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19 May 2022

Using the PebblePad teaching evidence portfolio

The PebblePad teaching evidence portfolio was developed to support any of the uses of Deakin’s Teaching Capability framework. We spoke to Dr Ryan Wood-Bradley about how he is using the portfolio to organise his HEA Fellowship application.

What is the focus of your HEA Fellowship application?

I’m still in the early stages, at the moment my HEA Fellowship application is focusing on my work as a first-year educator and also on my introduction of a communication curriculum into a clinical program.

I predominantly teach in the optometry program, but I have no optometry training. This gives me a unique perspective, making me a sort of ‘professional patient’. I try and make sure that students are always anchoring whatever they are doing to how it will serve the patient. Rather than just thinking about a disease, a condition or a fun tool that they might use, I aim to get students to ask the question: how does this help the patient?

How are you using the Pebble ad teaching evidence portfolio?

I’m using the portfolio to gather my thoughts for my HEA Fellowship application. I often find it difficult to sit and just write out examples of my teaching practice, particularly when it comes to fellowships. There is such a strict word limit when you’re applying for a fellowship, so you need to pick the really glowing examples of your practice. I have such a diverse teaching experience; it can be hard to identify what examples I want to use until I can see them all written down in one area.

What is the benefit of using the portfolio?

The teaching evidence portfolio in PebblePad allows me to quickly record any information that comes to mind throughout the day, rather than having to put an hour or two aside to search my memory and write down examples. The evidence portfolio has been structured to fit the Teaching Capability Framework, with a template that is divided into the different areas of the framework with prompt questions that help you fulfill the criteria.

What support did you receive when first using the portfolio?

There are some helpful videos at the start of the teaching evidence portfolio on PebblePad that provide a brief overview of how to use the platform.

I also went to the Deakin Teaching and Learning Workshop in March and one of the workshops was on PebblePad, it was really useful to be in that room with others learning how the teaching evidence portfolio was designed and how people could use it.

There have also been a number of workshops and guided presentations around the different stages of the HEA Fellowship applications, what approaches you could take and what’s expected in the final application.

What advice would you have for staff who want to use the Teaching Evidence Portfolio in their teaching?

The portfolio can support your HEA Fellowship application and it can also help with other application, like the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards. You can build up a bank of evidence of all the types of teaching you do. It’s easy to forget about these things when it comes to applying for an award, whereas if you have the information sitting in your portfolio already, it’s much easier to start the process.

The teaching evidence portfolio really encourages you to take the time to reflect on your teaching practices, and it’s only going to improve your practice if you take a moment to reflect on what’s working and what’s not working.

On DTeach you can learn more about the Teaching Capability Framework, HEA Fellowships and access the PebblePad teaching evidence portfolio.

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