PebblePad workshops

In December Averil Robertson will be running two PebblePad workshops – Introduction to PebblePad Version 5 and PebblePad Version 5 Next Steps.

The Introduction to PebblePad workshop is aimed at those who are new to the system. During the session you will discover the basic features of Pebble+ and ATLAS and learn how to use PebblePad to support learning.

Pebble Pad Version 5 Next Steps is aimed at those who have some familiarity with PebblePad but want to know more. During the workshop you will learn more about the enhanced features of Version 5 and discover how to use PebblePad for assignments/with BREO/with Turnitin.

The Introduction to PebblePad workshop will  take place as follows;

  • 4th December between 9:30 – 12:00 in Luton (F304)
  • 12th December between 9:30 – 12:00 in Bedford (T0.10)

PebblePad Version 5 Next steps will take place as follows;

  • 8th December between 9:30 – 12:00 in Luton (F304)
  • 13th December between 12:30 – 15:00 in Bedford (Library Training Suite 1)

Sign up here for the Introduction to PebblePad workshop and here for the PebblePad version 5 workshop.

Webinar Nov 28th: Using technologies in the co-creation of assessment

This interactive presentation seeks to show how students and academics alike can empower their practice through the use of technologies in co-creative assessment.

Over the past few decades, Higher Education Institutions have been making concerted efforts and building detailed strategies to empower the student body to have a louder, more potent, voice in order to influence and impact all areas of student life. In turn, this has led to an advancing interest in the role of students in pedagogy with key concepts, such as ‘co-creation’, ‘students as producers’ and ‘students as partners’ being defined, developed and delivered from this culture shift.

In this webinar our own Nick Botfield from the CLE will describe a small piece of action research which used student response systems, a virtual learning environment, synchronous word processing software, and video-conferencing technology to facilitate the co-creation of a post-graduate summative assessment on a blended learning course.

This presentation will aim to give participants an opportunity to:

  • gain an insight into how technology can be used to empower both students and staff when embarking on co-creating an assessment
  • take part in a small co-creation activity using technology
  • consider the potential pitfalls and opportunities of using technology to co-create assessments
  • investigate preliminary results of a study into student attitudes and perceptions of using technology to co-create assessments.

You can register for the webinar here. A recording will be available afterwards.

Join the next PebblePad webinar

Want to learn more about using technology to support reflection? Pebblepad’s next webinar will be examining just that.

Topic: Using technology to support reflection on individual learning journeys
Date: Wednesday, 30th August 2017, 16:00 BST
Location: Online Zoom Meeting Space.
Presenters:Sarah Tutton, PGCE and QTS, Canterbury Christ Church University, lead student presenter; Geoff Rebbeck, Professional Studies Tutor, PGCE, Canterbury Christ Church University

Here’s a summary of what they’ll be talking about:

During their PGCE year, Sarah and her class have considered what education looks like in today’s digital society and identified areas in which technology has changed the world and how we need to prepare students for this new era. In the webinar, Sarah, supported by Geoff and her student colleagues, will showcase a particular assignment, in which students used workbooks and assets to improve their own educational experience and prepare for technological frontiers. They will highlight that it is not the technology that is important, but how we can use this technology to improve pedagogy and teaching practice.

Sarah has just won the CCCU PGCE prize for creativity on the PGCE. This is the top student prize and is given to the student who has shown and demonstrated by publication the greatest creativity in their teaching practice and we are delighted to have Sarah presenting her work.

You can sign up here.

Using assistive and accessible technology in HE

Assistive technology has undergone a revolution in recent years. There is a wide range of established commercial and free and open source software products available (such as screen readers, on-screen keyboards and spelling aids), as well as in-built accessibility features in computers and programs.

More people use mobile and portable devices with assistive apps. One significant benefit of technology is the provision of a voice for those who are unable to speak themselves. Apps for tablet devices for example that use scanning and a touch screen interface can now provide this at a fraction of the cost of some of the more complex and advanced hardware technologies.

In this guide, Jisc provides an overview of the types of assistive technologies available and how they might be used in a learning and teaching setting.

Developing digital skills: new MOOC

Digital skills are essential in today’s workplace; there are few jobs that don’t require them, yet employers report a shortage.

Building on the highly successful Blended Learning Essentials series of MOOCs, the third course entitled ‘Developing Digital Skills’ has just been launched and will start in October. This course, commissioned and funded by the Ufi Charitable Trust is designed specifically for the Vocational Education and Training sector.

Professor Diana Laurillard, one of the lead educators behind Blended Learning Essentials, says, ‘We’re hearing every day about the need for digital skills in all kinds of jobs in the modern workplace. The idea of this course is to help the FE and Skills sector with gearing up to supply the graduates industry so desperately needs.’

More information:

Blended Learning Essentials is a free online course developed by the University of Leeds and UCL Institute of Education, supported by the Association for Learning Technology and funded by the Ufi Trust.

Using PebblePad to embed employability into the curriculum

PebblePad have recently released a webinar on using e-portfolios for employability.

Embedding employability into the curriculum – a university wide approach to eportfolios by Heather Pate, Senior Learning Designer, Edith Cowan University Dr Katrina Strampel, Manager, Teaching Support & Senior Lecturer in CLT

ECU defines employability as having the skills, knowledge personal attributes, and self-awareness that make securing, and being successful in fulfilling, employment more likely. Through an integrated learning experience, the JIGSAW approach aims to improve employability outcomes by enhancing students’ ability to understand, demonstrate, take responsibility for, and articulate their learning, thus improving their written applications for employment, their verbal interviews, and their continuing professional development.

In this presentation, Heather will outline how this approach is being implemented with seven pilot courses across the university. Using PebblePad workbooks, courses provide students with scaffolded opportunities to recognise and articulate their knowledge, skills and achievements, and to collect evidence to support these. Students use the stories and evidence gathered to create portfolios, documenting their learning journey and preparing them for employment.

Watch the webinar here.

Switching to PebblePad 5 today!

Today (July 4th) we’re switching over to Version 5 of Pebblepad. There won’t be any change in functionality, and all assets and resources will still be there – the main change you will notice will be the more streamlined interface.

Get in touch with us if you encounter any problems or want to arrange instruction in the updated version.

Using portfolio-based learning at scale

Thinking of using e-portfolios to support learning? Want to implement that strand of our new strategic plan?

This webinar from PebblePad will show you how e-portfolios are being used at scale at Plymouth and Bradford Universities.

If you want to know more about how to use PebblePad, contact Averil Robertson in the CLE – and look out for our switch to version 5 on July 4th!

Coming soon – PebblePad V.5


In August 2016, we upgraded to V5 of PebblePad.  Since then, Version 5 has been running concurrently with the ‘Classic’ version, in order to minimise disruption to those staff and students already working within it.

However, the older version will shortly cease to be supported by PebblePad, and we will therefore be switching as an institution to Version 5. The switchover will take place on July 4th at 8:30 a.m.

It’s important to note that the main difference in the new version is its ‘look’, and improvements to functionality – existing assets etc. will remain in your personal spaces. We have been working on a range of supporting materials (for staff and students), and will provide various hands-on sessions: for novice PebblePad users; for those who are transferring to V5; and for those who are already using it and just want to know more – look out for opportunities to sign up for these.

On July 12th, a representative from PebblePad will be at the University and available for Q&A and practical sessions – please get in touch if you would like to know more about this.

Please note that ATLAS is not changing in the short term, and all assessment activity (such as setting up assignments and marking) will continue as before.

4 ways to improve student retention

Colleagues may be interested in signing up for the following webinar, coming up soon:

4 ways to improve student retention – sign up here.

Making students feel included, engaged and listened to is a real challenge lecturers and teachers face and a hot topic in the education currently, which the April 2017 ‘What Works?’ HEA report highlighted.

We look at how technology can help create a sense of inclusion and belonging between students, but also make them feel they are being heard by their lecturers and teachers.

Join MeeToo’s Education Customer Success Manager, Amie, in this webinar to take a look at this report and discuss how Meetoo can help address some of the issues, covering the points below, and more:

  • Key takeaways from the latest ‘What Works?’ report
  • Supporting research carried out by Meetoo
  • How technology can help increase retention
  • Results seen from use of Meetoo within a leading UK university
  • Supporting success across an institution

Social media short course, June 5-16

This short course aims to introduce you to some of the main social media tools and how they’re being used in Higher Education.

Unlike most of our courses, this will not be a linear process – you can dip in and out and have a look at the tools that most interest you, over the course of two weeks.

We’ll include examples and some further reading so you can think of ways in which you can introduce these tools in your own practice to enhance student engagement and skills.

You can sign up here.

For more information, email

Digital leadership in HE

New research highlights the growing importance of higher education staff being capable of delivering technology-enhanced learning experience for students.

A survey of 1,000 16-24 year olds, commissioned by Jisc, found that three quarters (75%) of higher education students surveyed believe that having staff with the appropriate digital skills is an important factor when choosing a university. 99% of students think that technology is becoming increasingly important in education, while 62% believe technology keeps them more engaged.

Using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Want to know more about webinars? Welcome to Blackboard’s next generation web conferencing. It’s designed to run right in the browser, making online collaboration easier than ever. Group work, meetings, lectures, and more… whatever your goal, Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra Experience makes communication easy. Now, you can forget about the technology… and focus on each other.

This video presents an example of classroom collaboration using Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra Experience. Including file sharing, group annotation of the shared file, hand raise, notifications, video, chat, polling and breakout groups.

“Don’t call us lazy!”Jisc’s learning analytics app

This year, Jisc will be releasing a learning analytics student app (part of their effective learning analytics project) so that students will be able to see how their learning activity compares with others and set targets to do better in their courses. This will not only benefit students, but staff members too, who will be able to view a dashboard showing the learner engagement and attainment of their students, allowing them to better target students who might be struggling with the course, and prevent drop-outs too. The app will also help staff members to better understand how to make learning more effective.