Week 1: PebblePad and Reflection
In the first week of the first unit learners are shown how to use PebblePad for learning on the ePPSME units. There are some simple tasks for the learner to complete so that the tutor can check learners' understanding and use of the webfolio.
What is PebblePad?
PebblePad is an electronic portfolio system (e-Portfolio). This is 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. Things created in PebblePad are called assets. You will be working primarily with a webfolio with embedded blogs, but the narrated PowerPoint below gives you an overview of all the elements PebblePad.
Narrated PowerPoint about PebblePad
PebblePad facilitates self-awareness, promotes reflection, supports enrichment through commentary and feedback from the recipients of shared assets. It grows, develops and matures as the user accesses it, without constraint, over time. It provides tools for aggregating assets in multiple forms; for telling myriad stories to diverse audiences and ensures absolute user-control over what is shared, with whom, for what purpose and for how long. It is a personal repository; a personal journal; a feedback and collaboration system; and a digital theatre - where the audience is by invitation only. A link to the PebblePad website will give you further information.
What is a gateway?
A gateway can be thought of as an institutional space within PebblePad, the place where assets can be published for viewing by other users such as tutors or peers. Access is controlled by permissions so, for some Gateways, users may be able to publish items but not view other people's work whilst, on others, users may be able view each other's work. This means that Gateways can have a wide range of uses including assessment submission, mentoring, sharing items with a group or personal tutor. A gateway has been created for you to obtain you Webfolio template (which you have already done) and to which you will submit your webfolio for feedback (activity 1 below).
What is a webfolio?
A webfolio is an evidence-based web site that is used to present ‘stories’ about yourself or 'stories' about your learning. They can contain any number of pages which can be added to, edited or deleted at any time. Pages may also contain links to web sites and other assets within your e-portfolio. To complete each of your weekly tasks you will have to log into PebblePad and review the content of the webfolio and record answers in your activity blogs accordingly. Below is a handout and a video which shows you how to do these processes, you will just have to come up with the answers to the tasks!
Working with your CN1025 webfolio
The most important thing to remember when getting familiar with working in your template is knowing how to find it once you get into PebblePad. When you downloaded your webfolio template it would have downloaded over 60 items (called assets) into your 'my assets' in PebblePad. All of these are important (and should never be deleted) but in this instance the webfolio itself is the most important. It is the holder and organiser of all the other assets that were downloaded. So, when you log into PebblePad and go to 'my assets' you need to use the filter to find the webfolio. The filter is the little arrow to the right of where it says my assets (shown in the image on the right) once you click on that arrow a menu will open as shown and you can click the icon for 'show only webfolios' and this will show just your CN1025 webfolio and you then need to view this asset. There are help materials below to guide you should you need them
Logging into PebblePad: *Demo video
Working with your webfolio template: Demo help sheet
* videos will show in a small preview window at first, click 'view' when you get to that screen to view it larger
If you wish to increase* the size of the text on the pages to make it easier to read you can use the display options tab at the top of the screen (shown below) It will also allow you to change the colour and contrast of fonts should you require it. There are additional accessibility features such as a screens reader that can be accessed should you need it, full details of accessibility features can be seen here
*If you are happy with the current text size and font colours you will not need to change the display options
Introduction to blogging, virtual tutor support and reflection
A little about blogs...
• They can consist of any number of discussion threads
• Staff and students can comment on existing threads or create new threads.
• Blogs can include text, images, weblinks and links to all types of documents
As part of this unit you will have access to 3 types of blog
• A personal blog, that only you and your tutor can access
• A link to a shared group blog, a space to ask questions and discuss ideas with other learners studying this unit
• A weekly activity blog to record responses to the activities posed - for the first few weeks the weekly activity blog will have instructions on how to navigate your way round whilst you get familiar.
Learning through reflection and experiential learning
Learning in Higher Education requires a number of skills, two of these skills that will be developed during this unit will be reflection and learning through experience.
Reflection as a potential development experience
Your knowledge, skills and understanding are steadily built up through different experiences, and reflection is the active engagement with the experience, and plays a special role in drawing meaning from experience. It is in the process of reflection that we recognise what we have learnt in terms of knowledge, skills and understanding, and how we have learnt this”. Boud et al. (1996)
It involves stepping back, thinking, considering, and critically analysing occurrences, or actions we have undertaken.
A YouTube video about reflection
“Experiential learning is a meaningful encounter, i.e. an active engagement where there is analysis not just of the subject matter but often analysis of own reaction- including implications for future work. Sometimes this is done unconsciously” Gray, et al. (2004, p.110)
This may include learning from every day experiences where learning is informal and unplanned and where knowledge and skills are gained through the experience of undertaking a job, discussions with colleagues, or knowledgeable others, etc. This is very much experience based learning.Deliberate experiences where learning is planned. These could include coaching, attendance at in-house programmes or external programmes, or self-study. Frequently it is expected that the knowledge and skills gained from the experience of being on the course, or coached, will be used within the job role and built upon. And this is exactly the aims and objective of these units. The individual use of what is learnt should be built upon.