TEL Me More about…PebblePad

At April’s TEL Me More session, Kevin talked to us about student’s creating webpages using Wix for one of their assignment. The idea of the assignment was to encourage students to apply the knowledge they had learned in their neuropsychology module and then write guidance and information for a specific audience on a disorder, for example a carer, a relative of a sufferer, an A-Level Student, or an expert in the field of neuropsychology.

Student’s are used to being asked to write essays and reports, but this allows them to be more creative and think about the type of language needed for their audience, the layout of the information and the type of information they’d include. Although this assignment was looking at neuropsychological disorders, it could be used for almost any discipline, where an “expert” is asked to interpret specialist information for a member of the public.

Although the overall lay out and presentation of the work is very important, the students are not marked on their web design skills, but on the content of the website, ensuring they have included theories, critical evaluated treatments available, used language their target audience would understand etc. These are all very relevant work-place skills, but drawing on the students academic knowledge.

Kevin was exploring the use of Wix, a free website building tool as it’s something he used himself, students were also given the option of using the Blackboard in-house wikis. However, there are other tools available, for example we are currently trialing the latest version of PebblePad and will be making this more widely available across the university from September 2016.

Some of the key features of PebblePad that could be applied to this type of assignment include the creation of portfolios.  As with Wix students can add multimedia, such as video, images and audio.  These can be made be public and shared with anyone who has the link.  As PebblePad is an internal system students can submit their work to lecturers and lecturers are able to archive students submissions so that they always have a copy of the students work to refer to in the future.

Other features of PebblePad include a blogging tool, templates and workbooks that can be created for students to complete.  Students can also request for a free Alumni account that permits students to continue using PebblePad once they have graduated the University and ‘take with them’ any work that they have created whilst at University.

If you’re interested in exploring these types of assessment further, then contact the TEL team on tel@derby.ac.uk

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