I like PebblePad. Why? Institutionally provided, personally controlled.
Shane Sutherland’s seminar on @PebblePad was extremely informative; and amusing for those of us paying close enough attention to spot his play on ‘student’ names, Atrick, Jerry, was my personal favourite. Composing myself enough that I didn’t share this humour with my best friend during his presentation, I was soon fully engaged in PebblePad and the wonders it holds.
My favourite aspect of the PebblePad ePortfolio was its adaptability. At the very start of the seminar, Shane commented that at all times you must know your audience, PebblePad allows you to pick and choose who you share information with, ensuring that certain things remain private between student and tutor, or can go public across the entire web, or you can simply save work for your own personal viewing; sending it on only when you are happy with it. In this sense PebblePad is almost like a personal PC on the web, hugely beneficial with information being able to be picked up, edited, saved and shared anywhere. The really great thing about controlling the content of your PebblePad is that it can potentially be used in all aspects of your life; personal, educational and professional.
In terms of eAssessment, PebblePad allows a student to submit a ‘working progress’ for feedback and advice from tutors; this not only enhancing the students learning curve, it allows the tutor to assess based on personal development. Feedback is instantaneous and the student can reply to the feedback for additional support, clarification, or to simply say ‘thanks’. These may all sound like fairly simply tools, but, as a recent graduate, I can assure you these simple forms of communication between tutor and student make a huge difference to a person’s learning experience; it’s nice just knowing that support is there.
I am also a huge fan of the fact that assessments are sent to tutors via links rather than PDF. This allows students to correct stupid errors that were missed when the assignment was first handed in without having to send the ‘Please ignore the first submission…’ e-mail; the link simply takes the tutor to the most recently saved piece of work! I did however wonder if the updates recorded date and time; I can imagine a lot of students would like to think they could get away with slyly updating a piece of work after the deadline…