This week's challenge asked course designers to share their e-learning portfolios along with some tips to help others get started creating their portfolios.
Jonathan's e-learning portfolio tips:
- I've organized my demos by the type of learning experience, with links across the top of the page that 'jump' you to each section. Useful if you don't have a particular 'use case' for a demo that has arisen from the challenges.
- A searchable blog can also function as a portfolio of sorts, with tags used to categorize and organize your demos.
- Test your site works well on a mobile device too!
Montse's e-learning portfolio tips:
- Don't let vanity prevent you from getting started. In other words, never wait to post your work because you think it's not good enough. When I first got started, I held off on putting anything public because I didn't think it measured up to the level of those I admired. So instead, post what you have today regardless of where you are in your career. You can always swap your old work for new examples as you create them.
- Keep your WordPress plugins and themes up to date. Older plugins and themes are vulnerable to exploits.
- Use a hosting provider that’s optimized for WordPress and includes daily backups.
Joanna's e-learning portfolio tips:
- Keep updating your portfolio regularly. The more conscientious you'll be on that point, the more "fresh" your portfolio will appear.
- Check your examples links at least once a year - some of your (especially older projects) may not work anymore due to browser updates.
Karlis’ e-learning portfolio tips:
- Bring your best work forward (in front), and don't add bad or mediocre work at all. It is better to have three good examples than nine examples, where six are ok, and three are good.
Jennifer’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- Stress less on the website design thing. Find a WordPress template you love and that works for you, and use that. I did pay for my template, but I love it, and it took all the stress off of me making my site and portfolio the way that I wanted it.
- Incorporate projects of different scopes and sizes and showcase what you can do in a few different genres and styles.
- Don’t let perfection be your enemy. Build your site/portfolio in phases if need be.
Samuel’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- Pick a color scheme.
- Use flat graphics.
- Be direct - Speak directly to your audience.
- Only show your best work.
- You don’t need to buy a domain- Take advantage of free website builders like Google Site and Wix?
- Consider using Sans Serif fonts- Research shows they read better for the Web.
Nancy’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- Keep your examples short, but make sure they are creative and interactive.
Allison’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- Just get started!
- When I'm evaluating other's portfolios, I both like to see the finished product (the actual published output) and read about how they approached the problem/challenge. It gives good insight into your thought process and shows you know your stuff!
Dan’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- I have seen many people do it, but get over the "analysis paralysis" and just get something out. Of course, it’s going to be ugly, but editing is easier than creating!
- Have a friend look at it for minor details and grammar. When you ask for feedback from someone in ID, their focus should be targeted at assets. Poor grammar and punctuation can be distracting and lead to off-topic feedback.
Sherri’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- Constantly update it with exciting projects - even if you can only share one piece of a project. It's so much easier to add little pieces as you go rather than trying to pull together the entire thing at once.
- I completely agree with others' advice to just start somewhere - even if it's not perfect.
Rebecca’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- Try to upload your new material as you create it. It can get hard and complicated when grabbing links for multiple projects at the same time.
- After publishing the new links, check the links to make sure everything is working.
Megan’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- I create demo reels with client approval to showcase my work.
- I also send these demo reels to my clients as a free service after project completion. A lot of them use these for internal marketing purposes. It's been a hit!
Gretchen’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- Think longevity when picking a domain name. If you are considering doing some freelance work later down the road, choose a name that can grow with you. For example, one of the reasons I rebranded was b/c my initial site was only a portfolio and didn't meet the need for me to become a freelancer. So, I ended up having to pay for a second domain name when I rebranded.
- Think quality of work over quantity. It is better to have a few fantastic assets versus a bunch of mediocre assets.
- Include contact information and an updated resume on your site.
Ron’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- It didn’t matter when you started with Articulate; go back through some of the challenges from before you started and give those a try as well. I try to do 2-3 challenges a week (as you can see by my portfolio).
Kimberly’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- Don't wait until an e-learning challenge asks you to post a portfolio to make one. :)
Blanche’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- Participate in various eLearning challenges to become comfortable using Articulate.
- Do not hesitate to reach out to other experienced designers for advice and tips on using the software.
Tracy’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- Let go of perfectionism and just start building your portfolio. It'll get better over the years as you keep working on it.
- My biggest problem is trying to find the time to delete the really old not-even-working-anymore samples!
Jodi’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- I collect a set of projects that I believe match the client's needs or interests. I present it to them via Zoom or in person where we can talk about why and how each of the examples was developed and how the approach can be applied to their project. By sharing the projects with them I get to gauge their reactions and learn more about what they want and expect.
- Make sure your security and comment settings are set the way you want. I once posted a demo called "How to Give your Pet a Pill" and I was spammed for months with erectile dysfunction solicitations--sometimes 30 a day.
- Also, I removed most of my personal information because I was receiving phony messages that sounded so convincing that I fell for one and wasted a ton of time until I figured out I was being scammed.
Shante’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- Keep browsing through other people's work (outside of ID). It sounds a cliche, but it's true. Whenever I found something that I like, I tried to integrate it into my site. So go through them and ask yourself things like: What do you like best about their site? What's their process? What were my takeaways from reading their case studies? What's their personal touch?
- Relax when you can. Again, cliche but vital. It was easier for me to overcome roadblocks when I took time off to catch up on shows or play games.
Daniel’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- If you haven't got any work you have permission from the client to share, you can build up your portfolio samples by participating in the weekly challenges.
- It's easier to get a client to agree to allow you to share the work you did for them on your site if you only show a sample of part of a lesson. Something that displays something special you designed you feel particularly good about. And you should also remove any proprietary information. Kind of remake the slides so the content is a little more generic and does not include any of your clients’ information, logos, etc.
Catherine’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- List your e-Learning and/or Instructional Designer skills.
- Show a variety of samples.
- Create "branding" for yourself in terms of your voice, design style, and subjects you typically work with.
Jessica’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- Make sure your sections have space to breathe (ie, whitespace). Adding dividers and spacers really made some of my headings, text, and images stand out a little more.
Kathy’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- Feature a few key pieces and then show something different. You don't want to bore someone with 100 examples of the same kind of work.
Shannon’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- My tip would be to try creating a website for your portfolio. With programs like Wix.com, it is a user-friendly way to have freedom in your design. There is always more to learn on every front in instructional design, design as a whole, etc.
Moore II Learn
Moore’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- Add some variety in your assets with tools, topics (unless you have found your niche), and multiple pieces like a storyboard, video, infographic, etc. for one asset.
- Check for all working links.
- Take some risks in designing and organizing your content in your portfolio
- Request peer-reviewed feedback before publishing
Aman’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- Adding Interactive samples to your portfolio is always better than having static screenshots of your work.
- Add a short description of the projects you showcase in your portfolio so that the users can have a brief understanding of what to expect when they test them. (I provided the links to LinkedIn articles in most places so that users could read about the project before testing it.)
- Divide your projects into different categories so that the users can easily find what they are looking for.
- Always ask for recommendations.
Sarah's e-learning portfolio tips:
- Keep it simple - don't have too much text. Keep only the text and content that's relevant to your work.
- Think about the flow as the user navigates it.
Dan’s e-learning portfolio tips:
- Grab a few of your best pieces of work, lock up a domain, and just get them on there. It WILL evolve. "Perfection is the Enemy of Progress."
Formación Digital's e-learning portfolio tips:
- Look for new solutions and let's not continue replicating the courses as templates. If possible, look for the original if there are resources and time.
Sommer's e-learning portfolio tip:
- Don't be like me and let it go a year and a half out of date! Instead, make sure to keep adding new items to it on a regular schedule. Which reminds me, I need to add some new stuff to my portfolio!
Bella's e-learning portfolio tip:
- Have a clean design (not just here but throughout your website).
- Provide details on the projects, such as tools used, your audience, and a brief write-up.
- If you don't have projects created as a result of employment or freelancing (which I don't) - create something you enjoy! I've found this site and Devlin Peck's live sessions a huge source of inspiration and ideas.
Lacey's e-learning portfolio tips:
- Show a variety of samples.
- Keep the design clean and consistent.
Preethi's e-learning portfolio tips:
- As many of us have highlighted, the best way to build a portfolio and learn Articulate is by participating in E-learning challenges.
- Also, most of the great examples come with the source file. We can learn by looking through the file and trying to create something similar. Well, I learned it that way :-)
Robbie's e-learning portfolio tips:
- Be very thorough about your quality assurance and quality control.
- Quality over quantity. You may have a hundred courses or samples, but only put up a few that will showcase various skills and make you look good.
- Don't post on Articulate Review with the ability for others to comment and see other comments. By the time something is on your portfolio page, the feedback cycles should be over.
- Your portfolio doesn't need to be full of extensive courses, just high-quality samples.
New to the E-Learning Challenges?
The weekly challenges are ongoing opportunities to learn, share, and build your e-learning portfolios. You can jump into any or all of the previous challenges anytime you want. I’ll update the recap posts to include your demos.
If you have a blog, please consider writing about your challenges. We’ll link back to your posts, so the great work you’re sharing gets even more exposure.
If you share your demos on Twitter, please include #ELHChallenge so your tweeps can track your e-learning coolness.
Share Your E-Learning Portfolio Examples!
The e-learning portfolio challenge is still open! If you have one or more ideas you'd like to share, please jump over to the original challenge and post your links in the comments section. I'll update this recap page to include your examples.