About the author

Andrea Barrett
Assistant Professor, Warner School of Education
Director, Higher Education Program, Warner School of Education
University of Rochester

About the Tool and Class

TitleCo-creating Content with Padlet
ToolPadlet (https://padlet.com/), (UR IT support for Padlet –
Tool descriptionPadlet is described as a digital bulletin board. This tool is highly intuitive for both creators and users. There are a variety of pre-made templates to choose from such as maps, timelines, wall posts, and even a chat function. All participants (ie. students) can contribute to the Padlet and all content is automatically saved and available for later reference. The platform also allows for files to be uploaded from a computer or the web. Instructors can search for Padlets from other users on a variety of topics for inspiration.
Class/ Target LevelEDU 576/Graduate Students
Course TitleEDU 576 Contemporary Issues in Higher Education
Background Information About the Class
This is a required course for all masters and doctoral students in the higher education program. The course covers a wide range of issues and challenges faced in higher education today. The objective of the course is to be highly engaging, discussion oriented, and a place where knowledge is co-created.

The course is offered in the fall semester fully online with synchronous sessions weekly.
Lesson TimeClasses are 90 minutes in length once a week.
Number of StudentsThe course hosts anywhere from 10 to 25 students per semester.
Learning OutcomesLearning Outcomes of the Course:
• Develop an understanding of international, national, and institutional concerns in higher education
• Apply analytical tools to contemporary higher education issues
• Express multi-dimensional understanding of current topics in higher education
• Develop a policy stance on complex and contentious contemporary issues in higher education

Learning Outcomes of Using Padlet:
• Share and express multi-dimensional understanding of current topics in higher education
• Collaborate with classmates on content creation and discussion topics
• Review and comment on fellow classmates’ contributions

Lesson Plan


In the course syllabus, details regarding class participation and grading were provided. Students were made aware of various synchronous and asynchronous avenues for participation, Padlet being one of them.

During synchronous class sessions, students were provided the Padlet link and asked to verify that the link worked, and that they were able to edit the Padlet. Other times a Padlet link was provided in the Learning Modules in Blackboard for students to access and contribute towards.


Throughout the course, Padlet was used to allow students and the instructor to engage in discussion and create content related to weekly topics. This allowed students to collaborate with classmates to answer questions posed by the instructor, add to the class readings and content, and comment on fellow students’ contributions; thus expanding a student’s learning beyond the original content provided by the instructor. When a Padlet was used in class, students were provided the link in Blackboard Learning Modules for future reference. Points were assigned based on participation.


Padlet is an excellent method of participation for students who may be apprehensive to speak in class. Padlet allows postings to be anonymous or attributed so Padlet can easily be used for assessment or class participation grading purposes.


The participation grade for the course was worth 20% of the final grade. A student could choose to participate less but would potentially forfeit earning an A in the course. Most students participated regularly and enthusiastically and therefore earned the maximum or majority of points possible.



Padlet is working on improving their accessibility. In May 2020 they hired an accessibility engineer and are currently in the process of testing Padlet for WCAG 2.1 level AA compliance. Padlet is also compatible with screen reader software, such as Apple VoiceOver. More information about Padlet’s accessibility initiatives can be found online (https://padlet.com/about/accessibility).


Reflection from instructor

In breakout groups in Zoom students were provided with a Padlet link to create a timeline of the history of higher education, answer discussion questions, brainstorm solutions to issues in higher education, and respond to other postings. Being able to watch content be created in real time helped me as an instructor know what topics were the most interesting or easy to respond to and what topics were being avoided. It also assisted in knowing when to bring the class back from breakout rooms because as postings trailed off or halted, I could assume discussion had concluded in their groups. Providing students the ability to not only think about discussion questions but also write them down in Padlet helped facilitate discussion and provided items for me to reference or question in the larger class discussion.

Preparation time/materials

A Padlet link can be created and shared all from your Padlet account and website, or Padlet can be added to your LMS as an external tool. When you link Padlet within Blackboard, all students will automatically get accounts and be logged in when working in your Padlet. This will prevent anonymous posts.

Each Padlet you make can be unique and require initial set up or you can copy previously used Padlets. There are a variety of premade templates available to assist with creating Padlets.

Benefits and challenges of the tool

As mentioned previously, Padlet is an excellent method of participation for students who may be apprehensive to speak in class. Padlet allows postings to be anonymous or attributed so Padlet can easily be used for assessment or class participation grading purposes.

Padlet can be challenging to set up in your LMS system as an external tool. Because it is an external tool there are several steps involved as opposed to other integrated tools in Blackboard.

In-class experience

When Padlet was utilized during synchronous class sessions, a link was provided in the Chat function in Zoom. Students were instructed to click on the link to access the Padlet. Very little time was spent connecting/accessing the Padlet link.

Ease of use/Ranking

Because of the various templates available, creating Padlets is quite easy and requires only a beginner level skill set. Integrating Padlet into an LMS is slightly more involved and may require an intermediate skill level.

Reflection from students

In reviewing course evaluation feedback, students found Padlet to be a creative way to facilitate small group work and discussion.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.