This post is one in a four-part series for How to Build Your E-learning Portfolio. You can read Part 1 here.
I understand that building your portfolio can be challenging. As are most things in life.
- Maybe you aren’t legally allowed to share your work samples because they’re controlled goods or you’ve signed an air-tight Non-Disclosure Agreement;
- Maybe you don’t have time…we’re not all Beyonce; or
- Maybe you don’t know where to begin.
My goal here is to become your portfolio-building sensei and hold your hand through this entire process. There are times when you will feel overwhelmed (maybe even by looking at those three challenges), but you don’t need to feel that way. It’s okay. Everything will be okay. You just need to have a real conversation with yourself about when you want to stop hunting down every work opportunity (that costs time that no one is paying you for!) and let your portfolio do the work for you.
Now, you may already feel challenged by those challenges impacting your lack of portfolio, but I’m asking you to challenge yourself even more!
Before taking the leap into full-time independent contractor-ship, I knew that I needed some sort of portfolio. I had been freelancing part-time for several years and was losing out on a lot of opportunities because I had nothing to show when asked “can we see your portfolio?” At the time, I had a full-time job with clients predominantly in the Defence sector, and all of my coolest work samples were classified as controlled goods; I wasn’t able to share any of my professional work, and I felt defeated.
At first I wallowed, but then I had some real-talk with myself, got serious, and created my first two portfolio pieces. The first was a tabbed interaction with hotspot pups designed to teach you how to bathe a cat. When in doubt, go with what you know. I’m a crazy cat lady who didn’t really know how to bathe a cat, but wikihow came to the rescue with some hilarious illustrations, and that simple tabbed interaction is still a hit with clients.
Portfolio Piece # 1
The second portfolio piece was inspired by many of the small business books I had read. I wanted to share brief reviews of these books, so I created a hotspot-based interaction that linked to book reviews contained within scrolling panels.
Portfolio Piece #2
Both of these portfolio pieces were very basic in terms of technological prowess, they were developed in Articulate Storyline before I had become more experienced within Storyline, and were the launching pad for my portfolio.
The moral of this story: When feeling defeated, challenge yourself to be creative!
Val Conduit says
Very simple and effectively motivational.
This is very useful to me. I work with proprietary content for all of my ISD/e-Learning projects and am struggling with how to expand my portfolio. I’m working on my blog! It’s in the making – how did you brand yourself? Logo, theme, etc.
Also, how would you recommend showing your design documents/course outlines without the actual content? If someone wanted to see how to develop content.
I’d recommend making a resume with your elearning programs. It’s a great way to show your experience in two ways at one time.
Melissa Stroup says
This right here is what has completely encouraged me!! Thank you for this series, I’m referring to it over and over again as I build my portolio, and build my modules at home. As I, too, work for a company where I cannot share anything – I can’t even send it home. But, I’m encouraged.
“At the time, I had a full-time job with clients predominantly in the Defence sector, and all of my coolest work samples were classified as controlled goods; I wasn’t able to share any of my professional work, and I felt defeated.”