Professional E-Learning Portfolio- SUGGESTIONS

HI Everyone,

What do you look for in an e-learning portfolio for a prospective new hire. My experience is LMS Admin and I also do course design/development. I've done some internal projects but I'm not sure that I could use them in a personal portfolio if I ever want to go back into the job market.

I'm starting to think I may have to make a few courses or samples of my skills just for this purpose.

For a newbie, what would you suggest I demonstrate? What do you look for? What have you seen that impresses you?


Anything is appreciated to help me begin building my portfolio.

10 Replies

I'm with you in that most of what I've created for clients can't be shown publicly on my site.

I've found the weekly e-learning challenges to be one of the best ways to create showcase examples of my work.

The other way to get your work out there and get noticed is to share free templates and downloads here in the community and on LinkedIn. I can't tell you how many times I've been contacted for e-learning work by users and companies who have used or seen the freebies I've shared.

Finally, what I love most about Storyline is that it makes creating portfolio work so darn easy! You can create showcase examples from single-slide interactions. In the old days, e-learning portfolios required 30+ minute demo courses and outtakes.

Today, you can build a tabs, timeline, branching scenario, and other common interactions using a single slide in a fraction of the time.

Daniel Brigham

Hi, Amy: Montse and Sir David Hubbins have given you a lot of good material. I do a decent amount of hiring for elearning here's what I look for:

  • Different types of projects (one might be a slick click-n-read, one might be branching scenarios, and so on) If you haven't developed one already, put together a visually interesting text-only module. Those are refreshing in this heavy-VO & video world we live in.
  • Projects that show the developer isn't afraid to take risks

When I talk with a candidate, I like to hear humility. Also, I think the field is moving away a bit from elearning and more towards blended micro-learning. So if you can, you could show job aids, videos, small ILTs you developed.


Daniel Brigham

Carolina: I think the move to blended learning solutions makes a lot of sense. Much of elearning is glorified lecture. I should know, I've created my fair share, and am held up as pro.

In my org, I'm pushing for the lecture stuff to be placed in resource documents. I'm also pushing for more performance support -- e.g., instead of a series of elearning modules on content the learner won't experience till they are on the job six weeks, spending that time on job aids they can pull when they actually run into that situation.

I'm also advocating no training at all when other means can be more effective at changing a groups behavior: incentives, punishments, persuasive email campaigns from higher up, restructuring the learners work environment (say a warehouse) so it supports the desired behavior.  

A question I'm asking myself more and more when I create elearning: how much am I allowing the learner to practice in this module? I think some elearning professionals struggle doing this, because they don't come from a training background. 

Anyway, some thoughts...Thanks for asking.

Carolina Fautsch

Thanks for the response, that's incredibly thought-provoking.

I agree with you that e-learning is often glorified lecture-- and while I actually come to the defense of lecture fairly often (I know, I know! but lectures really do have their uses sometimes), its place is very rarely in the world of training, where the focus is on improving performance and changing behavior. 

I absolutely agree on opportunities to practice. They're so crucial. Without getting the learner to practice, nothing you're telling them will make any sense. And the learner can figure out quite a bit on the fly, from context clues and some help. 

Thanks for answering the question. I'll have to mull over what you said a bit more. 

Eric Nalian

I look for a few things, they are pretty petty things:

  • Good design, keeping in mind that when using company branded projects, there are a lot of design restrictions / requirements that are required to be used.  They may not always be the flashiest or coolest projects, but making something that is visually pleasing is a plus.
  • Attention to detail: you can be the greatest instructional designer in the world, with the most beautiful course, but through in a few spelling errors and I am done with your whole portfolio.  I ran across one recently for a candidate that had a few broken links and other errors.  If it wasn't for that I would have called the candidate for an interview
  • A good layout.  
  • A wide range of projects.  Nobody wants a one-trick pony - we want a super-mini horse!
  • Anything else that can make you stand out, in a professional and non-tacky way.