I’ve been building elearning products for clients since 1999, and what do I have to show for it? Lots of proprietary notes and drafts, and precious little in the way of samples that I can show potential clients.
Mind you, I’m not complaining. Until recently, I worked for large organizations where I could point to other projects for the same company as my portfolio. Because these large firms generally held that their information was proprietary (and the fact that most final products were stored on secure course management systems), I could not take any of my finished work with me when the project was completed.
But now I am on my own again, and trying to increase my elearning business. For that I need a portfolio. Some things are fairly easy: I’ve kept written descriptions of most of the projects I did over the years, so I have the raw materials for case studies and resumes. Templates for some of the work, like stakeholder analyses and user guides, can be made into vanilla forms and checklists. But finished courses, especially elearning modules, are a different matter. Those I must create from scratch.
Over the next few weeks, I will be documenting the steps to creating an elearning portfolio from personal experience. I’ve read a number of helpful websites and blogs, but at the end of the day, it’s down to me to build it (and hope that, having built it, they will come). So stay tuned for new adventures in learning.
The first step is probably the hardest: deciding what to build.
The sample should be relatively small (a short module or two, maybe a quiz), and I should be able to create a complete package showing the process from initial thought process to final output. Check.
I am fluent in three elearning tools (Lectora, Articulate, and, to a lesser degree, Storyline 2), so to cover all bases, I could create a sample in each of them (I’ll address my adventures with these programs another day).
Now all I am missing is the content – what will the modules be about?
At first I thought, “perhaps some side issue with my latest project?” I’m just completed on a series of virtual classroom sessions tangentially involved with Common Core standards for schools, so I thought perhaps a short history of Common Core might be interesting. Did some research, and maybe that will become one of the new modules.
Then I got to thinking about other projects might lend themselves a short, interactive, colorful, interesting elearn. Lots of things there. But perhaps the most critical thing was updating my resume. Now there’s an idea: encapsulating my past so that I could pull it up for interviews. Let’s see where that goes.
Stay tuned for the next episode: high level design and storyboards.