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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 that 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 choose your own password. As students, your username is always your student number.

You can log in 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 the 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 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 other 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 by 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.

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

Do not work on recovered versions

When the Internet drops out and you have unsaved work, Pebblepad will make a duplicate workbook for you. You may be familiar with Microsoft Word doing a similar thing. This makes sure that you do not lose the work you have done.

If a recovered version has been made, you will be notified by a pop-up notification on the screen. The pop-up window may appear whilst you are working, or the next time you open your workbook. It clearly explains what has happened and what you need to do about it.

The recovered version is a duplicate and you must not continue working on it. It is not submitted for assessment. This means no one else can see it and you cannot share it with your mentor.

When looking in your assets, you will see in the title of the workbook has the word 'recovered' in brackets at the front.

recovered workbook showing in assets store

You will need to compare the recovered version and your original workbook. If they are not identical, you would need to copy text from the recovered version and paste it into your original workbook. If you are required to attach additional evidence, you may need to reattach this in the original.
Remember, the recovered version is not submitted for assessment, so you are the only one who can see it.


You can see which is the original version by looking for the clipboard icon in your assets.

Once your text is copied and pasted into your workbook, you should delete the recovered version from your assets, so there is no confusion. 


1. The internet drops out (or you didn't save and exit properly).

2. You see a recovered version in your assets.

3. You compare the workbooks. Copy and paste anything across into your real workbook.

4. You delete the recovered workbook from your assets, which clearly has the word recovered in brackets at the beginning of its name.


save, pebblepad logo then log out

When you finish working in PebblePad, you must always save, exit, and log out. Do not leave your workbook open. This is equally as important, whether you are using a smartphone, a tablet or a computer. Make sure your mentor is also aware of this.

If you leave your workbook open or fail to come out of it properly, you may receive an error the next time you go in. A red banner appears at the top of the screen to let you know your workbook is open elsewhere.

If you know for definite it is not open somewhere else and you are confident you will not lose any work, you can click the blue button underneath which says 'edit this asset'. You may still end up with a recovered version.

Sharing With Your Mentor

  1. You can only share your workbook with your mentor if it has been submitted for assessment.
  2. You can only share with your mentor if they have a PebblePad account

While the Auto-submit function submits your workbook/s for your course tutor to assess and provide feedback, if you are out on placement and working with mentors/supervisors/placement educators, you will be required to share your workbook directly with them, so that they can sign off competencies and provide feedback on your work.

Firstly, you will have to ensure that your mentor has a PebblePad account. If they don't, they must complete the request form with their relevant details. 

If they have an account, then you can 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 side panel;
  • From the drop-down menu choose 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
  • AND click the magnifying glass to search. When found, it will show underneath the search box.
  • Add an expiry date of no longer than one calendar year (you can always reshare if needed)
  • 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.

Add Evidence Button

You may see the +Add button in your workbook as shown below. This is an area for you to add additional text or any assets to provide evidence to support the completion of a skill or capability. PebblePad calls these capability fields. The following instructions will show you how capability fields are used, but as everyone's workbooks are subject-specific you must make sure you are clear on how your tutors are expecting you to use the capability fields.

You have 2 options for adding evidence.

  1. Add an asset. This is any file type saved into your assets. It could be a paper form you've scanned/photographed and uploaded or it could be a PebblePad/PebblePocket form that you have already filled in, for example.
  2. Add text only. There are two variations for this, explained below.

For every option start by pressing the +Add button and choose Add Evidence.

add button, add evidence

Then you will have the option to choose to add an asset or add text only.

Please note that it is your tutors who have designed your workbooks, they are subject-specific and therefore you should check with them if you are not sure which one to choose.

Screenshot shows the two buttons to choose the type of evidence

Option 1- To add an asset:

1. Click the +Add button
2. Choose Add Evidence
3. Choose Add an Asset
4. Find the asset(s) you want to add. Use the search bar to help you
5. Click the tile to select the asset(s) you want
6. Click Done
7. (Optional) Add a brief explanation about how this asset supports this capability.
8. Click Save

Option 2 - To add text only:

1. Click the +Add button
2. Choose Add evidence
3. Choose Add Text Only
4. For the Title use the naming convention you have given. Make sure this is unique from any other entries

5. In 'About this entry' type (or paste in) the details of your placement experience
6. Click Next
7. Click Save
Next to the +Add button, you will now see a document icon with a number next to it. When you click on that icon, the capabilities side panel will open and you will see the entry you have created. From here you will be able to open and edit it if you need to. If you have more than one piece of evidence, you will see them listed.

document icon

Alternatively, in About this entry you put a dot (just something to let you press next) and you type/paste the bulk of your text into the justification area instead. If you do it this way, your mentors and tutors can see the text onscreen, without needing to open a separate attachment. This can be quicker and easier for them.

add a title and some text

Next, your capability will need to be approved.

Hint: If you have a lot of text to write it would be better to prepare that in a word document (use TextEdit on a mac) and paste it when you're ready.

Evidence is complete

Once your capability has been approved, you will receive a notification to say 'feedback has been released'. You will most likely receive that in an email. However, it will not tell you where in your workbook you have feedback, so you'll need to be aware of what you're waiting on and look through the workbook.

Over on the right-hand side, along from the +Add button, you will see a new icon. If your evidence has been approved you will see a green tick inside a green circle (with a blue dot to show it's new). If the evidence/capability has not been approved you will see a minus sign inside a red circle instead. Click the icon to see if you have any feedback about why it has not yet been approved.

Green tick with Blue Blob

If your evidence was approved, click on the document icon to open the side panel. Tick the checkbox to confirm "This evidence is complete". 

tick to say evidence is complete

Warning: Never tick to say that evidence is complete before you've had approval.

Using Templates with Collections

In your workbook you may find a page that collects templates, your 'templates' can be linked directly from the page. Alternatively, your tutor may direct you to look from them in your resources

Example of a collection page with a pre-tagged template (dynamic):

PebblePad screen shot collection 1

Open the template page, from either the link on the collection page if there or your resources if not.

PebblePad Collection Screen shot 2

Enter a unique title in the 'save as' box to name the individual template, you must follow the naming convention set by your tutors. Complete the other boxes, then save and close.

(Templates are pre-tagged by the tutor - in this example, the tag is 'collection1')

PebblePad Screen Shot Collection 3

Back on the collection page click the toggle switch to the ON position. Everything from your assets, with the relevant tag, will show up on the page.

Note: You do not share your individual templates with your mentors (nor your tutors). Share your whole workbook with your mentor so they can access your templates.

Add Assets to a Collection by Tagging Them

If your tutor has asked you to add your files to a 'collection' then you will need to manually add the 'tag' to your assets. 

Assets can include images, documents or templates uploaded from PebblePocket. *

Tagging assets into a collection workflow.

PebblePad screenshot, Collection 4

In this example, the criteria set is the tag 'collection2'.
Copy the collection tag from the page (it is both space and case-specific)

Open your assets and click the (i) icon, a side-panel will open on the right.

PebblePad collection 6

In the asset 'Tags' box, 'paste' the tag text you copied earlier, and click 'Add' (note it may say 'sorry there are no matches')

Your tag will show under the box, if you have added the tag incorrectly remove it and add it again. Close the side-bar.

PebblePad screen grab collection 6

Back in your Workbook collection page 'apply' the search.

PebblePad screen grab collection 8

If your asset does not show in the list then you have not tagged it correctly. (Repeat the steps above).



PebblePad have created an app for Android and Apple devices that can be used to complete your templates offline – this is useful if you are in a practical situation and need to have a competency signed off. The template is saved onto your phone/tablet and you must send it to PebblePad as soon as you are able. The app will only store 10 items, so make a regular habit of always sending to PebblePad when you have internet access.

You are under no obligation to download the app to your personal device, and will be able to find and use the templates in PebblePad if you choose not to use the app.

Paramedic Science, Nursing and eMORA Midwifery students have specific templates located in the app.

                                PebblePocket Myepad Nursing screenshot

The screenshot below shows where to find the Paramedic PebblePocket template:

                                    PebblePocket Paramedic template screenshot

Warning: you must upload your assets as soon as you are online – assets are only stored in the application on your phone and do not automatically send, or upload, to your main PebblePad account.


Keeping your PebblePad work after you complete your studies

After you graduate from your course you will lose access to the University of Northampton systems. 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.

However, with PebblePad you are entitled to a Personal PebblePad Alumni Account. This is provided by PebblePad, so that you can take your PebblePad assets with you when you leave. You can continue to use PebblePad for 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 PebblePad alumni account, for as long as the university licenses PebblePad, and for three years after that. After which, you can choose to retain your alumni account for a low annual fee. You will receive notification of this and have plenty of time to make a decision.

As a UON alumnus your assets will be stored in a separate tab within your asset store called The University of Northampton - alongside Assets, Resources and Deleted. From there, 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.

Warning: DO NOT create an Alumni account until you have completed your studies.

Technical support with PebblePad

If you require technical support with PebblePad, please use the PebblePad Contact Form

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