To-date UCC Blackboard has been used for content delivery, communications, online assessment and student management. To complete the development of our virtual learning environment we have moved towards bringing other technologies and tools and more recently PebblePad under the UCC Blackboard umbrella. In doing so, we are progressing towards a single sign-on for both staff and students via the one portal hence, it made sense for us to integrate PebblePad with the University VLE.
UCC Blackboard works on a modular basis rather than at a programme level. To work outside of a student’s registered module list we would require Blackboard’s Community System which currently no Irish University has in place. In the absence of this functionality, we needed to create a space, a generic site for students who were about to embark on a degree programme and start work on their e-portfolios. For example, the School of Pharmacy used the generic site, EP-MPharm2015-20: M Pharm 2015-2020 Core Competency Assessment (PebblePad) with the School of Nursing & Midwifery given EP-BSCNursing2015-2019: Clinical Placement (PebblePad) and the Dental School EP-BDS2015-2019: Dental Surgery ePortfolio (PebblePad). These generic modules allow for students to be enrolled for the duration of their chosen programme whereas taught modules are linked to Semesterisation and the Academic Year. Students and staff required a space where their learning could be integrated over-time and chronicled within PebblePad, the chosen ePortfolio tool.