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When I began my journey in instructional design, I was initially perplexed about how to construct a portfolio, unaware of its significance. Looking back, I wish I had grasped its importance from the outset. A well-crafted portfolio is not only beneficial but essential for instructional designers, setting them apart in a competitive field. It's not just about organization; it's about showcasing your expertise, creativity, and knowledge to potential employers or clients.
A good instructional design portfolio needs to be meticulously designed and organized, with each piece reflecting your growth and proficiency. It should radiate professionalism, not just in content but also in appearance and presentation. Your portfolio serves as a testament to your abilities, reflecting your skills, creativity, and understanding of instructional design.
The primary challenge many face when building their instructional design portfolio is determining what components to include. I, too, grappled with this dilemma during my early days. I only realized the importance of a portfolio in my final semester, thanks to a course at my university. However, I regret not starting sooner. So, let me share what I learned about portfolio development.
Instructional design is rooted in learning theories and models, but each institution or company has its unique mission and expectations. Potential employers want to know if your beliefs, theories, and practices align with their goals. Your portfolio offers them insight into who you are, your accomplishments, and your instructional design philosophy.
Regardless of the industry, a well-structured portfolio is beneficial for professionals, but for instructional designers, it's indispensable. It differentiates you from other candidates. Your portfolio must be professionally designed, well-organized, and meticulously thought out. Minimum information should include materials you've created, skills and competencies developed, your training philosophy, professional resume, website or blog, and philosophy statement.
Creating at least three solid project pieces is crucial when building your portfolio. These samples should demonstrate your problem-solving abilities, style, project management skills, and professionalism. I recommend including one main project, a fully functional online course, at least one supporting project, and if possible, one paid project.
The main project should showcase your understanding of the entire instructional design process—identifying a goal and using the instructional design process to achieve it. This project should be the one employers and clients look at and think, "We want this person on our team."
To guide you through this process, I'll outline a step-by-step approach to develop a fully functional online course and supporting projects. You'll need a hosting platform for your portfolio; options like Weebly, Google Sites, and Wix are worth considering. Wix, while potentially pricier, offers extensive customization and portfolio-specific templates, making it a standout choice.
Building a successful instructional design portfolio requires dedication and a clear plan. Start by evaluating your current position in your journey and take one step at a time. Engage with forums, seek advice, and gather ideas from fellow learners facing similar challenges. You have the tools necessary for success; all that's left is your commitment to prioritizing your future and success.
In conclusion, your instructional design portfolio is your ticket to standing out in a competitive field. It's not just about organization; it's about showcasing your skills, creativity, and commitment to the craft. Start early, follow a plan, and prioritize your success. Your portfolio will become a compelling testament to your abilities and a valuable asset in your instructional design career.
Hello, and welcome to the eLearning and Instructional Design for Beginners podcast, where new and aspiring instructional designers start, grow, and advance their careers in instructional design and online learning development. I'm your host, Crystal Harper.
I'm a former school teacher who transitioned to instructional design, all while working full-time as a single mom. Would you like to become a successful instructional designer without the burden of earning another degree? Well, then let's get started. When I was first learning instructional design like you, I was very confused as to how I
should actually build my portfolio, and I also had no idea how important it really was. I really wish I'd known that in the beginning of my instructional design journey. Building a portfolio is great practice for every professional, but it's a must-have in instructional design.
A good portfolio can set you apart from the rest of the candidates. Your portfolio needs to be professionally designed and organized, and each deliverable needs to be clearly and properly designed prior to presenting it to potential employers or clients.
It should not only be well-organized, but well-thought-out. It needs to be of high quality and professionalism, of materials and appearance, and presentation and performance. Your portfolio should reflect what you've learned over time.
It should also reflect and include items that you've created that demonstrate your learning and expertise. Your portfolio demonstrates your abilities, your creativity, and knowledge for potential employers and clients. Keep this focus as you build each section of your portfolio and as you're continuing
with the remaining steps in this process. One of the biggest problems that I first faced when I first got started, and really the biggest problem that I see a lot of other people face when it comes to building their portfolio, is figuring out what components that should be included in the portfolio.
When I was first learning instructional design, like you, I was very confused as to how I should actually build my portfolio. And I also had no idea how important it really was. I really wish I would have known that in the beginning. If so, I would have started working on my portfolio from the very beginning.
However, it wasn't until my last semester in school that I actually learned this. But thankfully, the university that I attended provided a course that walked me through building my portfolio. Except, I really wish I had taken it a little earlier than at the very end.
What I learned in the course about building my portfolio was so helpful. So that's what I'm going to talk with you about right now. Instructional design is a field rooted in learning theories and instructional models. While institutions and companies often share and practice common theories and models, each
has its own mission and expectations that drives its practices and ultimately its choices and staff. When a hiring committee is considering you as a potential candidate, they will want to know if your beliefs, theories, and practices will support and or enhance their company's
environment. By providing potential employers with your portfolio, you offer them a glimpse of who you are, what you've accomplished, and what you believe in as an instructional designer. Building a portfolio is great practice for every professional to have, no matter what
industry you're in, but it's a must-have for instructional designers. A good portfolio can set you apart from the rest of the candidates. Your portfolio should be professionally designed and organized. Each deliverable in your portfolio should be clearly and properly designed prior to
presenting it to your potential employers. It should not only be well organized, but well thought out. Minimum information as listed on this screen should be included in your portfolio. Your portfolio should be of high quality and professionalism, of materials, and appearance
in presentation and performance. Your portfolio should reflect what you've learned over time. It should also reflect and include items that you've created and demonstrate your learning and expertise. Your portfolio demonstrates your abilities, creativity, and knowledge for potential clients
and employers. Keep this focus as you build each section of your portfolio as outlined on the screen. Your portfolio should include projects and products that you developed and you're most proud of, and an employer or client would be interested in seeing your skills.
So, common components of your instructional design portfolio includes materials that you've created, including the skills that you've obtained and competencies that you've developed, your personal philosophy of training, your professional resume that we'll also discuss
more about later, your website and or blog, and your philosophy statement. When you build your portfolio, you need to create at least three solid project pieces. You want your core portfolio pieces to be as polished as possible.
Your samples should tell the story of how you've used a variety of ways to solve problems with design, demonstrating not only your skills, but also your style, your ability to manage projects, and your overall professionalism. So, I recommend including three projects, one main project that's a full functioning
online course, and then at least one supporting project, and if you can, at least one paid project. The main projects need to show off your understanding of the entire instructional design process. They should demonstrate that you can, number one, identify a goal that you can solve with
instructional design, and number two, use the instructional design process to achieve the goal. This will be the project that you're most proud of, the one that employers and clients look at and say, wow, we want this person on our team. Following all the steps from start to finish and incorporating as much as possible that
I discuss here will get you that project. So, that's what we're going to be talking about in the next ten of the twelve steps to becoming an instructional designer. I'm going to walk you through a step-by-step process for you to develop a full functioning online course, as well as the supporting projects for your instructional design portfolio.
Some hosting sites that I suggest, first, Weebly. Weebly provides fully customizable website themes and elements. And then there's Google Sites. I liked Google Sites at first. It's really easy to set up efficiently, but it doesn't have as much wiggle room to mess around with.
However, I feel like Google Sites hasn't really developed lately, but we'll see. Maybe in the next coming years it'll get better. So, if you really want to wow your potential employers or client, I suggest Wix. It might cost you a little more money, but I think it's totally worth it.
Wix allows for much more customization and provides templates that's specifically for portfolios. The mastermind will help you figure out where you're at in your journey. Start there and do the next thing. All of those small steps will add up to huge success.
Go ask questions. Be engaged in the forums so that you can get ideas and opinions from other people who are going through similar issues. You do have all the tools that you need to build a successful instructional design portfolio. You've got to commit to your success and follow a plan.
You've got to put your success and your future at the top of the list. It should be ahead of everything.
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