Creating Portfolios


I will be leading a discussion on portfolios at our local ATD training special interest group.  My focus is on the problem of proprietary or confidential material and companies keeping all training inhouse vs. your need to have a portfolio.  I am reaching out to you for input on how you have solved this, whether you are a contractor or not.  I personally come from an employee perspective.  Ideas I have: 

  • Negotiate to use content in some way (difficult to get approval)
    • De-identify and make completely generic
    •  Consider negotiating on how the content is used-publicly on a website, privately during interviews, etc.
  • Negotiate with employer to complete e-learning challenges at work to use in your portfolio and develop your skills (make sure you get in writing that acceptable to share publicly!)
  • Use PowerPoint as your portfolio/at home development tool to share (doesn't necessarily show your best work)
  • Purchase a second copy of development tool and do independent projects such as e-learning challenges (expensive)
    • Storyline EULA indicates the following.  I'm not sure if this means you can or can't use it for personal and business purposes, but I chose to purchase a second copy so there was no question for my employers or Articulate.  2.3 Limitations. Licensed Products may only be used for Licensee’s internal business purposes, but not by more than the number of authorized Users for which all fees have been paid by or on behalf of Licensee. Unless Licensor expressly permits a greater number, User (but not any other person) may install and use the Licensed Products on up to 2 computers, provided the same User is the primary user of both computers and does not share the license. 

Thank you in advance for any input you can provide.

6 Replies
Ashley Chiasson

I've presented on building out your portfolio, and sanitizing the work sample is definitely my best recommendation for samples that are considered controlled goods. You can always recreate elements from those samples with a little bit of time and effort.

Individuals could always leverage the free 30 day trial Articulate offers to participate in ELH Challenges, ahead of eventually taking the plunge to purchase the license.

After working for a military contractor for over six years, I ended up leaving without any of my coolest work samples. It's discouraging yes, and you might not be able to create samples quite as cool without the background resources you had internally (e.g. media developers, software programmers, 3D developers), but you can certainly come up with something creative by using your skills and imagination. 

Rachel Barnum

First, I think it's important to keep your current client's trust as it is to gain new clients. A referral from someone is just as useful for building up business as a portfolio is.

To your last point: Purchase a second copy of development tool and do independent projects such as e-learning challenges (expensive)

I've never had a problem with employers agreeing to letting me do the challenges on my own time. I did get to work from home from time to time, and so the second copy of Articulate would be installed on my personal machine (the first being on the machine I used for work). It is easily considered training and development.

Some additional alternatives to sanitizing/asking for permission:

  • Gain a testimonial from the client that can't otherwise release the work.
  • Ask clients if it would be okay to write a case study.
  • Occasionally a client will put out something publicly about the work done, e.g. their own case study, or a video that advertises the module. Include these in your portfolio instead.