Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Supple, B.
International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL)
Padlet as a Means of Mapping and Chronicling Student Learning and the SoTL Practitioner Journey
Calgary, Canada
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
Much of what we do in our teaching takes place behind ‘closed doors’. Part of the scholarship of teaching and learning is about making teaching ‘community property’ - making our findings and practices public (Boyer, 1990; Schulman, 1993). Mapping and chronicling what is happening in the classroom is an important part of knowledge creation, knowledge sharing and knowledge deepening. This is more than a map showing ‘what we did’ or ‘where we went’, but a meaningful artefact of the journey which informs ‘where we might go’. As Berstein and Wert (n.d.) state: When all the careful, difficult, intentional, and scholarly work of planning and teaching a course is undocumented, it is lost for further use. Not only is it unavailable for the teacher's own reflection, but it is not there for aspiring teachers and colleagues to learn from. (Bernstein & Wert, n.d., para. 3). Part of the challenge in documenting teaching however, can also be tied up in documenting the learning taking place. In that regard, the author was interested in exploring the following research question: How do we make learning visible, in a way which serves as both a teaching tool, and a learning tool for both educators as SoTL practitioners, as well as students? Padlet is a free, web-based platform which allows users to populate a page with images, documents, videos and so on in both synchronous and asynchronous environments. It is available via or as a free phone application for Apple and Android devices. As well as a learning resource for students, it doubles as a neat yet powerful tool for SoTL practitioners in documenting their collaborative, interactive and engaging teaching in an easily-shared format, which can be used as part of an overall teaching portfolio. Built on over time, the final ‘product’ in itself can be copied and edited to suit other contexts. The author is a lecturer in Learning and Teaching Enhancement in a European university. Each year, a number of visiting scholars from China come to our university to attend intensive programs of study which involves development in SoTL practice, integrated with an English Language programme. The author and her colleagues have experimented with the use of Padlet while facilitating these visiting scholar programmes since July 2016. They found Padlet to be an invaluable tool for resource sharing, facilitating collaborative work both in and outside the classroom and a way of capturing learning in a visual way – giving the students a tangible, highly visual and easily portable portfolio which reflected both a teaching and learning journey – capturing and chronicling their experiences via images, documents, videos and various learning resources. The work captured on Padlet became both a memory of their journey in Europe and through SoTL, as both scholars and learners. Reflections on the use of Padlet were sought from Lectures in Teaching and Learning around the pros and cons of Padlet. This paper reports on these reflections and combines with relevant SoTL literature which articulates creating meaningful and visible learning and teaching resources and relevant applications of technology.