Information Services

How to use PebblePad

Generic ideas on how to make the most of PebblePad

As a Student

Many students first start to use PebblePad as part of their course curriculum. The way they use PebblePad is then guided by the types of learning and/or professional development activities they are required to participate in. These usually involve having to demonstrate progress and development over time by recording learning experiences as evidence. Users will often be asked to create one or more presentations that describe their learning journey and developing competence.

Some students do choose to use PebblePad for their own purposes and continue to use PebblePad after they have left the University. In these contexts PebblePad is also used to document learning and skill development and may be used for other things like reflection and journaling, project management, research documentation, and professional portfolios. The key to using PebblePad well is to regularly create records of learning and experience, from all contexts of your life, so that you build up a rich store of evidence.

As a Tutor

Most educators start to use PebblePad for one or more of the following reasons:

  • To introduce eportfolios or blogs into the curriculum
  • To support reflective learning
  • To take a more student-lead approach to teaching and learning
  • To support the evidencing of competencies over timeTo teach and assess in ways not supported by the traditional VLE

There are a number of characteristics unique to PebblePad that enable the approaches to education outlined above:

PebblePad is institutionally provided but learner owned

  • Each student/staff member of the University has their own personal, private Pebble+ account in which to create records of learning and experience. This goes with them into all of their learning contexts.
  • At the same time, the University has a powerful feedback and assessment space (ATLAS) in which they can manage formal assessment processes without impinging upon the privacy of the Pebble+ environment.

Scaffolding and reflection

  • PebblePad provides lots of scaffolding through the tools and templates that come with the system.
  • The template and workbook builders enable teachers to create resources to scaffold any type of learning activity.
  • All PebblePad templates are underpinned by a reflective structure that encourages users to provide detail and insight beyond the 'what' of their experience.

Template and Workbook Builders

  • Enable the creation of fully customised single-page templates and multi-page workbooks.
  • Workbooks can be built to be comprehensive online learning packages that students can work through and also own and take with them.

Live links

  • Everything in PebblePad is shared via live links.
  • Anyone viewing another person's work (colleague, mentor or assessor) always sees the latest version without the need for re-sharing or re-submitting.
  • Templates and workbooks can be edited and added to after being made available to learners - this means that content can be drip-fed.
  • Assessors can view work as it is developing, enabling useful formative feedback at any stage.

Alumni Accounts

  • All students graduating from the University are able to apply for their free Alumni Account and take all of their work with them when they leave.
  • Alumni Pebble+ accounts have all the functionality of the institutional accounts so that learners can continue to edit and add to their Assets.