Building an eLearning portfolio: what to include, formatting basics, and tips Christopher Pappas Published on May 10, 2016 An eLearning portfolio is one of the most important marketing tools you have at your disposal. It not only helps you to cultivate your online presence, it also gives potential clients a sense of your talents and strengths. In this article, Christopher Pappas from eLearning Industry highlights 5 formatting basics, 5 elements you should include, and 3 tips that will help you to create an effective eLearning portfolio. An eLearning portfolio acts as a virtual showcase of your achievements, talents, skills, and experience. Clients and employers can use it to get a true sense of who you are and what you can offer, as well as to determine if you are a good match for their Learning and Development team. Every eLearning project you add to your eLearning portfolio increases your chances of landing the next one. Keeping it up-to-date ensures that you'll always be able to access your resources and examples. But how do you create an attention-grabbing eLearning portfolio that shows off your strengths and proves that you are the perfect candidate for the job? What to include in your eLearning portfolio No two eLearning portfolios are alike, as everyone has their own unique skills and talents that they'd like to show off. However, there are 5 abilities that every eLearning portfolio should demonstrate: Instructional Design Your eLearning portfolio should show a basic knowledge of instructional design models and theories, as well as how you apply them when designing eLearning courses. You should also be able to explain why you chose that specific approach in order to achieve the learning objectives and meet online learner needs. Visual Design This falls within the category of visual design skills. The eLearning course layout, color scheme, and use of images are all things that potential clients or employers will consider when viewing your eLearning portfolio. This may also include brand integration, such as whether you successfully aligned your eLearning course with the company's message, mission, and logo. Leadership and Project Management All eLearning portfolios should feature at least one eLearning project that displays leadership skills. This includes communication, teamwork, and collaboration capabilities, as well as other eLearning Project Management talents, like budgeting and task delegation. Content Creation Writing is an essential skill for eLearning professionals. Your eLearning portfolio must show that you have a way with words, and that you can adopt a variety of different tones. Include a good mix of conversational, professional, authoritative, and technical pieces. Tech Know-How What would eLearning course design fare without technology? Include all of the major tools you use on a regular basis, and explain why and how you use them effectively. 5 eLearning portfolio formatting basics There is no exact science when it comes to structuring your eLearning portfolio. However, there is a basic order that you can follow in order to make it cohesive. Here is a detailed breakdown of how to format your eLearning portfolio so that it is clear, well organized, and easy to navigate: Introduction page This is your chance to make a great first impression on potential clients or employers. It sets the tone for your entire eLearning portfolio and gives viewers an indication of what to expect. Don't simply place your name and title on the intro page. Instead, take the opportunity to tell them a bit about yourself and what you can offer. Avoid lengthy biographies or bullet point lists that feature all of your accomplishments. Keep it conversational, warm, and welcoming. eLearning projects that showcase your talents After you've properly introduced yourself, show them what you can do. Include between 5 and 10 eLearning projects that showcase your talents, skills, and abilities. Be sure to get approval from clients, if necessary, as some eLearning projects may involve confidentiality agreements. Biography Elaborate on your intro page by including a full-length biography near the end of your eLearning portfolio. This is for clients or hiring managers who are impressed by your eLearning projects and want to learn more about you. If they are on the fence about whether you're the right person for the job, this is your chance to win them over with your personality and best attributes. Instead of discussing your personal life, tie all biographical highlights to your eLearning professional endeavors. Get creative by featuring your own mission statement or mottos that you live your work life by. Achievements List any and all relevant accomplishments, including awards, news pieces, and client testimonials. If possible, include references that they can contact if they wish. Contact information Include a contact form that they can use to reach out immediately, as well as any other vital contact details. Social media links are also a good addition to this page. 3 tips for creating a successful eLearning portfolio Mix it up! Try to find examples that run the gamut, from immersive compliance online training courses with interactive scenarios to simpler online presentations. The last thing employers or clients want to see is 10 examples that all feature the same layout, models, and design elements. So mix it up and offer them a good variety of eLearning projects. Always offer a backstory Every eLearning project example should be accompanied by a brief explanation about the goals, scope, and limitations that were involved. Remember that you are trying to show the viewer how you successfully addressed a problem or filled a need. Give them the backstory so that they can see how your talents and skills can help them achieve their objectives. Update often Your eLearning portfolio should always be up-to-date. In fact, you may want to put a monthly reminder in your schedule to evaluate your eLearning portfolio and keep it current. As your skills and talents evolve, so should your eLearning portfolio. Creating and maintaining an eLearning portfolio is one of the most effective ways to land jobs and reach your target client base. Keep this guide on hand to ensure that every element of your eLearning portfolio reflects your work ethic and talents. Also bear in mind that finding the right platform is essential. So take your time finding the right LMS or web hosting service for your needs. Are you looking to add new skills into your eLearning portfolio? Read the article 5 Tips To Improve Your Instructional Design Skills In 30 Days to discover some useful tips on how to improve your Instructional Design skills.