Creating an Online Portfolio

Hey e-Learning Heroes...

I'm back in the job search again, after being downsized from my job that I LOVED developing Storyline training modules. I'd like to publish some of my work to a website, but not sure how to do that so that others can watch it? Do I need to have a LMS? Do I need to use a program where I have to enroll people? Or can I publish and post to a regular website so anyone can watch it? Can anybody give me a little direction on this?

Thanks!

31 Replies
Andrew Sellon

Hi, Gina!  As always, Bruce has come to the rescue with some great threads.  But the short answer to what those threads discuss at length is: Yes!  You will need to create a portfolio of a few brief and varied Storyline course samples that don't contain proprietary content (unless you have written okay to use the company's content).  Then, you have to decide how you want to share your samples.

Some people post their Storyline samples to a Dropbox folder, and then give a prospective client/employer temporary access to that folder. That allows you privacy, and control over who sees your content.  If creating and maintaining a web site as an ongoing presence is not worthwhile to you, then this might be a good approach to try.

If you want to maintain a web presence with a portfolio, and you don't already have your own web site to host it, then you'll want to do some homework to establish what approach works best for you.  I maintain a web site/blog on WordPress, and pay a monthly fee to 1and1.com for hosting my site.  There are lots of different softwares and lots of different hosts out there.  I think WordPress is a great way to go.  In my case, to keep things simple, I added a page to my site called "eLearning Samples" where prospective customers (or in your case, employers) can launch and play the samples for themselves.  I'm currently working on a fourth sample, but if you want to take a look at the current samples on my site as an example, it's here:

http://www.sellonsolutions.com/elearning-samples/

The threads Bruce provided include links to some other folks' online portfolio samples, as well.  

Putting together an online portfolio is a lot of work, but since you already enjoy Storyline, you can make it a creative and fun experience for yourself at the same time.  It also allows you to play with some features and ideas that your former employer might not have allowed.  And the end result can make a real difference to prospective employers.  It's just a matter of deciding how to share your samples most effectively for your needs.

Good luck!  

Bruce Graham

Gina,

All great words from Andrew.

I needed a portfolio 2 years ago - I had lots of "examples", and I realised all I needed was to show them together - so I built my "website" in Storyline. It is just a domain that I bought, a Storyline course uploaded to the root level and "story.html" renamed to "index.html". All the links link to subfolder story.html files - REALLY simple. Starting a rebuild/refresh this weekend.

http://www.pperf.co.uk

It has no "course" examples on it, just "ideas" and concepts - but as I say to clients, they would probably only look at the first 1-3 slides of full courses anyway. Then I point out it is a "course about me" and they get it. Often they go back and spend a while there when I ask them if they found the spider, the free offer, the Kittens and the Elvis Impersonation. No-one has found all of them yet   Clients have rung me up, and asked me to guide them through the Navigation to find things as they are getting driven nuts trying to find them

The point about a Portfolio is that as well as showing your work - it should start the dialogue with you as a HUMAN, that's often what people buy.

Many people are vying for that business, so you need to be different, however, you need it to represent YOU, as they say (and I paraphrase...) "Do not make a portfolio try to look like someone else's - their spot is already taken".

Have fun!
Bruce

Gina Heumann

OK, I started building a "website" in storyline and I'm a little confused. I have always published to our LMS, so I'm new to publishing to the web. I see how to do it, and I can get the file to publish, but then what do I do with it? For example, in the "output" folder, there are two other folders and a handful of other files. Do I need to put all of these on a website? Or is there a magic one that launches the course? And how do I link to other Storyline files? Do they all need to get posted to the same place? I did a search for a tutorial on this and couldn't find anything.

I'm debating between the dropbox and a web hosting service - my CV/resume is already done on a website, so I could make another one and make them link together. You can check it out here: www.wix.com/ginaheumann/cvresume. I'm just confused how to do it...

Thanks!

Nancy Woinoski

Hi Gina, If I were you I would use a hosted site. Dropbox is really designed as a file sharing service so it does not cache your files which means the performance can be choppy when users try to view your demos.  Hosted sites are not very expensive and you usually get the added bonus in that they provide you with some support. 

Nancy Woinoski

Gina Heumann said:

OK, I started building a "website" in storyline and I'm a little confused. I have always published to our LMS, so I'm new to publishing to the web. I see how to do it, and I can get the file to publish, but then what do I do with it? For example, in the "output" folder, there are two other folders and a handful of other files. Do I need to put all of these on a website? Or is there a magic one that launches the course? And how do I link to other Storyline files? Do they all need to get posted to the same place? I did a search for a tutorial on this and couldn't find anything.

I'm debating between the dropbox and a web hosting service - my CV/resume is already done on a website, so I could make another one and make them link together. You can check it out here: www.wix.com/ginaheumann/cvresume. I'm just confused how to do it...

Thanks!


When you published for a website instead of an LMS, you use the publish for web option instead of the LMS option. You have to upload the entire output folder to your webserver and then on your web page you would make a link to the  story.html file in the output folder.

Right now it looks like you are using a free service to create your web page so I'm not sure what kind of access you have to the actual web server. You might want to go with a proper web hosting service. A good one will provide tools that enable you to upload files to your site using FTP or some other means.

Nancy Woinoski

When I signed up I started from scratch so bought a domain name (www.pinchedhead.com) and created my site from scratch using Joomla which is an open source content management system.  I am fairly technical and have been around web stuff for about a billion years so I don't find this stuff at all complicated, but it might be confusing for you if you are not used to working with websites and servers.

To use ftp you do need to have and ftp client installed on your computer. I use https://filezilla-project.org/.

Your current provider also offers hosting services so it might be easier for you to stick with them instead of starting with a new provider. You might want to contact their support and ask them what is involved is managing your existing site.

Gina Heumann

If my Storyline file is essentially my "website" design and content, then do I need to use the Joomla site also, or can I just upload the Storyline file and make it the website? I created something along the lines of what Andrew posted above with different layers that have interactions, menus, and full modules (if I can figure out how to embed Storyline files into a Storyline file...) with a link to my other site.

Nancy Woinoski

No you don't need the Joomla site for that. Bruce has some instructions for what you need to do in that case in his post but you will need to buy a domain name ( this is the address that people will type into the browser to reach your site).

This is what Bruce said: "I needed a portfolio 2 years ago - I had lots of "examples", and I realised all I needed was to show them together - so I built my "website" in Storyline. It is just a domain that I bought, a Storyline course uploaded to the root level and "story.html" renamed to "index.html". All the links link to subfolder story.html files - REALLY simple. "

Gina Heumann

OK, after reviewing all of the threads, I decided to try building my own "website" portfolio and putting it up on Google Drive. Check out my first pass:

https://googledrive.com/host/0B5aMwOy9Y6c8YlB2OE5RRUNVZ28/

So a few questions for you expert heroes:

1. How can I make my links to the other Storyline projects look nicer? Currently, if you click on the pictures of the projects, most will open a project or partial project. (I should probably add instructions somewhere...) I'd rather these open in a lightbox-style format, rather than taking up the whole screen.

2. Should I add some kind of background music?

3. Any other suggestions to make this awesome?

Bruce Graham

@Gina,

If you are in the "eLearning world", you need to accept (a bit....) that you need to develop some technical skills. Many people balk at the idea of FTP, domains, scripting etc etc. however, you should get familiar with terms and concepts so that (at worst) you are able to explain problems to service providers.

I had another look at the portfolio...

  • You have built it in 4:3 aspect ratio - not 16:9. Is that correct for your audience?
  • 16:9 would give you more space - I find the text is too small.
  • I love all your interactions and examples - great job, look really professional.
  • Add music if you think it will add something and raise your conversion rates.

Now...the FrontPage. People will hit that and you have about 5 seconds to impress them and make them want to hit another button.

  • You have used "E-learning", and then "online learning (modules). I always feel it is best to standardise.
  • You have said (Articulate) Storyline, but then (no MS-)PowerPoint, yet MS (no hyphen) Office.
  • Your "Professional Summary" includes that you are a "hardworking overachiever" almost as a Summary - yet no part of the preceding text validates or supports that, (Not saying that you are not though!). Who cares? You need to prove what you say, and explain WHY it helps THEIR business.
  • Your front-page, (in sales terms...) is full of features not benefits. You need to pretend you are a client and then ask "So what?" at the end of every sentence. How about... "With over 20 years experience, I can lead F2F training events for audiences up to 200 people. With blended-learning approaches getting the best results in business, I can also meet your eLearning needs (see examples). I am the only person you need to talk to".  Or similar.....
  • Reduce the photo size, use the space to sell. Your portfolio is meant to be an advert for how you can reduce business pain for commercial clients, not a Family Christmas Card, (lovely a photo as it is...      )
  • Why have a "Resume" page and then another couple of options to see it? Add a "Magnify Picture" to the image if you are using Storyline, or just use a weblink straight to the document.
  • Your contact details are very small - I would reduce your name size, and then increase the contact details size.
  • When I have clicked on the various areas, I cannot find my way back to your frontpage/image.

I think you have the bones there, now it needs to be tightened up. You need to make it so damned tight that a prospect (who has just searched on Storyline eLearning Colorado does not go back there and look at someone else. How do you stop them looking at Daniel's site seeing that you are both Colorado? 

Make it so that they ring you. Now.

Hope that helps.

Bruce

Gina Heumann

@Bruce, does it make any difference if this is a personal portfolio, rather than a business website? I am trying to use this to find a permanent job. That's why I included the resume page and made the front page a summary of me. (Daniel's site does have a big picture in his "about me" section.) But maybe I should add that later.

But I really appreciate all of your comments and will go through and redesign a bit. I completely understand that I need to learn the terminology and learn how to do this, but I just haven't had the opportunity to do website setup yet. Am learning a lot this week.

Bruce Graham

Gina,

My belief is that you get one shot - so you need to appeal to businesses.

OK - there are interested in "you", but they are more interested in how you can take away their "business pain".

I would just focus a bit more on that at the start.

Please remember - there is also a lot of personal style involved. Not everyone likes the design I currently have, and the way it works, (I am changing some things soon), so bear that in mind.

Are you going to send people here, or send people here once they have seen your Resume?

If it is likely that they will already know the "personal" stuff before they go to your site - then do they need it again?

A "Portfolio" and an online resume are 2 different things. A website is different again.

Just make it work for you - my opinions are just that.

David Anderson

One thing I would do when I consulted was maintain a few different portfolios. Sure I had my landing page and some project highlights, but when I also had some non-public portfolio pages that I would show to clients during the bidding process.

Clients will only look at the projects that catch their eye or are related to their own industry. Showing them a page of 20 projects isn't effective. Show 4-6 targeted projects with a written summary of what to look for in each project. This is where having multiple pages is effective. I would also create a new portfolio page for a client based on conversations and what I knew about their needs.

I wouldn't upload an entire project for a client to view. I would pull out selected slides, interactions, and quizzes to highlight the more meaningful moments from the project.

Take a look at our Storyline Showcase page: http://www.articulate.com/products/storyline-showcase.php Okay this is more than six projects, but most of those projects include a specific interaction that highlights a feature. The page layout is dead simple but includes the most essential items: Headline, short description, and a beautiful thumbnail. 

David Anderson

Gina - I would also recommend you go with your own service provider or something like Amazon S3 rather than Dropbox.

Here's a tutorial on uploading to FTP: https://player.vimeo.com/video/145579206

If you need help or have any questions, let me know and I will totally help you get your project hosted on your site.

sam f

First of all, would like to thank all for the valued sharing information & experience with others... especially who is new to the world of storyline and its publish approach over the web.

I read all the above comments and got a lot of hints, but i am facing a challenge (it might be simple and easy for you )

- I am using a hosting webserver and manage to FTP (using filezella) into the server 

- the story.swf is working perfectly (for sure it is just a testing one)

The Challenge is : is any one who is has a 1% technical (s)he can get into my webserver directory and see the images ++ and even could copy my work along with all its contents subdirectory... I am missing something which i don't know ...any hints and support

Many thanks in advance for you

Andrew Sellon

Hi, Sam--and welcome!  

I'm not 100% sure I understood your question fully, but here are my thoughts: If you're saying that once you uploaded your Storyline folder(s) to your site, one of the files was missing, then the most likely reason would be if your FTP upload failed for that one file.  I know that with the FTP tool I use, the error messages can be very small print, and hard to spot sometimes.  If you upload just that one file again, watch your FTP tool to make sure there are no error/failure messages.

If you're saying that all your files transferred successfully via FTP, and that afterward one of your files went missing from your server (and was definitely not deleted accidentally by you), then you should talk with your web hosting company.  Likewise, for any questions about how secure your web site might or might not be, your best course of action is to speak with your web hosting company.

As to copyright: you should certainly always copyright your materials before sharing them, if you are concerned they might be reused without permission elsewhere.  But realistically, there's only so much any of us can do with regard to potential web piracy.  Most people out there, however, are honest--or at least, that's what I choose to believe.  

I'm not a lawyer or security expert, so I'm afraid that's all I can suggest.  Hope it helps!

Andrew

Jerson  Campos

Sam

Just like putting a lock on your door, it only keeps the honest people out.  If someone really wanted to get into your files than they would.  But I agree with Andrew, most people are honest and won't go through your files. If this is a real concern than there are probably ways you can encrypt your directory and files. But as soon as it displays on their browser than they already have a copy of it. There are so many apps out there that allows viewers to download streaming movies and .swf files it's very hard to stop it. The only sure way to prevent other people from stealing it is to not post it.

If you're worried about a client stealing your stuff, than that's another issue. When I send any work that I have done over for client review, I make sure to place watermarks on the images.  I make them simple enough to not be a distraction, but complicated enough so that you just can't photoshop it out easily. But if the client is the type to steal your work and can't than they would most likely cheat you in some other way.