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What does the portfolio project involve?

Although professionals such as artists and architects have long used portfolios to highlight their best work, only recently has this strategy become more widespread within educational institutions. As concerns the Québec school system, portfolios are now being used as part of the evaluation process, whether in regard to a particular type of activity (e.g., a writing task), a particular course, or a cycle. More to the point, however, this strategy is being increasingly used within teacher education programs to enable students to document their professional development in the context of their courses and practicums.

With respect to the B-ALS program, you will be involved in a four-year portfolio project with the specific aim of documenting how you are appropriating the 16 professional competencies which guide teacher education programs within the Province of Québec (see Appendix A for an overview). To do so, you will reflect on activities and assignments related to three different contexts: your practicums, your university courses, and ongoing professional development activities you engage in outside of your practicums or coursework. In your reflection, for each  activity or assignment, you will explain how it contributes to your appropriation of one or more of the 16 professional competencies. You will also include items such as lesson plans or samples of ESL students’ work, so-called traces, which were related to or produced during the carrying out of the targeted activities or assignments.

To finish off this project, you will register in DID-3922 Portfolio Project which takes place in the final semester of your B-ALS program.  Whereas during the prior semesters you will have gathered items and reflected on your development in what can be referred to as the working portfolio, in this course you will create a showcase portfolio. The showcase portfolio will be in the form of a website (referred to as a webfolio). As a webfolio, it can be included as a link on your CV. During a job interview, items taken from your portfolio can at times be referred to to underscore your approach to teaching. In DID-3922, amongst other things, you will also be called on to assess the degree to which you have attained the various professional competencies as well as do a presentation in which you focus on your accomplishments.

In order for you to keep track of the items in your working portfolio, you will be doing this project in GOOGLE CLASSROOMS during the four years of your B-ALS program. Prior to the start of each practicum, you will be given access to the relevant Google Classroom. Note that Google Classroom uses Goople apps including Google docs and folders, which you will be using in your writing courses starting in your first session in the program. Learning how to use Google docs and a Google Classroom is also important for your future career as teachers are increasingly using these tools in school contexts. In order to become more aware of how to write the type of reflections which are required for your portfolio, you will be given practice and obtain feedback in your DID-2919 ESL Pedagogy I course which is concurrent with Practicum1. A model for doing a good reflection is provided in Appendix B.