory, but not graded; the submission must be completed before the beginning of the next class.
  2. The tutor reads the student posts on Padlet before the class. Some responses may be unexpected and might potentially alter the structure of discussions during the upcoming lecture/seminar. If the number of student responses is rather low, the tutor can submit their own post to the system as an example.
  3. If a student has not written a Padlet post before the beginning of the class, the tutor provides them with an opportunity to quickly do so last minute.
  4. In the beginning of the class, the tutor displays the Padlet posts to the class, inviting comments and reactions from the students. Ideally, this can serve as an ice-breaking conversation to prepare the students for the main content of the learning session.

Tutor's observations

It's one of the difficulties of teaching that I love asking questions and I like jumping off what students say, but I find that there are some students who get very nervous about those things, and I do get that. So, I try to ... do it very lightly...

There might be this with every kind of digital teaching: there is definitely exhaustion, and I really saw it in the second half of the term. ... By the time we got to week 7 or 8, I had half the students, if not a third of the students, actually posting [on Padlet].

Examples of student work

A screenshot of a Padlet webpage containing anonymous student submissions for a Classical Hollywood class on Joan Crawford.

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FI249: Classical Hollywood