So you’re eager to start your e-learning portfolio, after reading “Why You Need an E-Learning Portfolio … Now!”? Let’s take a look at what it should include:
Since a portfolio is all about your projects and experience, be sure to select your best and most interesting work samples. Explain why they were important enough for you to choose them: the challenges they presented, the solutions you found, the goals you reached for the client and the learners, etc. Make sure the projects display the variety of your skills. If you’re targeting a certain industry, then highlight projects with the same focus.
It’s rarely easy to choose which projects to feature, but remember that it’s about quality, not quantity. Better to show three really outstanding projects over 15 projects that look or feel the same.
For each one you choose, write a short summary (not longer than a letter-sized page, so it’s easy and quick to digest). Potential employers or clients don’t have time to read a long explanation. Ideally, they want the important facts at a glance.
If you have permission to show your course, then embed it in the portfolio or link to it. Otherwise, present some screenshots of the most interesting parts. And, if you’re an instructional designer, be sure to show samples of the storyboard. To highlight your visual design skills, include some sketches of the images next to the finished ones.
Since the goal of a portfolio is to impress a potential client or employer with your skills, make sure that the projects you show represent the whole range of your skills. Highlight specific skills in your project descriptions and how they helped to master certain challenges or meet the client’s objectives.
If you used different tools for your projects, make sure to name them. Examples of multimedia elements like podcasts, video sequences, or animations certainly help to impress and show your interest and willingness to learn different technologies.
Since “social learning” or “collaborative learning” are today’s buzzwords, you could also display your social media skills by showing learning interactions on Twitter or Facebook or other social media platforms.
To underline your professionalism, include a page with more job-related biography information about yourself, including:
- Where did you study?
- Which companies have you worked for in the past?
- What projects have you mastered?
A short summary of your education, skills, and experience should be enough—you can always link to a PDF with your full resume.
If you have recommendations written by a client, project partner, employer, or colleague, by all means include them in the portfolio. You can also ask a colleague to write three to five sentences about you and your work relationship. Platforms like LinkedIn encourage this by having the option to ask your contacts for endorsements.
Anything and Everything Else
This is where you showcase information that has not been covered above. If you’ve published articles about work-related topics, you should add a section with them to your portfolio. You could also mention helpful or interesting downloads of project assets or templates you created. Same goes for speaking opportunities: give the name of your session, where and when you spoke, as well as a brief overview of your topic.
As a general rule, you should be sure you’re clear on what you can and cannot show in your portfolio. Get permissions from past clients and employers to make sure you’re not violating any confidentiality or nondisclosure agreements.
Is there anything missing from this list? We love your ideas, feedback, and comments, so please share them below. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and come back to E-learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning.