The Aston e-Portfolio is powered by PebblePad
Published on 15/02/2011, updated on 05/09/2012
What is PebblePad?
A true e-portfolio learning platform is a wholly student owned and controlled. Therefore the focus of control in the learning journey moves from teacher to learner. An e-portfolio provides a more facilitated approach to guide the learning process. It is the student who controls what, how, and who can access their learning artifacts/evidence/records, and reflections upon the learning journey(s). Therefore the learning approach is no longer (predominantly) transmissionist, it becomes inherently transactional and far more discursive. Thus promoting a dialogic approach to learning which in turn helps to foster deeper reflective practice by all. At a very basic level a e-portfolio is a private digital space (accessed via the internet) which contains records of achievements, and other digital artifacts. Current thinking defines an e-portfolio as:
A system which allows users, in any of their learning identities, to selectively record any abilities, events, plans or thoughts that are personally significant; it allows these records to be linked, augmented or evidenced by other data sources and allows the user to integrate institutional data with their personal data.
An accomplished “e-portfolio” platform offers a range of tools and scaffolded learning approaches (i.e. SWOT analysis). These can help to develop greater ownership of the learning, various activity types (i.e. peer assessment) deeper reflection, and therefore autonomous learning. PebblePad offers a wide range of tools, together with a comprehensive electronic submission and assessment system (Gateway) which allows varied and flexible assessment and feedback modalities. These short video cases studies by four UK universities and a college helps you to understand the opportunities and challenges when implementing e-portfolio based learning. This narrated presentation by Kevin Brace has been designed to give staff here at Aston an overview of the potential of e-portfolio based learning.
- Provides a secure online space to store personal digital artifacts (record, recap, and reflect)
- Can be used to develop graduate attributes in a holistic approach (employability, PDP)
- Promotes higher order learning (creativity, reflection, synthesis)
- Facilitates sharing and co-creation of concepts
- Helps to support more active (transactional, peer/group supported) modes of learning
- Enables effective and timely feedback on learning
- Students have the ability to create personalised learning journeys evidenced by a wide range of digial media types (audio, video, blogs, web sites)
- Allows presentation of learning/assessments/achievements to multiple audiences
- The gateway tool provides a range of flexible electronic submission, peer assessment, grading and feedback options
How do I use it?
- The key to exploiting an e-portfolio system is to use the tool often, and in context, with the underlying approach of sharing and developing peer / discursive learning activities. Start simply by using a blog or webfolio (tutor developed framework) tool to record evidence and achievements, and aggregate learning experiences. These can provide continual reflective evidence of impact upon future practice.
- Once staff and students begin to get comfortable with the "student owned" mode of creating and sharing assets between peers and tutor, you can then begin to exploit the Gateway to realise some very flexible assessment methods.
- More advanced tools such as bespoke forms, special pages (webfolios), and the (learner) profile tool can be combined to create and support a range of learning activites for many disciplines and personal development plannning.