The Padlet Project: Transforming student engagement in Foundation Year seminars
How do we get students to engage more actively with the material they are learning? This was the primary question for us when teaching a cohort of Foundation Year Psychology undergraduates at University of Sussex. Traditional seminars were often dominated by one or two more confident students whilst many of the quieter students failed to contribute. Even when prompted, they were reluctant to speak up. Other students, perhaps who had not completed the preparation for the seminar, also remained quiet but for a different reason. Having failed to complete the preparatory tasks, they could not make meaningful contributions. The role of the tutor became increasingly a case of “sage on the stage” with students looking to the tutor for guidance and dissemination of knowledge about the key readings they should have been working on. The Padlet Project was designed as a response to this, moving the focus from passive presence to active collaboration. All students, by the very nature of the project, were actively involved in each seminar and the quality of the products produced exceeded all expectations.
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