In this post, let’s take a breather from our Kirkpatrick series reflections and look at a fun free technology tool that you may choose to investigate and play with in your next instruction session that can be used to increase class engagement and provide a way for you to conduct formative assessment. I discovered this tool through LOEX Quarterly (Vol. 40: Iss. 4) in an article titled The Writing is on the Wall: Using Padlet for Whole-Class Engagement by Beth Fuchs.
Padlet is a free online multi-media “wall” that can be used collaboratively in your classroom instruction. This tool creates an online space that enables anyone with the URL to post text, images, and links to the online space anonymously. Learning Services recently test-drove Padlet during the MMW121library instruction sessions this past fall quarter to encourage participation in a collaborative class brainstorming session involving keywords. It was successful enough that I thought I would share it here with you all.
Here is how we used it. We created a Padlet wall and wrote a research question on the wall. We then asked students to go to the wall URL and as a group post to the wall keywords they may use in a search for the research question. These posts provided us with a sharable list of keywords that we could then discuss in terms of their search effectiveness.
In terms of enhancing classroom engagement, Padlet provided a way for the entire group of students to actively participate in developing search strategies and because the posts are anonymous, Padlet removes participation barriers associated with shyness or the fear of answering incorrectly. The class activity also allows instructors to check student understanding using formative assessment.
I encourage you to give Padlet a try, it just might be your new favorite tool in your instruction tool kit.