PebblePadProduct News: Supporting Meaningful Assessment

Product News: Supporting Meaningful Assessment

Being able to support a range of assessment opportunities effectively and efficiently allows educators to focus on providing meaningful, timely feedback to help student learning and skill development.



Assessment of, for and as learning


As noted in our article on A practice-led approach to assessment, in light of the rapid shift to digital transformation there is now a pressing need for an evaluation of how feedback and assessment processes have changed and whether they are meeting the needs of learners, assessors and their institutions.


In an era of rapid change and a volatile employment environment, the need to develop future-ready graduates with transferrable skills has never been more important.


One response to this challenge is to use authentic assessment approaches, which are situated in a real-world context and aligned with what learners will need to do in the future and the expectations of industry and employers.


This approach also naturally fits with a model of assessment that is for learning, and as learning – where we ask students to engage in learning tasks where the assessment is a natural part of the process and incorporates dialogic feedback. In this context, the learner learns through the process of building the assessment artefact and, conversely, the product is tangible evidence of the learning that has taken place.


This ambition of shifting focus away from content-driven tasks to synthesis and application does provide some challenges to implement and support, especially at scale and with diverse – and potentially dispersed and hybrid - cohorts.


In Practice: Digital Tools for Formative and Summative Assessment


Giving personal, meaningful and timely feedback and grades is one of higher education's biggest challenges. Having a suite of specialised tools allows assessors to work smarter to ensure their efforts are maximised for contributing to the development of the learning experience – and indeed, managing staff and learner workload effectively is one of seven Principles of good assessment and feedback proposed by Jisc earlier this year.


Our PebblePad community of users can now take advantage of significant enhancements to our assessment part of the platform – ATLAS, being the Active Teaching, Learning and Assessment Space.


The new version of our Submission Viewer encompasses the following features to bolster the assessment capacity and ease the workflow for all assessors, whether university educators, external assessors supporting students in the workplace or on placement, or peer reviewers learning from each other.



The Interface

  • Feedback, Grades & Comments Sidebar - all in one, convenient place
  • AT-Nav - quickly switch between student submissions



  • Assessor Fields - assess contextually, directly within a workbook page
  • Feedback Templates, Statements and Instructions - handy tools to make feedback flow


Review and Approve

  • Capabilities – create discussion around indicators of skill development
  • Approval – three tier, traffic-light systems for if learners meet a set of requirements


Validate and Verify

  • Verification - confirm student has met set criteria
  • Progress Tracking – identify student status
  • Scorecards – allocate marks to different components within an assessment



Most students seek to develop evidence of their employability during their studies. One way to achieve this is to have on-going or continuous assessment of a student’s capabilities, alongside the evidence they share to demonstrate their development.


ATLAS includes two key features around Capability Approvals and Capability Comments which means assessors can make direct assessments of an individual’s developing skills and provide encouragement, suggestions for improvement and validation that evidence meets requirements.



If you'd like to find out more about assessment in PebblePad, you can see the Submission Viewer in action here.


You can drop us a line here.

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