Embedded employability and new approaches to assessment

Monday 11th July 2022
  • Eight in ten teaching staff say it will be vital to ‘embed employability’ in the curriculum
  • 71% plan to fundamentally change their approach to assessment
  • 69% expect investment in learning technologies to increase in the next three years, but there are significant barriers to tech procurement

London, 11th July, 2022  – A new report from PebblePad – now available to download – unveils the most pressing priorities for teaching and learning staff in UK universities over the next three years. This in-depth research project, which spoke to staff across the UK’s Higher Education institutions, found that boosting employability, assessment and student wellbeing are the top challenges facing universities today and in the near-future.

For a full copy of the report, visit:

Embedded Employability

Today’s teaching and learning staff say that ensuring employment success for their students is amongst their top concerns for the next three years. Indeed, an overwhelming majority of university educators (82%) say it will be key to embed employability into the curriculum during the next three years. To shore up employability, educators will focus on providing students with opportunities to develop knowledge, skills, experiences, behaviours, attributes, achievements and attitudes to help them make more successful transitions to the world of work.

Sixty-four per cent of teaching and learning staff also say that they plan to increase their collaboration with employers during the next three years, ensuring that course materials and teaching methods serve to equip students with the skills and attributes that employers most want. 

A New Approach to Assessment

As teaching and learning evolves, seven in ten (71%) of educators think that the next three years will also bring about a significant change in the way they approach feedback and assessment. As well as a shift to authentic assessment approaches, 84% of respondents said that more emphasis needs to be placed on helping students articulate their skills throughout their studies.

Overcoming Tech Obstacles

Given that 87% of respondents believe that the learning experience will be a hybrid one in 2025 – combining online and in-person studies – it’s perhaps no surprise that adopting technology is set to be an important priority for the next three years. 69% of respondents expect their investment in classroom technology to increase by 2025. And it’s not only an increase in the amount of tech which will be bought – 92% of educators predict that they will see an increase in the range and scope of learning technology in the next three years.

More than half of respondents (53%) believe the cost of technology still impedes its procurement and use in HE – something which is exacerbated by the cost of procurement and purchasing red tape. And nearly four in ten (39%) worry that a prohibitive amount of staff training and education is required to make tech purchases a success, suggesting the need for more investment in training and onboarding. Nearly three in ten (27%) believe that technology purchases are currently not linked (or as well linked as they could be) to an institution’s strategic objectives.

Commenting on the findings, Shane Sutherland, CEO and founder of PebblePad said, “Despite the turbulence and challenges of the last two years we (at PebblePad) remained optimistic that learning, teaching and assessment in Higher Education was increasingly concerned with developing the broader skills, capabilities and mindsets that would help ensure that students left university work ready, life ready and future ready. This report validates our own observations as it uncovers a group which is equally optimistic about the future; committed to enhancing all aspects of the student experience, from curriculum design and development to assessment and measurement.”

The report draws on insight from more than 100 universities. To download a copy of the report, please visit

About PebblePad

Founded in 2004, PebblePad is an award-winning online Learning Journey Platform designed to help educators deliver student-centred learning. Extending the powerful features of an eportfolio with sophisticated tools for supporting diverse teaching and learning processes, PebblePad helps bridge the experiential learning & assessment gaps that Learning Management Systems can’t reach. A unique set of feedback and assessment capabilities rounds out the feature set. PebblePad is successfully transforming learning at universities around the world, including more than 30 of the top ranked global universities.


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