PebblePad Super User Academy – Telford 14th – 15th May 2019

Posted on: 11 June 2019 by Scott Farrow in Conference & Event Reports

PebblePad Desk

Ben and I travelled to PebblePad HQ in Shropshire to upskill as ‘super users’ of the University portfolio and learning journey platform. The plan after undertaking the course is to impart our newly acquired knowledge across the institution through CIE’s digital education workshops, support and guides.

What is the event?

The Super User Academy is a 2-day residential training event teaching PebblePad’s advanced aspects. The event was attended by myself and Ben from CIE, as well as various members from higher education institutions across the UK across a variety of support and teaching roles.

The event was held at PebblePad HQ’s home on the Telford campus of the University of Wolverhampton.

An overview of the days:

We arrived in Telford with the sun shining and a pleasant walk to the University of Wolverhampton campus where we were met with coffee and PebblePad goodies. After some time getting to know the other participants we got stuck into some training, which was delivered through the PebblePad platform in the form of a workbook. This provided a great space to get hands on with the technology, but also to make notes and reflections of what we saw and heard through the 2 days.

Day one dove straight into some of PebblePad’s advanced features such as designing and scaffolding learning using workbooks, templates and working on module placements including managing externals and reporting. We were then set our first group challenge of ‘scaffolding learning with workbooks’, before exploring ATLAS, to manage the assessment process.

After a brief stop off at the University of Wolverhampton accommodation, day 1 concluded with a team meal and further networking with participants and PebblePad colleagues.

Day 2 begin as day 1 ended, networking over food. Breakfast was consumed and we were back into more advanced features after getting to know CEO Shane Sutherland. The focus here was on how to train, support and retain PebblePadders within our institution through more group challenge work and some recommendations on managing change.

What did you get out of the conference?

There were three main take away areas for me which I will take back to the office to further develop.

  1. Inspiration from the 2 days has resulted in me thinking of different ways to structure and deliver our staff training and development. I plan to run the idea by colleagues to develop our training in a hands-on way using the workbook feature of Pebblepad. This would allow us to get staff using and understanding the platform immediately, as well as being able to adopt a flipped classroom approach. It would also enable further training for participants who wish to continue their training after the workshop, allowing us to make the most of the 90-minute face-to-face workshop.
  2. The academy has also focussed my attention towards what ‘take-away’ style support we can provide for staff to help them with launching and embedding projects using PebblePad. This involves staff and student facing support guides that could be adapted by colleagues embedding PebblePad into their programmes.
  3. Finally, the training and hearing how colleagues at other institutions are using PebblePad has given me a more rounded understanding of its capabilities, allowing us to support and demonstrate wider pedagogical uses to staff in various disciplines.

Final thoughts:

After reflecting on the 2 days, the super user academy completely exceeded my expectations. It was pitched at exactly the right level for my requirements and the group networking and sharing of practice was invaluable. I really enjoyed feeling a part of, and meeting, the PebblePad team for the duration and have come away with several ideas to share with CIE and embed at the University of Liverpool.