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Learning Technology Team

NILE & Other Technology Guides

Information for Students


What is PebblePad?

PebblePad is an accessible, user friendly, multi-functional educational tool which can be used by students in a number of ways.

PebblePad was initially designed as an e-portfolio tool, which students and professionals can use creatively to build an online record of reflection, and learning, and professional experiences. PebblePad has since expanded to include the workbook feature which most students, who use PebblePad, will use for their studies. In a workbook, students can interact with course specific material, while incorporating records of events, reflections, evidence aggregated from placement scenarios and an activity log. The workbooks are submitted for assessment and can be shared with mentors and assessors to review development and progress, and provide feedback at various points along the learning journey. 

Key Features

  • Students have full control of their accounts therefore the tool is personal to you, and can be a repository for your personal assets and reflections which you can share for collaboration, for a specified amount of time, if you choose to.
  • Interactive workbooks include an auto-submit function which means you can be secure in the knowledge that your work, from the outset, has been received by assessors.
  • Students are given the option to continue using PebblePad after they have completed their studies. With an Alumni Account you can still access your workbooks and portfolios as you move into the professional sphere, and you can continue to add to your development records by providing evidence of the skills you have acquired, thereby increasing your employability prospects.  


Accessing PebblePad

When you start your course, your PebblePad account details will be emailed to you, make sure you check your junk mail or spam folders as occasionally the email can be re-directed there. The email will contain a link for you to set up your account and to choose your own password. As students, your username is always your student number.

You can login to PebblePad from any internet-connected device (computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone). The link to PebblePad is at the bottom of this guide. We recommend using Google Chrome browser, but you can also use:

  • Mozilla Firefox 53
  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Microsoft Edge 41
  • Opera 46
  • Safari 9

When you access the login page for PebblePad, if prompted to choose an organisation, look for ‘University of Northampton’ from the list. You’ll know it’s the correct login page as you will see the University of Northampton’s logo. If you forget your password, you can reset it from the login page. Once the password reset has been emailed to you, check your junk mail or spam folder in case the reset link is there:


                                                          pebblepad login page

PebblePad Terminology


When you log in to PebblePad, you will open up the Pebble+ Dashboard. The Pebble+ Dashboard – or home screen – is where you can access all the tools within PebblePad. It is worth taking the time to become familiar with each of the areas, and what they do, so that you know how to access your work, share it and read your feedback.



Pebble+ and ATLAS

There are two areas in PebblePad – Pebble+ and ATLAS:

Pebble+ is the creation space where you create your work and fill it in. It’s also where you save your files, known as Assets. This is the area that you will be working in.


                                                                             Pebble Plus icon


ATLAS is the assessment space. Your work is submitted here for it to be marked by your mentors and tutors. The submission process for most students is automatic which means that you do not need to access ATLAS. Work can be submitted at the start of a year, and worked on throughout, as a live link exists between the two.


                                                                              PebblePad Atlas Icon

Resources are blank copies of forms (templates) and workbooks. They are provided to you (by your tutors) but you can create your own too. Resources are located in the Resource Store. Resources marked as ‘single use’ can only be used once. This mostly applies to workbooks and prevents the issue of working on multiple copies of the same workbook.

Assets are all of your own files. When you use a Resource and save it, this now becomes an asset and it is saved to your Asset Store, where you can revisit it to complete your work. If helpful, think of assets as ‘my documents’. You can save a variety of file types in your Asset Store – all your PebblePad forms and workbooks, plus upload PDFs, Images, Videos, Word documents and others files.:


                                                          pebblePad dashboard assets and resources links


Workbooks are the resources that most students use for their studies. Depending on your course, you may have one workbook that spans the duration of your studies; workbooks that you submit each year of your course, or multiple workbooks to work on each year. Workbooks are generally single use, and auto-submitted resources.




Templates are empty forms that you complete through following the prompts provided, and can cover aspects of learning and experience and/or reflection. PebblePad provide generic templates including action plans, reflections, recording (Worksheet), competencies and abilities (Talent), Experience, and Feedback templates. Your tutors may have developed their own templates which they will make available to you in the Resource Store; you can even create your own:


               PebblePad the different types of templates



These are the main terms that you need to know. As you start to use the tool more often you should become more familiar with these terms, along with others you come across, and begin to know the difference. You can click on the links at the end of this guide to find out more information.

Accessing Resources and Submitting for Assessment

Once you have become a little more familiar with PebblePad, the dashboard and the terminology, you can start to look at the resources you need for your course. You will probably be working with a workbook/s so you will need to locate these, open them, and save them to your Assets Store. This means they will auto-submit to ATLAS for your tutors to be able to see, and provide feedback and assessment for, as you go along.


  • To find your workbook/s, log in to PebblePad and in your dashboard, click on the Resources Store (you will see this next to assets just below your name and avatar):





There are a number of ways you can search for your workbooks in the Resources Store:

  • If you know the name of the workbook or course you are undertaking, you can put the title in the search box and click Search;
  • By clicking on the Workbooks tab, you can narrow the search down to workbooks alone;
  • Using the drop down menu you can click on one of the pre-set search filters e.g. you can search for dates and when the resources were created or modified, or list resources in alphabetical order:


Locating PebblePad workbooks in the resources store


When you have found your workbook:

  • Click on to the workbook title, this link will open the workbook. You should see the words SINGLE USE and AUTO-SUBMIT beneath the workbook link:


                  workbook link - with single and auto-submit labels


When the workbook opens, you will be prompted by the Auto share page to share the workbook for assessment. Because the workbooks are set up to auto-submit so that your tutors can assess them, you must make sure you go through this step before you start working in your workbook:

  • Check the box, To share for assessment I agree to the terms of usage;
  • Click on Continue:


The autoshare prompt page


  • When you have completed this step then click on the Save button in the top left of the screen: 


                                                            The pebblepad save button


This will save your workbook to your own Assets Store where you can begin to work on it - you can tell if it has been shared for assessment successfully by looking at the clipboard - it will no longer be greyed out and when you hover over it, it will say Shared for assessment:


workbook in pebble plus assets store

Sharing With Your Mentor

While the Auto-submit function submits your workbook/s for your course tutor to assess and provide feedback to, if you are out on a placement and working with mentors and external assessors, you will be required to share your workbook in a slightly different way, so that they can sign off competencies etc and provide feedback on your work.

Firstly, you will have to ensure that your mentor/external assessor has the correct PebblePad account. Make sure they complete the Placements form with their details.

If they have an account, then you need to share your workbook with them:

  • Find the workbook you want to share in your Assets Store
  • To the right of the title link, click on the information button:   Information button for sharing‚Äč


Sharing with mentor information buttonin assets


  • Next click on the I want to... button in the slide out panel;
  • In the drop down click on Share:


                                         I want to share



  • Then click on the I would like to share this... With an external assessor button:


external assessor share

  • Make sure you type in your mentor's exact email address;
  • You can click on the magnifying glass to select and expiry date if required;
  • When you have done this click Share Asset.

It is important that you log out of your PebblePad account, before your mentor logs in to perform sign-offs or provide feedback. If you are both logged in and looking at your workbook at the same time, it is possible that work will be lost.

Accessing PebblePad after you complete your studies

After you graduate from your course you will lose access to University of Northampton systems, and this includes PebblePad. Normally, your access to University systems is revoked thirty days after the date on which the exam board confirmed that you completed and passed your course.

If you have used PebblePad as a student at the University of Northampton then, upon graduation, you are entitled to a Personal Pebble+ Alumni Account. This is provided by PebblePad so that you can take your PebblePad assets with you when you leave and continue to use Pebble+ to support your personal learning and professional development as you move on to the next stage of your career.

You will have free access to this Personal Pebble+ Alumni Account for as long as the University licenses PebblePad, and for three years after that. At this point you can choose to retain your Alumni Account for a low annual fee. You will receive notification of this if a decision is required.

As an Alumni user your University of Northampton assets will be stored in a separate tab within your Asset Store called The University of Northampton - alongside Assets, Resources and Deleted. From here, you will be able to continue to access and manage any assets that you had previously. However any new assets that you create will be stored in your default Assets tab, separate from the University tab.

Please do not create an Alumni account until you have completed your studies and have submitted all your coursework.

Should you require urgent assistance with NILE, please contact the LearnTech Support Helpdesk via the online contact form