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Building An Instructional Design Portfolio: Layout, What To Include And 3 Useful Tips

An Instructional Design portfolio provides a snapshot of your eLearning experience, talents, and work history. Despite the fact that it's a must-have tool for Instructional Designers, knowing what to include and how to format can be quite challenging. In this article, I'll cover all of the Instructional Design portfolio basics that you need to know.
Building An Instructional Designer's Portfolio: Layout, What To Include & 3 Useful Tips

How To Build An Instructional Design Portfolio

Portfolios offer Instructional Designers a virtual platform upon which they can build eLearning career success. It allows you to showcase your skills and expertise to potential clients and employers, and gives them the chance to see if you might be a good fit for their next eLearning project. To leave a lasting impression and ensure that you're prepared for every opportunity, it's important to include all of the essentials and follow the standard formatting guidelines. In this article, you'll also find a few tips to help you put your best foot forward when developing your Instructional Design portfolio.

What To Include In Your Instructional Design Portfolio

Every Instructional Designer has their own unique strengths and talents, and your Instructional Design portfolio should cater to your specific skills. However, there are a few key attributes that all Instructional Design portfolios should address:

  1. Instructional Design
    This section centers on your understanding of Instructional Design models and theories, as well as how you use them in your eLearning course designs. Ideally, you must be able to succinctly explain why you chose a specific model and how it serves the learning objectives of the eLearning course.
  2. Visual Design
    This showcases all of your relevant graphic design skills, and displays how well you utilize modern technology tools. This may include color choices, brand integration, page layouts, and the use of images and graphics to convey meaning.
  3. Content Creation
    In addition to the visual components of your eLearning course designs, you must also be able to show that you are proficient in eLearning script writing. In particular, you should display that your writing style can adapt based on the subject matter and target audience.
  4. Work Process
    This involves a wide range of skills, from teamwork and problem solving to communication and project management. Ideally, you should include examples that show you know how to lead as well as how to follow.

Instructional Design Portfolio Layout

You are free to organize your Instructional Design portfolio however you see fit. There is a basic, but effective, format you can follow though, in order to create a cohesive flow:

  1. Introduction
    Tell them a bit about yourself, professionally speaking, and what sets you apart from the rest. Avoid generic intro pages, such as those that only include a name and title. Welcome them to your Instructional Design portfolio and briefly touch on what they can expect to find. Offer them a glimpse of your background and expertise, but leave the rest for your biography page.
  2. eLearning Projects
    Include about 5 to 10 eLearning projects that properly showcase your Instructional Design skills and strengths. Ideally, you want to give them the impression that you're well rounded. So, include a good mix of eLearning projects that show them your diverse range of talents.
  3. Biography
    Give them a better idea of who you are, your interests, and what excites you about your profession. This is the section that they will view directly after your projects. Thus, they will already have a general sense of what you can do. Now is the time to offer them a glimpse of who you are as a person and how your experience qualifies you for the job.
  4. Achievements
    List all awards, publications, press interviews, and client testimonials that pertain to your Instructional Design career. You can also include links to articles that you've written so that they can get a firsthand look at your published work.
  5. Contact information
    Include a contact form and all pertinent contact details, such as your phone number, email address, and social media profiles. Make it as easy as possible for them to get in touch with you to ask questions or make an offer.

3 Tips To Create An Effective Instructional Design Portfolio

  1. Only include your stand-outs.
    It's true that you should include a variety of different eLearning projects in your Instructional Design portfolio, but only if they are examples of your best work. Don't simply include something in your ID portfolio, unless it showcases another skill or talent of yours. Go through all of your work and select the cream of the eLearning crop you've created.
  2. Know your audience.
    In some cases, you may want to develop more than one Instructional Design portfolio to cater to different audiences. For example, a client who is hiring for a K-12 course design project will not be looking for the same skills and abilities as an employer who is developing corporate eLearning activities. Be prepared to research your target audience so that you can get a sense of what they need and how you can provide it.
  3. Keep it fresh.
    You should update your Instructional Design portfolio on a regular basis. Every eLearning project helps you develop a specific skill set or expand your understanding of the Instructional Design process. Thus, your ID portfolio should indicate this, or else it is not an accurate representation of your talents. Set aside time at least once a month to keep it fresh and add or remove eLearning projects. You should also make a point to constantly update your list of tech tools and services, just to be sure that you don't miss out on an opportunity.

Creating and managing your Instructional Design portfolio may require a significant amount of time and effort, but it is well worth the investment. This is particularly true if you’re an Instructional Designer who wants to expand their client base or land the job of their dreams in the near future.

Would you like to learn more about the benefits of creating an Instructional Design portfolio? Read the 7 Reasons You Need An Instructional Design Portfolio to discover the top reasons why you need an Instructional Design portfolio.

 
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