Padlets, which are online graffiti wall spaces accessed via www.padlet.com, offer written opportunities for students who may lack the confidence to contribute to verbal discussions (Fuchs, 2014).
This short review considers how Padlet can be used to promote self and peer assessment during a taught module.
The design of the tool
I wanted to have a tool that could encourage independent self-assessment in an inclusive and non-judgemental environment. I also wanted to use a tech tool so that I could monitor the responses overall to gauge the understanding of the cohort. Using a tech tool meant an easy collection of answers and the quick ability to share the answers on the university’s Virtual Learning Environment for any students who were absent or wished to return to the content.
In order to do this, I decided to use Padlet. Padlets are online graffiti wall spaces accessed via www.padlet.com, which can offer written opportunities for students who may lack the confidence to contribute to verbal discussions (Fuchs, 2014). Padlet helps to engage and stimulate students (Zainuddin et al., 2020) through its feature to be able to post ideas anonymously on a virtual square tile that looks like a post-it note. Once students have posted their ideas onto the shared Padlet, using a grid layout as the Padlet design means that the virtual post-it notes can be moved around after posting to stimulate discussion and make connections between the students’ ideas.
As I teach students on Primary Education Studies degrees, I felt Padlet is also a good tool to use as it is also suitable for use in the primary classroom. By showing my students ways to use this tool, they will hopefully, in turn, be inspired to use it on their placements.
The impact to assess the success
Success was measured through verbal conversations with students after the Padlet had been implemented at the start of the campus seminar. Students were invited to post on the Padlet in response to the question and then review and ‘like’ (by clicking the ‘thumbs up’ icon on the post-it notes) the other posts from their peers in order to self-assess their own ideas and revise any misconceptions if needed. It was also important to think about the timings of the assessment tool.
Week 5 content was ‘ethics’, which students can find overwhelming with a lot of information to remember. As the ethical designs of the research projects need to be considered in the summative assessment, it was important to ensure students were secure in their understanding of what research ethics is about.
The second Padlet was used in week 8, just before the submission of the formative assessment, which is a table where students write brief notes comparing the two journal articles.
Success was assessed through class discussion, formative submissions in Week 8, and summative marking (April 2022).
How it supports the process of assessment for learning
Student self-assessment is the process by which the students gather information about and reflect on their own learning (Sharma et al., 2016). The anonymous feature of Padlet meant students could post their ideas without fear of being judged and then could self-assess and self-correct their understanding from reading the view of others. Students could judge which definitions were mostly correct by enabling the ‘thumbs up’ tool. As the tutor, I also gave ‘likes’ to those most detailed and correct definitions to help students see which were accurate, and I also verbally read aloud the best definitions to share good answers.
How to develop the tool further
In order to better use AfL for my own judgement as a tutor, it could be good to allow some Padlets not to be anonymous; this can be done in two ways:
- Invite students to contribute to a Padlet by sending out an email to them, so they click the link and thus associate their email address with their post-it notes
- Ask students to add their names either in the title of the post-it note or at the end of their answer.
By doing this, it would be possible to track individual students’ answers and monitor progression in ideas over time, allowing for tutor assessment, not just self/peer assessment.
If you haven’t tried Padlet with your learners, hopefully, this short ed tech review has encouraged you to consider using this website as a formative assessment tool to facilitate reflection and progress.
Deni, A.R.M. and Zainal, Z.I., 2018, October. Padlet as an educational tool: Pedagogical considerations and lessons learnt. In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Education Technology and Computers (pp. 156-162). [Accessed 16th March 2022]
Sharma, R., Jain, A., Gupta, N., Garg, S., Batta, M. and Dhir, S.K., 2016. Impact of self-assessment by students on their learning. International Journal of Applied and Basic Medical Research, 6(3), p.226. [Accessed 1st March 2022]
Zainuddin, N.M.M., Azmi, N.F.M., Yusoff, R.C.M., Shariff, S.A. and Hassan, W.A.W., 2020. Enhancing classroom engagement through padlet as a learning tool: a case study. International Journal of Innovative Computing, 10(1). [Accessed 1st April 2022]