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Disciplines & Themes

  • Architecture / Design

  • Competency assessment

Learning focus:  

  • Evidencing professional competencies 
  • Reflection
  • Self-assessment

Design focus:

  • PebblePad Workbooks
  • Scaffolding Learning
  • Authentic Assessmemt



A sustainable design for evidencing competency

Griffith University is located across 6 campuses in South East Queensland, Australia, and is ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide. Griffith “believe in, strive for and celebrate the Remarkable” – and we can certainly attest that their PebblePad implementation has been quite remarkable indeed, reaching an uptake of 30,000 licenses in their first 3 years of adoption and with continued sustained usage across the entire institution ever since. For this project, PebblePad was adopted to support a course redesign in order to reflect changes to the Australian National Standard of Competency for Architects. They needed to ensure students were able to clearly understand what was being asked of them for each competency and criterion and provide sufficient evidence against them.

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Image shows a pencil sitting on top of architectural drawings and plans

In Architecture design studios, the student’s end product is normally the design for a building with architectural drawings and models being the primary outputs. Students are assessed against five or six broad criteria and there is often a lot of room for subjective assessment. We needed a solution that would enable us to clearly identify the relevant knowledge domains within 27 performance criteria and clearly evidence student competency in terms of skills and knowledge. 



The Evidencing Competency Ambition 

The team needed a design solution that made the student learning as authentic as possible. Students needed to be able to upload their work for assessment, and have it assessed and feedback presented using the same learning platform. Reflection and self-assessment needed to be supported at three points in the process - before the task, immediately having completed the task, and before being assessed by teaching staff.


Quote marks

From a teaching perspective, PebblePad provided the ideal platform to ensure well organised delivery and assessment of each of the required criteria against the required knowledge domains. Student feedback indicated that they appreciated the clear structure of the course and content. 

The Successful Workflow

A PebblePad workbook was created, which housed all of the course information, instructions, competency information and worksheets to scaffold the evidencing process. Some key design elements included:

  • The ability to stage release of workbook content as students progressed.

  • All 27 worksheets, to cover each of the 27 competencies, kept neatly together.

  • Three or four submission points were included where students could upload images of their work, allowing them to reflect on why the particular piece of work was chosen and to highlight clearly which parts of their work evidenced the criterion.

  • Individual marking rubrics were provided for self-assessment and feedback sections were then completed by staff to assess actual proficiency.

Our PebbleVision video, while not specifically about this case study, provides a brief overview of how PebblePad can support some of the pedagogical and pebblegogical practices discussed in this case study. 


The PebblePad Difference

“PebblePad is excellent for clearly structuring, providing resources, evidencing and assessing complex learning criteria. It’s a one stop shop! “

A main outcome from the PebblePad intervention was that, as this case study was in the first design studio of the Master of Architecture Program and coincided with the 5-yearly AACA accreditation review, Griffith were able to demonstrate that passing students met the threshold standard for competency across all of the required criteria. The Architecture Program at Griffith received a full 5-years accreditation.

PebblePad has helped Griffith University achieve these benefits ...

  • A means of allowing students to clearly identify and understand the competency elements they needed to be assessed against.

  • The ability to scaffold reflection and self-assessment with customised rubrics and templates to guide learners through the process.

  • A way to evidence their skills and competency development.

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Four reasons why institutions like Griffith University trust us to help them make a meaningful difference to learner success.


We're more than a little proud of our 17-year track record of helping universities scaffold learning journeys which make a meaningful difference to student success. 


We're big enough to be trusted by leading organisations across the globe, but small enough to value every partner. It's why our customer-base, just like our team, is growing year on year.


PebblePad offers unrivalled capability when it comes to student-centred learning - helping universities transform the learning journey on and off campus - at any scale, across any context.


Our customers rely on us to support business-critical activity at scale, 24 hours a day. You only need to look at our uptime and usage data to see that PebblePad is a platform you can trust.


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