Teaching Matters

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Teaching Matters 2018 | Presentation Details | 2018


Making meaningful connections: Using PebblePad to develop portfolios of practice


Jennifer Kemp-Smith, University College


Excellent teaching happens by design

Presentation Type

Lightning Presentation


Tamar Room




The University College (UC) curriculum incorporates paired subjects consisting of discipline knowledge and practical application (the latter known as Practice and Portfolio, or P&P). To evidence the practice, underpinned by theory, students are required to design and maintain a Portfolio of Practice throughout their Associate Degree.

This Portfolio is hosted in a Personal Learning Space called PebblePad. It is an electronic and interactive repository that contains unit level evidence of acquisition of knowledge and skill development, including professional competency and curricular, co-curricular and industry engagement. The Portfolio also evidences reflective practice, which is recognised as a ‘crucial component’ of experiential learning (Schwartz, 2012, p. 10).

By assisting both students and staff, the P&P Coaches facilitate the use of the digital Portfolio created in PebblePad by developing scaffolded templates that measure development, record improvement and increase engagement in both discipline-specific and transferable skills. Tailored PebblePad resources assist this process before, during and after an experiential learning opportunity, such as a site visit or guest speaker. Other pedagogically-sound resources designed in PebblePad include templates, such as an ICT Skills audit, Personal Competencies Audit and SWOT Analysis, which help students reflect on transferrable skills.

Best learning and teaching is supported by excellence in design where students can utilise digital literacies and reflective practice to deepen their learning through the storehouse of templates and mentorship of P&P Coaches. The Portfolio of Practice, and the PebblePad software, provide the opportunity for our students to make meaningful connections between theory and practice and to exit their Associate Degree with concrete evidence of their educational journey and practitioner development.


Schwartz, M. (2012). Best practices in experiential learning, Ryerson University, viewed 13 September 2018.

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