Summary of the #PBLA in the Virtual Classroom discussion with Rabia Rashid

Image source: teslontario

On February 26, 2021 in our #teslONchat, we discussed PBLA in the virtual classroom. Our guest moderator was Rabia Rashid (@ra2ns2002). Rabia has more than 20 years of experience in the field of English Language Teaching (ELT). For five years Rabia has been teaching adults in the LINC and ESL settings. Currently, she is working full time with the Peel District School Board, she has a Masters of Education from the University of Toronto in Adult Education. As an educator, Rabia has taught learners of all ages, in the classroom and online. She is determined to change the mindset about teaching and learning in the evolving digital age, encouraging her students to use digital platforms for productive self-progression. She is a volunteer moderator with the TESL Ontario webinar team. You can also connect with Rabia through LinkedIn: Rabia Rashid – LINC/ESL Instructor – Peel District School Board

These questions guided our 1-hour long chat:

  1. How are you implementing PBLA in the virtual classroom? 
  2. What tips can you provide to other educators who are currently using PBLA?
  3. How do students manage their portfolio and inventory record in your class?
  4. How can students take their portfolio if they move to another school/teacher?
  5. Why is it necessary for students to maintain a digital portfolio?

#teslONchat’s Evening Highlights 

It was a great experience sharing resources and ideas with Vanessa and thanks to Paramita Dutta, Colleen Taylor, and Stephanie Leutner, who joined us in the live chat. Takeaways for the night were that different Learning Management Systems (LMS) are being used by different organizations to manage student e-portfolios for Portfolio Based Learning Assessment (PBLA). Google Drive and Google Classroom are by far the most popular and user-friendly especially for students who must not only learn the language but also venture into digital literacy skills. In fact it is a great opportunity for them to learn to manage documents digitally as it is one of the essential skills outlined for skilled workers in the Canadian labour market. ESL Instructors can train their learners to manage their PBLA artifacts on e-portfolios in their cloud-based drives and periodically help them organise their folders, which is, in essence, the purpose of the language training – using the language in the real world.

During the chat I shared my promising classroom practices that I use with my learners about how I allocate my weekly class time to train students at the beginning and any new students who join during the term due to the continuous intake policy of the LINC and ESL programs. Not only is managing the e-portfolio essential, but training the students how to share it with other instructors or organisations when they move on after progressing in their benchmarks is also vital. It is part of the essential skills they need to develop for employment or education and as ESL instructors it is an inevitable skill that we have to teach our learners in the age of digital learning and skill sharing.

Vanessa and I shared some of the resources we use in our classes that help our learners manage and organize their e-portfolios.

Resources shared throughout the chat

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 #teslONchat will be hosted on our Twitter page once a month. If you’re interested in sharing your passion or expertise in a specific topic please reach out to us on Twitter – @TESLOntario. 

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This summary post was written by Rabia Rashid and Vanessa Nino.

Vanessa is the manager of TESL Ontario’s Twitter. Find Vanessa tweeting over @vnino23 

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