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I saw a recent discussion thread on LinkedIn about ePortfolios for instructional designers and eLearning developers. There were comments about how many instructional designers and developers do not have ePortfolios and how important it is for clients and employers to see what you can do. This article is geared toward corporate instructional designers but can be applied to instructional designers in any setting.

Here’s my take away from the discussion.

  1. Make sure your learning product is educationally sound. The learning samples you display on your ePortfolio should be educationally sound not just pretty. A point was made about graphic design, which basically said that graphic design is the icing on the cake and the instructional design methods and learning strategies are the cake. Without the later, the cake is not good.
  2. Outline your development process. Layout your process for developing each sample. Did you start with a kick-off meeting, audience analysis, outline, storyboard, rapid prototyping, etc.?
  3. Describe your methodology. Explain the choices you made for the learning product (learning strategies, interactions,  delivery methods, etc.) and how it relates to adult learning. For example, you used a software simulation activity where customer service reps must perform a specific task associated with their job. This ties in with the adult learning theory principle that adult learners are looking for practical learning focused on issues related to their work.
  4. Outline the impact your product had on the business. Explain what measurable business outcome was achieved as a result of your product. For example, your scenario-based eLearning module reduced the error margin for mechanics by 30%, which saved the company $100,000 within six months.
  5. Create generic samples of projects to overcome the NDA (non-disclosure agreement) hurdle. A lot of the projects you create may be under an NDA, so you can’t put it on online. Create similar, generic samples specifically for your website and display these mock samples.
  6. Ensure your website loads quickly. I learned this the hard way. The first portfolio website I created had lots of high-quality photographs. The problem was that these images took a long time to load. An Akamai report on retail performance reports found that “a two-second delay in webpage load time increased the bounce rate by 103 percent.” So if the page didn’t load within two seconds, users left the site. There are several sites that will test and rate your website load time. I’ve used Google Test My Site or Pingdom Tools .

What are your thoughts?

Do you have an ePortfolio? If you do or not, what’s the reason for either? If you do have an ePortfolio, what tips can you share regarding improving someone’s ePortfolio.

Reference

“Akamai Online Retail Performance Report: Milliseconds Are Critical.” Akamai. April 19, 2017. Accessed March 03, 2019. Akamaihttps://www.akamai.com/us/en/about/news/press/2017-press/akamai-releases-spring-2017-state-of-online-retail-performance-report.jsp.

 

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