I have just started one of my favourite classes – SLT Small Business. I began the course in 2014, and each iteration has infused appropriate and usable technology. The adult learners in this program are interested in exploring entrepreneurship in Canada, and/or the Canadian workplace culture.
To begin with, learners need to navigate our course LMS (edulinc.org). Relevance to the Canadian workplace? Definitely. Canadian workplaces are beginning to offer staff training via LMS’s, or at least some online version of what used to be offered face-to-face, lecture style, in a classroom. Logging and tracking workplace training is becoming the norm. Even though I’d be the last to advocate losing the face-to-face training altogether, I know it’s coming. Online training is more economical.
My learners, within the course, use online fillable PDF forms to apply for business licenses, permits, etc. They access the internet, use search engines, email, and communicate with each other in group forums. That last sentence is basic; if our learners can’t at least use the internet, email, or chat then they are at a considerable disadvantage in the workplace.
More advanced technology that the learners use in this course includes using wix.com to set up a free website, using Microsoft templates, Publisher templates for business cards, using Powtoon to create a short internet commercial, and exploring how social media is used in the Canadian workplace to address customer service and marketing.
That said, I’ve only got my learners for 450 hours. Above and beyond course content, I’ve now got to factor in the mandatory PBLA requirements. I’ve decided to do my PBLA entirely online with my group. At the very least, folders can be created to contain each element of the portfolio, and then uploaded to a flashdrive or saved to the cloud. I’m planning to use OneNote as a save and display e-portfolio option; the entire file can then be uploaded as one massive zip, which can travel anywhere with the learner. Also, it’s very easily backed up by the instructor in case of accidental deletion.
This won’t be my first crack using OneNote for PBLA. Last term, I did both (used the paper and the e-portfolio version). The paper version was essentially the e-version printed off, minus the language companion (we hadn’t yet received the binders).
How It Works
I have a skeleton OneNote folder already created, which has the tabs and language companion material already laid out (like the binders). Students are given instructions on how to access the file, and download to their specific student drive. Students are also shown how to export completed assignments from edulinc.org to their folders.
Understanding how to access an use the files, how to export, how to save to a flashdrive all takes repetition and practice. I have access to a lab 3-4 times per week. I have instruction sheets printed off, clearly outlining the steps. I’ve even created a PBLA assessment task based on the instructions – with screenshots for the lower levels and without for the higher CLBs. The “skeleton” is pictured below…
If you’re interested in more details about how to use OneNote in the classroom, join my Tutela.ca webinar coming up in March.