As part of their research seminars assessment coursework, undergraduate students in the Department of Communication Systems at Lancaster University are required to submit written research summaries on topics focussing on communications technology and its effect on society. This research analyses feedback obtained from students into their experience of the seminar classes and looks into methods to improve student participation. Specifically, this looks into the potential of using existing virtual learning tools to facilitate participation and the expression of opinions outside the classroom prior to and following the seminar debates and the use of other forms of technology assisted learning such as social and collaborative learning, the use of mobile platforms and audio and video blogs. The feedback obtained shows that a number of students would welcome the use of a virtual learning environment to enable them to participate and engage further in seminar debates and gain a positive experience of the subject area overall. We outline a proposed framework for integrating the use of technology into the teaching practice of the research seminar course to improve participation and the student learning experience based on this feedback.