Focus on student equity & success: AAC&U 2022

Category: Company
Wednesday 12th January 2022
by: Gail Ring

Mid-January heralds the AAC&U Annual Meeting in North America, an event the PebblePad team always looks forward to. This year – although a hybrid in-person and virtual event – is especially exciting, with a focus on ‘new models, practices, and solutions aimed at reinvigorating liberal education’ in light of responses to the pandemic. As part of the proceedings we’ll be teaming up with some of our trailblazing partners in a panel presentation. Here’s what we’re looking forward to…


On track for collaborative sharing of pedagogies and practices

Many of the meeting tracks at the conference resonate particularly well with PebblePad’s philosophy of supporting learners across their entire unique learning journeys, and the ways in which our global community use PebblePad to implement their teaching, learning and assessment ambitions.

Particularly during the pandemic, we’ve seen institutions turning to PebblePad as a means of maintaining connection to students, being able to monitor progress and provide additional support as needed, and in general for ‘promoting well-being, belonging, and flourishing’ (from the Whole-Person Development and Campus Well-being track). Another focus of the conference where PebblePad feels right at home is Curricular and Pedagogical Innovation. We are constantly impressed and surprised by the ingenious learning designs our intuitional partners employ via PebblePad, and we look forward to contributing to the conversation and to learning from the many experienced and passionate educators at the conference.


Equity and student success

For 18 years, PebblePad has been helping universities transform the ways in which they support their leaners, through providing capacity for student-centered, experiential learning initiatives and enabling learners to record, reflect on and celebrate their growth and development. 

Enabling student success is at the heart of everything we build into the platform. We’re especially heartened to see how the platform is being used to build relational connections between and among faculty and students, such as the work taking place at Portland State University which takes a scaffolded approach that allows faculty to provide feedback throughout the year and helps students build on their thoughts about their own learning.

A highlight for us at the conference will be our Panel Session – Rethinking Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practices using storytelling and reflection (Thursday, January 20th, 4:15 PM Eastern Time). Joining us in conversation will be Sonja Taylor from PSU, an educator and eportfolio practitioner in and beyond the curriculum, and our newest partner, Aaron Pina from Anthropolicy Culture Brokers LLC (you can read about Anthropolicy’s human-rights-oriented approach approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and how PebblePad supports that, in our partnership announcement). 

During the session, the panel will be looking at issues of student equity and how eportfolio practice, underpinned by a multidimensional platform such as PebblePad, can build personal connection through story – thus bringing the holistic life of the learner into the culture of academy. It promises to be a thought-provoking session that explores the intersection of higher education and technology in a D,E&I context, and through the lens of helping students build academic and professional identity to become more innovative, resilient, and better able to respond to complex challenges.

We’re also looking forward to the additional highlight of being involved in The Forum on Open Learning and ePortfolios. This event brings together veteran and novice eportfolio practitioners in the higher education community to support and share excellent practice in planning and implementing eportfolio practices and driving engagement and we’re delighted that our partners at College of the Canyons will be joining us for a panel session titled How eportfolio pedagogies helped us engage and empower students and faculty during challenging times (Monday January 24th, 12:00 pm Eastern Time).

If you are going to be attending the 2002 AAC&U Annual Meeting, we look forward to seeing you there and hope you will join us in our panel sessions. In the meantime, or if you are unable to make the conference, you might like to explore our High-Impact Practices publication, highlighting ten case studies of global practice using PebblePad to support HIPs.

Picture of Gail Ring
Gail Ring

Gail is a great believer in the power of portfolios for learning and has been using them in her teaching and research since her graduate work at the University of Florida. Gail previously served as the Director of the ePortfolio Program at Clemson University before joining the PebblePad team in 2015

Today, she continues to enthusiastically promote the transformative potential of portfolios across North America, with a special fondness for PebblePad.

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