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Chronological understanding and overview with Padlet Timeline 

Brief description

This course is the first out of three on the Bachelor’s degree programme in archaeology. Based on archaeological material, the students work with central topics within the period’s history and cultural history. They also receive a thorough introduction to the subject’s methodological issues and source groups. 

The teacher’s motivation

The activity naturally came about when I was first introduced to Padlet as an e-learning tool during my search for possible new forms of collaboration in the virtual teaching universe. Padlet proved to be an easily accessible tool. It was important that the tool could function as a specific meeting place and a new ‘communication room’, where everyone could get involved – both as small groups and as a class.  

The purpose of this specific activity is to:  

  • give the students knowledge about key architectural structures, their architectural characteristics and an understanding of their temporal development (and with this their typological dating)  

  • give the students the skills they need to read architecture, for example by studying floor plans and building details 

  • guide the students towards a subject-specific reading when they work with the syllabus. On this level of the BA, the students usually focus on the texts in the syllabus, while being less concerned with working on the material culture as it is represented in different types of illustrations. 

Description of the activity

  • Before teaching, the teacher had prepared by finding floor plans and photographs of architectural structures, which were randomly placed along the timeline. See an example of this under ‘Links and Materials’ in the right-hand margin of this page. 

  • During classroom instruction, the students worked in smaller groups in which they had to match floor plans and photographs, and they had to place the architectural structures in the correct, chronological order. 

  • The activity was used as a way to repeat the part of the syllabus that the students had been introduced to during lectures. The goal was for the students themselves to discover the importance of material culture and discuss it with the correct terminology. They had 10 minutes to do the exercise. 

  • After the exercise, the students received a link to a correctly solved version. 

Applied technology

Padlet: Through different designs (wall, canvas, stream, grid, shelf, backchannel, map and timeline), Padlet can facilitate multiple forms of work and learning. The activity described here was developed in Timeline and focuses on development trends in architecture - more specifically in the medieval cathedrals of Denmark.  

Outcome of the activity

In addition to the specific academic benefits, the students said that the exercise made them aware of how important it is to study the buildings themselves through floor plans, elevation and architectural details. Next time that I am using the exercise, I will devote more time to feedback. Through presentations (and discussions) of solutions to the exercise, the students get a chance to practice terminology and argumentation in class. 

Useful tips

Timeline can be widely used for many different types of exercises that address time: course of events, terminological development, argumentation chains, etc.  

Basic information

  • Faculty: Arts 

  • Degree programme: Archaeology 

  • Course: Historical Archaeology, Period 1: Early Middle Ages and High Middle Ages 

  • Study level: BA 

  • Size of class: Approx. 20 students. 

  • Form of instruction: Classroom instruction 

  • Extent: Activity 

  • Primary activity type: Exercise and practice, collaboration 

  • Applied technology: Padlet 

  • How the case is carried out: Classroom teaching using learning technology