PebblePad supported learning and assessment activities
Common learning, teaching and assessment tools and activities, and how suited they are to being conducted in PebblePad.
|Learning and assessment activity||PebblePad suitability||More information|
There are options for assessing work in ATLAS (PebblePad’s dedicated assessment space), in the LMS, or a hybrid approach. Any grades marked in ATLAS can be automatically or manually transferred back to the the LMS gradebook depending on your marking approach and functionality required.
Blogs and journals
PebblePad has a dedicated blog tool which houses a collection of blog posts. There are also other ways to create individual reflections, or a group or collection of reflections (see Reflections below).
Competencies and capabilities - evidence collection, tracking, mapping, assessment
PebblePad has a number of capabilities to support attaching or mapping evidence against specified capabilities, competencies or other attributes (See capability settings in ATLAS).
Students can map assessments, learning tasks and reflections to discipline-specific competencies, including professional standards or course – requirements for professional recognition and/or alignment to accrediting professional bodies.
Staff can keep track of student progress and identify at-risk students through the PebblePad assessment platform ATLAS.
There are some instances where you might want some content information provided to students contextually when completing ePortfolio activities, and PebblePad can support these needs, but for subject learning materials and content delivery, we recommend using the LMS.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours and development activities
There are multiple options for students or staff to track their professional activities and hours. This includes simple methods like creating a table that tallies hours and records basic information, or complex forms like writing reflections with attached hours/points for each development activity that is collected and totalled/tallied within an activity log.
PebblePad does not include discussion board functionality. The LMS is the preferred method for discussions.
However, there are ways to informally share ePortfolios and other assets for informal feedback purposes, including with an individual directly or via web link which could then be shared more widely via a tool like an LMS Discussion area.
Digital portfolios / ePortfolios
PebblePad allows students (and staff) to create multiple digital portfolios for different purposes and audiences as part of their learning journey. Students can submit portfolios for assessment or share them with others such as supervisors or employers.
PebblePad does not have advanced functionality to cater to creative portfolios which are used within disciplines such as architecture, design and fine arts.
Essays, reports and long-form written assessments
Written assessments are more effectively implemented through the LMS and other learning technologies such as Cadmus. The LMS also has default options for enabling and handling Turnitin in a streamlined and improved way compared to PebblePad.
PebblePad as a personal learning and portfolio platform is not designed to replace the LMS - its advantages come from using it in ways specific to portfolio approaches. Students could however upload a copy of a completed report/essay to save in their PebblePad repository to save as evidence or to showcase it to others within a portfolio.
Exams and any written timed assessments where students are expected to produce a written piece of assessment are best delivered via the LMS and other learning technologies such as Cadmus or Gradescope.
PebblePad offers a number of solutions for feedback including:
There are also ways to support feedback from supervisors (e.g. as part of placement/practicum/clinic) including options for supervisors who may not have a Unimelb account to view student PebblePad assets and provide formal or informal feedback (external assessors).
The benefits of some of PebblePad’s feedback options are that through these approaches, you can focus on assessment for learning (formative assessment and feedback) as well as encourage students to focus on the feedback rather than the grades.
Grades management and passback to the LMS
Group work and collaborative activities (e.g. group portfolio)
All types of resources on PebblePad can be shared for student collaboration and commenting. PebblePad however does not have real-time editing, so for group collaborative portfolios or other projects/outputs we advise a turn-taking approach and providing clear guidance and recommended workflows for students. For real-time editing access we recommend using or supplementing other tools like Google Docs or Microsoft 365 collaborative documents or Collaborations within LMS groups.
PebblePad and ATLAS have some peer review functionality, however, it has limitations. We generally recommend using the LMS and/or FeedbackFruits to peer review work or when peer-reviewing PebblePad portfolios as part of an assessment approach. To discuss options and approaches further, please submit a Learning Environments support request.
Placements and practicum activities (e.g. Work Integrated Learning (WIL), Industry Based Learning (IBL))
A range of functionality is available within PebblePad to support placement and practicum activities including:
PebblePad can be used to document progress on projects (for example, as a developmental or learning portfolio) or the outcomes of a project (e.g. presenting outcomes of work as a multimedia website or showcase portfolio).
In the case of group projects, there are limitations in real-time collaborative access to PebblePad assets that may make collaborating directly in PebblePad difficult for groups depending on their workflow. As for group work, we recommend considering real-time collaborative documents for collaborative writing. Other options that may assist are using collaborative blogs, or designated project roles where students own and develop a segment of the process to combine at a later date.
PebblePad does not have functionality or capabilities to support quizzes. We recommend using LMS Quizzes for delivering quizzes in your teaching delivery.
There is some survey-like functionality that can support student self-assessment or rating student capabilities as part of an ePortfolio approach (e.g. self-assessment activities, placement activities) but it is not designed to mimic quiz functionality.
PebblePad supports reflection and reflection activities in a variety of ways, for example:
PebblePad allows creating rubrics using feedback templates. These can be used for student self-assessment purposes or added to the ATLAS platform for formal feedback purposes.
There are some limitations related to passing marks into grade fields, so for more complex rubric or marking guide grading where marks need to be automatically tallied, it is generally recommended that you use rubrics within the LMS.
PebblePad offers basic functionality for self-assessment and surveying such as Likert scales, radio buttons, checklists, dropdowns and rubrics. Self-assessment options can be integrated into a worksheet, workbook or placement activity to encourage students to reflect on their development or skills progression/attainment. PebblePad offers options to run reports on these fields so you can track how students are progressing, how they rated an activity or their current confidence level.
These can be combined with more open text fields such as reflection prompts.
Options for self-assessment responses in PebblePad are limited, and cannot be anonymous. If you wish to use anonymous surveys or branching options with self-assessment, we recommend a dedicated survey tool such as Qualtrics.
Time tracking and hours logs
There is the ability to create time tracking logs for student placements or other purposes, similar to the options outlined under CPD hours and development activities.
Turnitin plagiarism detection
PebblePad has Turnitin available through the ATLAS platform, which allows submissions to go through Turnitin to generate a similarity report with similar capabilities as Turnitin plagiarism review in a LMS Assignment. However, the process is not recommended due to the administrative workload for teaching staff: an instructor needs to manually submit all work from ATLAS to Turnitin on behalf of students. For a video of this process, refer to PebblePad's Turnitin and PebblePad video.
If you need to check student PebblePad work through Turnitin, we recommend you instead ask students to save a PDF version of their PebblePad work and upload this to a Canvas Turnitin assignment to check it. Contact Learning Environments (submit a support request) if you wish to discuss your needs further.
Website or multimedia presentation
Students and staff can use PebblePad to create multimedia websites in the same way as digital portfolios. There are multiple instances and existing examples of staff and students using PebblePad to present thesis dissertations, conference presentations and other academic outputs.
Worksheet, workbook or other digital template/handout/form resource
Worksheets and workbooks are available for developing scaffolded and directed resources for students. Students can fill in worksheets or workbooks informally as part of a directed learning journey (e.g. structured reflections) or formally submit these for assessment.
As PebblePad supports creating portfolios similarly to websites, students could create a wiki in a similar way to how they might create a website or multimedia presentation.
Note that there are limitations to real-time collaboration in PebblePad, so you should consider or aim to provide guidance around turn-taking approaches and workflows for students. For example, either students work in small groups with dedicated ‘check in’ times, or work on developing their own ‘wiki page’ to then feed into a communal portfolio/wiki at the end.
Alternatively, if wanting real-time editing and tracking as to who has made edits/changes (as per standard wiki functionality), using a collaborative Microsoft 365 Word document or Google Doc may be better suited to your needs.
- Other learning technologies provided by the University
- Request support from a learning designer to advise on the best technology to use for your subject.