Power of the Portfolio: The Key to Becoming an IDOL

You’re thinking of becoming an instructional designer, or maybe you’re ready to start applying for jobs. You think to yourself, how can I make myself stand out to employers? How can I build confidence as a new ID? The answer: a portfolio. 

Yes, really.

The power of a portfolio unleashes all of your darkest fears. Creating a portfolio allows you to take that leap into the unknown, and scream, “this is me and I want everyone to know it!” The first step to getting over imposter syndrome is to believe in yourself; so what better way to put yourself out there than with an organized, visual representation of who you are? 

Who are you exactly? You are a learner, curriculum developer, problem solver, eLearning developer, and instructional designer - and so much more!

 

Here’s a little backstory. 

I am new to corporate and higher Ed instructional design. Most of my pre-ID professional experience was as a high school science teacher. After...

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First Time Using Storyline?

 When I was starting the IDOL courses Academy back in January, the #doitmessy Two Week Challenge was starting and I was sort of nervous/excited to start.  During those two weeks, I made a course using Articulate Rise®, which I found to be super user friendly!  At first, I was a little hesitant and spoke about it on a Facebook post.  Someone then commented: “Wait until you get into Storyline®!”.  I immediately was like “AHHHH!!! This is going to be hard!! I’m NOT prepared for this AT ALL!”  I was absolutely dreading this part.  But, I knew it’s all part of the ID game. It’s like a necessity in the ID world.  

Then, the Storyline for IDOLS® course came out and let me tell you!  It was like the heavens were shining light on my self-doubt.  It came equipped with several modules and a practice file.  It was just what I needed to relieve my stress. And earning a...

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5 Lessons I Learned Building My Portfolio

Are you a perfectionist?

Are you struggling to build your first portfolio?

Do you feel like you're spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere?

STOP! Right where you are. Save yourself wasted time and effort by learning from my mistakes.

Here are some revelations I had while working on my portfolio:

Set realistic expectations for what your portfolio should look like based on your current abilities and experience as an instructional designer. If you are new to the field, aim to demonstrate your proficiency and understanding, instead of skill and expertise.

While the portfolios of experts and leading industry practitioners are great sources of inspiration, your portfolio will likely not look like theirs. As a novice, you do not have the experience to create a portfolio equivalent to the portfolios that took others years and sometimes a decade-plus to work up to.

Here are some examples of what your first portfolio website might look like:

Christine Prince

Bonnie Lou Davis

...

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Building a Portfolio Without an ID Job

 It is a little overwhelming (to say the least) to transition from being a classroom teacher to instructional designer. Once you decide to make the switch, how do you get a job?

See this post by Roshon Goode: "Degrees Don't Get You an IDOL Job, Experience Does."  To prove you have the experience, you need a portfolio. And to create a portfolio, you have to be working as an ID.

 

Or do you?

 

Building a portfolio is something I never had to think about in my 15 years as a classroom teacher. It isn't easy to know where to start! But the IDOL courses Academy takes you through each step of the process. When building a portfolio, most people use their past experience and past projects. But since I was coming from K-12 and wanted to move into corporate, none of my previous work samples would do.

Here are my suggestions and experience with building real portfolio pieces without having an ID job.

 

  1. Reach out

Once I began my journey to becoming an ID, I told my...

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