Collaborative Discussion Using Padlet to Enhance the Teaching and Learning of Essay Writing in Mandarin Language

Collaborative Discussion Using Padlet to Enhance the Teaching and Learning of Essay Writing in Mandarin Language

Yap Teng Teng (University of Malaya, Malaysia), Azlin Zaiti Zainal (University of Malaya, Malaysia), Vinothini Vasodavan (University of Malaya, Malaysia) and Emily Lau Kui-Ling (University of Malaya, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3062-7.ch009
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Writing skills demand the best pedagogical practices to engage students who struggle with essay writing. In line with the fast-paced, ever-evolving digital advancement, instructors are encouraged to transform their teaching method by integrating technology to help to improve students' writing skills. To do so, one of the ways is to adopt technological tools such as collaborative learning tools in their writing courses to make learning more interactive, interesting, and stimulating. This research, therefore, attempts to examine how Padlet can be utilized to transform didactic teaching and learning into innovative pedagogy to create new learning experiences for tertiary undergraduates. The undergraduates were instructed to use Padlet in their writing task, and this provides many opportunities for constructive learning through a resource-based approach where undergraduates learn from one another and the instructor shows well-written examples or incorrect sentences posted by the undergraduates.
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In this twenty first century, the rapid growth of technologies has shaped the way humans interact with each other from different parts of the world. These changes have also shaped the way people acquire knowledge, and teach with technologies (Almerich, Orellana, Rodríguez, & García, 2016; Guolifang et al, 2019). Due to that, learning can happen anytime and anywhere beyond boundaries via Internet (Bilici, Guzey, & Yamak, 2016). The development of educational technology creates a golden opportunity for lecturers to apply and integrate various tools such as iPad, Smartboard, laptop, mobile, web-based tool and much more (Bilici et al., 2016). However, higher education institutions are facing great challenges to ensure that faculty members (lecturers) are well-equipped with the skills and knowledge to incorporate technology that often evolve rapidly into teaching and learning process (Almerich et al., 2016; Bower, 2016). There is currently empirical evidence showing that lecturers are incorporating technology in the classroom to a certain level (Angeli & Valanides, 2009; Almerich et al., 2016), and this indicates that research on technology integration in higher education should not be limited to examining lecturers’ usage of technology in teaching but should also focus on students’ learning processes when using technology in the classroom. Another area of concern when using technology is to transform didactic form of teaching and learning into innovative pedagogy to create new learning experiences for students (Angeli & Valanides, 2009).

The quality of teaching practices indirectly influences the students’ learning and outcome considering the fact that lecturers are the powerful agent to propose, implement and experience the use of technology in teaching and learning process (Almerich et al., 2016; Ward & Parr, 2010). As a result, they need to be well equipped themselves not only with the knowledge of technology but also with the ability to design learning tasks that incorporate technology beyond transmission of knowledge and drill-and-practice (Koh, Chai, Benjamin, & Hong, 2015). This is because just having technological knowledge does not guarantee that the instructors can implement technologies into their teaching practice effectively. Lecturers need to restructure learning activities to promote critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration and knowledge construction through social learning environment (Learning Partnership for 21st Century, 2016). In the local context, this is also aligned with the aspiration of the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) for blended learning model to be the main pedagogical approach in the higher educational institution as stated in the Malaysian Higher Education Blueprint 2013-2025. Hence, students will benefit from the use of technologies such as video-conferencing, live streaming, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for learning without boundaries (MOHE, 2015). To achieve teaching and learning via technology, MOHE together with the higher education institutions are working towards building the capabilities of the academic community as stated in the National e-learning Policy. According to the policy, by 2020, 75% of higher education instructors will have had knowledge on technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) and basic skills in e-learning to implement blended learning mode in teaching and learning processes (MOHE, 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Writing Skills: Writing is an essential competency of language. Good writing skills are needed for all the students in order to accomplish their educational and employable requirements. This research referred to argumentative essay writing in Mandarin.

Collaborative Teaching: A form of innovative pedagogical approach where Educator/ Lecturer/Instructor design learning tasks and instructional materials based on collaborative learning tools such as Blog, Padlet, Podcast, Forum Discussion and so forth to support students’ learning from one another.

Mandarin Language: Mandarin is spoken in Mainland China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore. The current trend is that Mandarin has become the standard and common language of the Chinese language and is becoming more and more widely spoken internationally.

Padlet: An online interactive wall used for maintaining interactions and communication for collaborative learning.

Collaborative Learning: Learning that occurs when two or more students learn something together towards achieving common learning goals.

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