Just before the first time I offered this course, I sent out a survey asking hiring managers what they want to see in portfolios. I summarize the results of the survey in this blog post: What should go into an instructional designer's portfolio?
Tip: Conducting a survey and sharing the results via a blog post is a great way to get traffic to your website.
Further, the following podcast episodes speak to Instructional Design Portfolios:
Activity: Review Portfolios
Review instructional design portfolios and write down what you like and don’t like about them. Reflect on where the portfolios are taking the advice of hiring managers and where they are not.
Note that what you like and don’t like may involve a lot of personal preference. This activity is intended to help you get a sense of what you like.
A general rule of thumb (not sure where this comes from originally, it was mentioned on a facebook chat):
- 1-3 eLearning courses (Rise, Storyline, etc)
- 1-2 ILT or vILT
- 1 job aid
- 1 video (explainer, screencast, etc)
Personally, I think it depends on what you are looking for. What messages do you want to send? What do you want people to know about you through your portfolio? It also depends on the type of work you are looking for. You need to tailor your portfolio contents to align with the type of instructional design you want to do.
It can be difficult to figure out exactly what types of things to include in your portfolio. You might also be tempted to just put everything into a portfolio. Before adding an asset to your portfolio, consider the following questions:
- Why are you including this specific asset in the portfolio?
- What skills are demonstrated with this item?
- What is the problem that is solved by this asset (what is the business problem that the training solves?)
- What part of the asset did you do?
- Why did you build it the way you did?
- What images or video clips can you include relating to this asset?
Once you have chosen which assets you want to include on your portfolio, you need to tell the reader what the purpose of the asset is and why you have included it. I recommend that your description include the following:
- A meaningful name/title
- What is the business problem that the asset solves?
- What key design decisions did you make and why did you make the design decisions you did?
- What skills do you want to showcase with this asset?