New eLearning portfolio, where to start?

Hello e-Learning community.

I am very new to the eLearning industry (first year) and are looking at ways to create content for my eLearning portfolio. 

After researching there are so many options and great examples outlining what a portfolio should contain. Where to start!!

I would like to ask for some advise. From your experience, what would you consider the most critical types of eLearning examples to place in a portfolio when applying for an entry level position within the industry?

I would say that I am at a beginners level with using eLearning authoring tools (have been learning Articulate Storyline, Rise and Adobe Captivate).  

Thankyou.

9 Replies
Shawn Greene

Hi Jane! Though I agree with what Allison and Nadia suggested, I have another idea to consider.

Whenever someone asks what kinds of examples they should put in a portfolio or website, etc. I recommend reaching out to a few prospects to see what they would want to see.

Create a short list of companies that represent your prospects. Reach out by phone. Tell them you'd like to do a little market research with them. Ask for a separate appointment to interview them.

For the interview, have a quick overview of the service you offer (do not say you are relatively new at it). Explain you're creating a portfolio of samples. There is a wide range of samples you could put in there -- you'll use their input to narrow that down.

Prepare questions to ask. I suggest starting with "Have you shopped for elearning designers before and how did you look?" and "If you were looking, would being able to see examples be important?"

If they say they have never shopped, ask them to imagine they are. Ask the question about seeing examples a different way.

Ask all of them, "Paint me a picture of what a good set of examples might be" and then "Talk to me about what might turn you off or frustrate you."

These kinds of questions will help uncover what prospects look for -- so you don't have to guess. (The conversations also often open the door to doing business!)

I want to let you know that you may find prospects have a a huge range of wants or opinions; so you don't have guidance there. You may find they say they don't really care. This is common and still good information to have! It frees you to create a portfolio you feel proud of for the sake of showing off your work -- without having to worry about whether prospects will like it.

One last tip: If you go this route, make sure you do not ask people to say what they think you should do. Ask what THEY would want.

Hope this helps. Happy creating!

Phil Mayor

Hi Nadia, have a look at what other developers have in their portfolio. My website needs updating at the moment and I add new portfolio elements each year. The majority of my clients come via word of mouth so my portfolio is the first place that I send them after they get in touch, however i also follow up with a more tailored list of recent examples that are in keeping with the type of project they are looking for.

This is for two reasons I find that most clients initially want a very quick way to see if you are any good, once I am over that hurdle they are looking to see if I am a good fit for their project. 

My portfolio elements are short sweet mainly single slide interactions with nice micro interactions and I would say throughout the year 70% will be replaced or updated. 

As a beginner I would focus on one tool, much better to be a master of one rather than middling with all tools.

Jane Yannicos

Hi Phil,

Thankyou for your advice regarding mastering of one tool, instead of many. I think this is where I was beginning to become overwhelmed, trying to learn all at once, instead of focusing on one. There are many interesting examples within your portfolio, thankyou, for the inspiration. 

David Tait

Is there a specific industry you're targeting? If so, I'd spend time creating examples that are relevant to it.

I'd also be tempted to focus on the areas where you excel initially, just to get some strong examples for your portfolio. Once you have a core of useful examples then you can spend a bit of time learning new skills and putting together some more experimental stuff. A smaller number of high quality examples are a lot better than loads of rushed half-baked ones.