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Engaging Students with Padlet

As a professor of studio art, I traditionally hold critiques and discussions about student work by hanging it on the studio wall. This technique is standard pedagogy in the visual arts, where assessment is weekly, and looking critically at work is an integral part of studio practice. For remote live or asynchronous classes, I needed to find a digital alternative to the studio wall, but one that replicated the same experience. How could we see everyone’s work at once, and look at the entire group in order to see work in relation to one another? How can we engage in meaningful conversation that supports student learning? The solution was to use Padlet, which replicates the traditional critique wall and allows students to provide verbal (in the case of synchronous classes) or written comments in response to viewing the work of their peers.

What is Padlet?

Padlet is a collaborative digital platform that allows participants to interact with each other in a digital space. Each Padlet can upload content in a variety of formats, and contributions or posts to the Padlet page can include images, video, and written text. Students can post with their name or anonymously and faculty can set up specific parameters for posts. Each Padlet can be public or private, and students can access the Padlet by a link or QR Code provided by the professor. I have found this platform to be exceptionally user friendly. Students can drag images of their work onto the Padlet or upload images or files from their desktop or phone. The QR code seems to be easier for students, as they can access and upload photographs directly from their phone. It is also faculty friendly, making it easy to create and share Padlets with the class. There are two versions of Padlet, a free version which allows three Padlets to be created (you can erase and remake to stay within this limitation) and a paid version with unlimited Padlets. I made a decision to pay for my account, as I like to keep each Padlet throughout the semester, both in my online and face-to-face classes. By paying for my account, I can refer back to past images or use the Padlet as a way to show student development as they revise their work and update their posts. If a lot of faculty members are interested, you can also get an institutional account which allows a certain number of users. 

Here is an example of what appears when you make a new Padlet in your account:

Screenshot of posts from the Padlet website

As you can see by the image, there are numerous formats to choose from including a wall (which I use most often since it closely replicates our studio wall), Canvas, Grid, Stream and Map which students can use to post where a historical event occurred, or other references to geography.

Advantages of Padlet across the disciplines

  • Padlet is easy to use for both students and faculty.
  • Padlet offers a different modality that allows all learners to engage with content.
  • Padlet uses real time updates. For example, a student can add a reference in real time to their post and the class will see it immediately.
  • When teaching a remote live class, students can show work in process throughout the class period and it becomes a record of their working process, and progress. This has been one of the most advantageous reasons that I have been using Padlet. Students can photograph their work in process and post clear images, as opposed to holding it up to their camera.
  • You can use Padlet to check for understanding. For example, students can anonymously post the muddiest point, and the Padlet can become a catalyst for class discussion.
  • Students can work collaboratively or in small groups to post on a topic or assignment. It is an effective way for them to share resources and house them in one place.
  • Faculty can post class content and resources in an accessible format and provide opportunities for student engagement.
  • Students can work collaboratively on developing study guides or other materials for reference and share them within the class.
  • Students can give immediate feedback in class on a topic.
  • Padlet is primarily a visual platform, and it works well for image references.
  • A Padlet can begin in class and then continue to allow students to post responses. For example, in a studio class, students may want feedback outside of class as they continue working on their projects. Students can provide formative assessment and suggestions to each other outside the classroom and before the project is due. 

While there are numerous platforms that are similar, such as Google’s Jamboard, and other ways to check for understanding such as Mentimeter, Poll Everywhere, or Slido, I have found Padlet a versatile, engaging, and accessible platform for students and faculty. As visual artists, it replicates our studio wall and allows students to present their work to their peers for discussion and assessment. Of all of the platforms available for online or in-person teaching, Padlet has been an effective modality for both my remote live and in-person studio classes. I encourage everyone to try Padlet to engage their students and support their learning.


Megat Mohd. Zainuddin, N., N. F. Mohd Azmi, R. C. Mohd Yusoff, S. A. Shariff, and W. A. Wan Hassan. “Enhancing Classroom Engagement Through Padlet As a Learning Tool: A Case Study”. International Journal of Innovative Computing, vol. 10, no. 1, May 2020, doi:10.11113/ijic.v10n1.250.

Waltemeyer, Shaunna; Hembree, Jason R.; Hammond, Helen G. “Padlet” The Multipurpose Web 2.0 Tool”. Journal of Instructional Research, v10 p93-99 2021

Shuker, Mary-Ann, and Rob Burton. “Educational Technology review: Bringing people and ideas together with ‘Padlet’.” Journal of Applied Learning and Teaching, 4.2 (2021): 121-124.

Gill-Simmen, L. (2021) “Using Padlet in instructional design to promote cognitive engagement: a case study of undergraduate marketing students”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (20). doi: 10.47408/jldhe.vi20.575.

Adapted from:

Susan Altman, MFA

Professor, Visual, Performing and Media Arts Department

Director, Center for the Enrichment of Learning and Teaching

Middlesex College, Edison, NJ