PebbleVision – Designing a research project

Engaging students as partners and co-creators of the curriculum through self-initiated learning activities.


Involving students in the co-creation of a credit bearing course can boost their confidence, strengthen and make explicit their graduate attributes and increase their self-awareness. One way to do this is by providing a flexible reflective learning and assessment framework to scaffold the experiential learning. This example comes from the University of Edinburgh, where students undertake student-led individually-created courses: or SLLICs. A PebblePad workbook is designed to contain all of the advice, guidance and support a student needs to plan, execute and evaluate a project of their own choosing.

An essential component of a SLLIC is deep reflection. Reflection is challenging and so this resource workbook also provides lots of help with how to reflect. Students work through the stages of the workbook and receive feedback in PebblePad from their SLLICs tutor at specific key points in the course. The project, its outcomes, reflections and the report are presented by the students in a portfolio that they submit for the final assessment.

The SLLIC model has been very successful and is now in use at many universities using PebblePad.