Music Lyrics and Padlet--An Engaging Student-Centered Approach to Learning

Streamed Session

Brief Abstract

Music is a powerful and influential tool that affects everyone, possibly without recognition. Using the Ludic Pedagogy framework and model as a guide, an engaging student-centered online assignment was created to help students explore history, culture, diversity, equity, and other topics through song lyrics. Use this in your class tomorrow!


Dr. Lora Walter is a full-time faculty member at Chatham University who teaches across diverse learning environments in the nursing program. She worked as a neonatal nurse prior to assuming a teaching role in academia. She is the RN-BSN Program and Pathways to Nursing Coordinator and teaches in the RN-BSN, MSN, and DNP Programs. She has developed online and on-ground courses, redesigned curriculum, and converted online into on-ground courses. Her pedagogical approach is student-centered, and she incorporates technology into all of her courses. She is passionate about student engagement and implements learning activities that promote connectedness, community, and interaction in her online classrooms.

Extended Abstract

Student engagement in online learning continues to challenge educators. Current and future traditional-aged students are accustomed to stimulation and technology in many aspects of their lives. Meeting students where they are, and incorporating familiar tools into education, can improve engagement and learning.

Music is a powerful tool that can influence people, possibly without recognition. While many people mindlessly sing music lyrics, catchy melodies and mesmerizing choruses can anchor themselves into people's subconscious without effort. People can sing songs many years later without recognizing the underlying message of a song. Historically, music has influenced cultures and beliefs and continues to impact modern society. Music is a connection not limited by generational, cultural, or other boundaries, so it provides a neutral method of student-centered teaching.

This assignment was created using the Ludic Pedagogy framework and model, which incorporates fun, play, playfulness, and positivity into higher education teaching to create an environment where students become further engaged in learning, enjoyably learn, and improve learning outcomes in a positive environment without sacrificing academic rigor. This music lyric assignment was successfully implemented in a women's health nursing course to teach students about healthy relationships, domestic violence, and abuse. Examining the messages in music created opportunities to explore topics like culture, diversity, equity, inclusion, and ethics. Using music, which is generally appreciated by all, students engage and learn about a topic in a unique manner.

The inclusion of a music lyric assignment has been hugely successful in the course where it was implemented, and there was a recognition of the potential for the assignment to be used in different courses, addressing various topics. Padlet was used as the platform for the activity, which additionally engages students. Students enjoyed using Padlet and demonstrated engagement that is not often seen in isolated activities like discussion forums.

Attendees of this education session will have the opportunity to explore and discuss music in their lives, learn how the music lyric assignment was incorporated into an online course, and engage in the assignment. A Padlet will be shared, and a sample topic will be addressed through a music lyric activity. The attendees should leave this session equipped to implement this technological pedagogy in their classroom immediately.