iPads in Teaching

For this case study we sat down with Julia Wheeler from social work to discuss how PebblePad is being used by students to evidence practice whilst on placement.

In social work students are sent out on placement and are asked to evidence certain skills and competencies. These are checked by both external mentors from the placements and tutors here at the University. Previously, this was carried out using paper and meant student progress was only seen once the portfolio was submitted. Postal copies were also large in size and were sometimes lost in the post.

In the case study Julia talks through the benefits of using PebblePad, lessons learned along the way and her plans for developing the practice further.


Why are you using PebblePad?

I am using PebblePad to enable students to submit their practice portfolio electronically and to give access to external markers.

How did you do this previously? 

Students submitted hard copies.


What are the benefits of using PebblePad?

Hard copies were quite large and sometimes were lost in the post, especially when sending them out to external markers. Markers also had to wait until the deadline to see the students work. With PebblePad we can now go in at anytime and see how students are progressing.

How is your new practice better than your previous practice? 

Ease of access for markers and students – particularly as students are placed all over the south west region in practice placements.

students in a lecture

Lessons learned

What issues did you encounter and how were these overcome?

Mostly educating new external users how to use PebblePad.

If you were to start again, would you do anything differently? 

Improve information to external users and ensure that all staff at University presented a positive view of PebblePad to students – those who found IT difficult sometimes did not ‘sell’ the use of PebblePad to students.

What do you dislike about PebblePad and how could it be made better? 

How many clicks it takes to open evidence attached to the workbooks. This could be managed by redesigning the structure of the workbook going forward.

Future plans

Do you intend to change or build on your practice further? If so how?

For the time being we will continue to use PebblePad in the same way. I’m also waiting to see how the latest version of PebblePad feels to work with.


Do you have any advice for others using PebblePad?

It is important to present a positive attitude in the use of PebblePad, this then enables others to learn how to use it more effectively!

Closeup shot of an unidentifiable hacker using a cellphone in the dark