Content-specific differences in Padlet perception for collaborative learning amongst undergraduate students

  • Kosha J. Mehta Centre for Education, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College London, London, UK
  • Isabelle Miletich Centre for Craniofacial and Regenerative Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences, King’s College London, London, UK
  • Michael Detyna Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning, King’s College London, London, UK
Keywords: bioscience education, collaborative learning, dental education, Padlet, student engagement


Collaborative learning offers benefits but there is insufficient information on how students perceive specific digital tools supporting collaborative learning and whether there are content-related differences in students’ perceptions. Here, we utilised Padlet to mediate collaborative learning amongst undergraduate students from two distinct disciplines, Dentistry and Bioscience to examine students’ perceptions of Padlet-mediated learning and identify any content-specific differences. Data distribution was assessed via Shapiro–Wilk test, Mann–Whitney U test was used to assess distribution of responses and correlations were studied via Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (ρ). Data revealed that majority of students across both cohorts perceived Padlet as easy to use and beneficial to learning. Dentistry students perceived Padlet to be more beneficial to learning and easier to use than Bioscience students (p < 0.01). Most Bioscience students liked to undertake collaborative learning via Padlet, whereas most Dentistry students felt more confident to ask questions and better understood content via Padlet. In the Bioscience cohort, perceived benefit-to-learning strongly correlated (ρ = 0.75; p < 0.01) with fondness to use Padlet, whereas in the Dentistry cohort, it moderately correlated (ρ = 0.5; p < 0.01) with better understanding of subject content. Thematic analysis of students’ textual responses revealed anonymity, peer-learning and engagement as key benefits. Thus, this study strengthened the evidence for using Padlet for collaborative learning in a wider context. Moreover, it uncovered significant disparities in students’ perceptions of the tool, when used to foster learning of different subject contents.


Download data is not yet available.


Baildon, M., Lin, M. & Chia, G. (2016) ‘Developing conceptual understanding in social studies using technology and discussion’, HSSE Online, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 94–102.

Beltrán-Martín, I. (2019) ‘Using Padlet for collaborative learning’, in 5th International Conference on Higher Education Advances (HEAd’19), Universitat Politècnica de València, València, pp. 201–211. doi: 10.4995/HEAd19.2019.9188

Benjamin, A. S. & Tullis, J. (2010) ‘What makes distributed practice effective?’, Cognitive Psychology, vol. 61, no. 3, pp. 228–247. doi: 10.1016/j.cogpsych.2010.05.004

Bergstrom, T., Harris, A. & Karahalios, K. (2011) ‘Encouraging initiative in the classroom with anonymous feedback’, in eds P. Campos et al., Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2011, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 627–642. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-23774-4_49

Bernard, J. S. (2015) ‘Student engagement: a principle-based concept analysis’, International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 111–121. doi: 10.1515/ijnes-2014-0058

Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2006) ‘Using thematic analysis in psychology’, Qualitative Research in Psychology, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 77–101. doi: 10.1191/1478088706qp063oa

Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2014) ‘What can “thematic analysis” offer health and wellbeing researchers?’, International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being, vol. 9, p. 26152. doi: 10.3402/qhw.v9.26152

Bravo, R., et al., (2018) ‘Collaborative active learning: bioimpedance and anthropometry in higher education’, Advances in Physiology Education, vol. 42, no. 4, pp. 605–609. doi: 10.1152/advan.00106.2017

Brodahl, C., Hadjerrouit, S. & Hansen, N. K. (2011) ‘Collaborative writing with Web 2.0 technologies: education students’ perceptions’, Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice, vol. 10, pp. 073–103. doi: 10.28945/1384

Chu, S. & Kennedy, D. (2011) ‘Using online collaborative tools for groups to co-construct knowledge’, Online Information Review, vol. 35, no. 4, pp.581–597. doi: 10.1108/14684521111161945

Chuah, K.-M. (2015) ‘iTeaching for uLearning: interactive teaching tools for ubiquitous learning in higher education’, in ed M. A. Embi, e-Learning & Interactive Lecture: SoTL Case Studies in Malaysian HEIs, National University of Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia, pp. 89–97.

Cole, A. W., Lennon, L. & Weber, N. L. (2019) ‘Student perceptions of online active learning practices and online learning climate predict online course engagement’, Interactive Learning Environments, pp. 1–15. doi: 10.1080/10494820.2019.1619593

Cooner, T. S. (2010) ‘Creating opportunities for students in large cohorts to reflect in and on practice: lessons learnt from a formative evaluation of students’ experiences of a technology-enhanced blended learning design’, BJET, vol. 41, pp. 271–286. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.00933.x

Cotterill, S. T. (2015) ‘Tearing up the page: re-thinking the development of effective learning environments in higher education’, Innovations in Education and Teaching International, vol. 52, no. 4, pp. 403–413. doi: 10.1080/14703297.2013.862174

Davies, M. (2014) ‘Using the Apple iPad to facilitate student-led group work and seminar presentation’, Nurse Education in Practice, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 363–367. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2014.01.006

Deni, A. R. & Zainal, Z. (2015) ‘Let’s write on the wall: virtual collaborative learning using Padlet’, The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 2015, no. 2, pp. 364–369.

Deni, A. R. M. & Zainal, Z. I. (2018) ‘Padlet as an educational tool: pedagogical considerations and lessons learnt’, in Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Education Technology and Computers, Association for Computing Machinery (ICETC ’18), New York, NY, USA, pp. 156–162. doi: 10.1145/3290511.3290512

Deslauriers, L., et al., (2019) ‘Measuring actual learning versus feeling of learning in response to being actively engaged in the classroom’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 116, no. 39, pp. 19251–19257. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1821936116

DeWitt, D. and Alias, N. and Siraj, Saedah (2015) Collaborative learning: Interactive debates using padlet in a higher education institution. In: International Educational Technology Conference (IETC 2015), 27–29 May 2015, Istanbul, Turkey.

Donaldson, L., et al., (2017) ‘Collaborative tools to enhance engagement in a blended learning master’s programme’, All Ireland Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, vol. 9, no. 1, pp.2921–29220. doi: 10.779/rsci.10774577.v1

Duret,D., et al., (2018) ‘Collaborative learning with PeerWise’, Research in Learning Technology, vol. 26. doi: 10.25304/rlt.v26.1979

Dziuban, C., et al., (2018) ‘Blended learning: the new normal and emerging technologies’, International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, vol. 15, no. 1, p. 3. doi: 10.1186/s41239-017-0087-5

Foote, K. T., et al., (2014) ‘Diffusion of research-based instructional strategies: the case of SCALE-UP’, International Journal of STEM Education, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 10. doi: 10.1186/s40594-014-0010-8

Freeman, S., et al., (2014) ‘Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 111, no. 23, pp. 8410–8415. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1319030111

Garnham,W. A. & Betts, T. (2018) ‘The Padlet Project: transforming student engagement in Foundation Year seminars’, Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching, vol. 11, no. 2. doi: 10.21100/compass.v11i2.714

Garrison, D. R. & Kanuka, H. (2004) ‘Blended learning: uncovering its transformative potential in higher education’, The Internet and Higher Education, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 95–105. doi: 10.1016/j.iheduc.2004.02.001

Higher Education Academy (2014) Framework for partnership in learning and teaching in higher education, Higher Education Academy, York.

Jackson, S. C., Bilich, L. A. & Skuza, N. (2018) ‘The benefits and challenges of collaborative learning: educating dental and dental hygiene students together’, Journal of Dental Education, vol. 82, no. 12, pp. 1279–1286. doi: 10.21815/JDE.018.134

James, F. & Figaro-Henry, S. (2017) ‘Building collective leadership capacity using collaborative twenty-first century digital tools’, School Leadership & Management, vol. 37, no. 5, pp. 520–536. doi: 10.1080/13632434.2017.1367277

Kaufmann, R., Sellnow, D. D. & Frisby, B. N. (2016) ‘The development and validation of the online learning climate scale (OLCS)’, Communication Education, vol. 65, no. 3, pp. 307–321. doi: 10.1080/03634523.2015.1101778

Keenan,C. (2014) Mapping student-led peer learning in the UK, Higher Education Authority, York.

Koohang, A., et al., (2014) ‘Advancing a theoretical model for knowledge construction in e-learning’, The Online Journal of Applied Knowledge Management, vol. 2, pp. 12–25.

Laal, M. & Ghodsi,S. M. (2012) ‘Benefits of collaborative learning’, in World Conference on Learning, Teaching & Administration – 2011, Elsevier, vol. 31, pp. 486–490. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.12.091

Laurillard, D. (2009) ‘The pedagogical challenges to collaborative technologies’, International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 5–20. doi: 10.1007/s11412-008-9056-2

Le, H., Janssen, J. & Wubbels, T. (2018) ‘Collaborative learning practices: teacher and student perceived obstacles to effective student collaboration’, Cambridge Journal of Education, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 103–122. doi: 10.1080/0305764X.2016.1259389

Lee,T., et al., (2020) ‘Digital collaboration in design education: how online collaborative software changes the practices and places of learning’, Pedagogy, Culture & Society, pp. 1–15. doi: 10.1080/14681366.2020.1714700

Leroy, L., et al., (2017) ‘Facilitative components of collaborative learning: a review of nine health research networks’, Healthcare Policy = Politiques De Sante, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 19–33.

Mays, N. & Pope, C. (1995) ‘Rigour and qualitative research’, BMJ (Clinical research ed.), vol. 311, no. 6997, pp. 109–112. doi: 10.1136/bmj.311.6997.109

Mukaka, M. (2012) ‘A guide to appropriate use of correlation coefficient in medical research’, Malawi Medical Journal : The Journal of Medical Association of Malawi, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 69–71, [online] Available at:

Persson, H. C., et al., (2017) ‘Consequences and coping strategies six years after a subarachnoid hemorrhage – a qualitative study’, PLoS One, vol. 12, no. 8, pp. 1–16. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181006

Rashid, A. A., Yunus, M. M. & Wahi, W. (2019) ‘Using Padlet for collaborative writing among ESL learners’, Creative Education, vol. 10, no. 03, pp. 610–620. doi: 10.4236/ce.2019.103044

Sahota, M., et al., (2016) ‘Learning pathology using collaborative vs. individual annotation of whole slide images: a mixed methods trial’, BMC Medical Education, vol. 16, no. 1, p. 311. doi: 10.1186/s12909-016-0831-x

Scager, K., et al., (2016) ‘Collaborative learning in higher education: evoking positive interdependence’, CBE life Sciences Education, vol. 15, no. 4, pp.1–9. doi: 10.1187/cbe.16-07-0219

Tammeorg, P., et al., (2019) ‘Improving group work practices in teaching life sciences: trialogical learning’, Research in Science Education, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 809–828. doi: 10.1007/s11165-017-9649-8

Taylor, S. & Todd, P. A. (1995) ‘Understanding information technology usage: a test of competing models’, Information Systems Research, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 144–176, [online] Available at:

van der Ventel, B., et al., (2016) ‘The role of the iPad in collaborative learning in a large-enrollment first-year physics module’, Physics Education, vol. 51, no. 4, p. 045017. doi: 10.1088/0031-9120/51/4/045017

Venkatesh, V. (2000) ‘Determinants of perceived ease of use: integrating control, intrinsic motivation, and emotion into the technology acceptance model’, Information Systems Research, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 342–365, [online] Available at:

Venkatesh, V. & Davis, F. D. (2000) ‘A theoretical extension of the technology acceptance model: four longitudinal field studies’, Management Science, vol. 46, no. 2, pp. 186–204. doi: 10.1287/mnsc.

Young, S. & Nichols, H. (2017) ‘A reflexive evaluation of technology-enhanced learning’, Research in Learning Technology, vol. 25. doi: 10.25304/rlt.v25.1998

Zhang, J. & Cui, Q. (2018) ‘Collaborative learning in higher nursing education: a systematic review’, Journal of Professional Nursing: Official Journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, vol. 34, no. 5, pp. 378–388. doi: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2018.07.007

Zhi, Q. & Su, M. (2015) ‘Enhance collaborative learning by visualizing process of knowledge building with Padlet’, in International Conference of Educational Innovation through Technology (EITT), Institute of Electrical and Electronics engineers (IEEE), Wuhan, China, pp. 221–225. doi: 10.1109/EITT.2015.54

Zou, D. & Xie, H. (2019) ‘Flipping an English writing class with technology-enhanced just-in-time teaching and peer instruction’, Interactive Learning Environments, vol. 27, no. 8, pp. 1127–1142. doi: 10.1080/10494820.2018.1495654
How to Cite
Mehta K. J., Miletich I., & Detyna M. (2021). Content-specific differences in Padlet perception for collaborative learning amongst undergraduate students. Research in Learning Technology, 29.
Original Research Articles