Make Your Instructional Design Portfolio Stand Out to Potential Employers

Teachers Transitioning to Instructional Design

K-12 teacher looking to make a transition from education to the exciting field of instructional design should start the journey with IDOL Academy to learn vital skills such as mastering e-learning authoring tools and how to incorporate various instructional design models into learning solutions. After enhancing and augmenting your talents, the next step is putting together your instructional design portfolio. IDOL Courses also offers portfolio examples from which you can model your own. But what should you include? 

Stand Out From the Crowd

How can those transitioning from teaching to instructional design jobs ensure that their portfolio's learning solutions stand out from the crowd? We will delve into strategies that will help you craft an exceptional instructional design portfolio. These strategies will not only highlight your skills but also showcase your unique approach to designing effective instructor led training...

Continue Reading...

Create Your Own Roadmap to a Career in Instructional Design and Online Learning (IDOL): Putting Your Plan into Action

Instructional Designer Roadmap

Are you a passionate and dedicated teacher ready to embark on a new and exciting professional journey? Perhaps you have considered transitioning into a different career path that aligns with your interests and skills. If you find yourself drawn to the world of learning and development within the corporate realm, then the field of instructional design may be just the perfect fit for you!

 In this informative blog post, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of creating a comprehensive roadmap to kickstart your new career in instructional design. We will delve into the essential skills, knowledge, certifications, and degree programs that can pave the way for your success in the dynamic world of instructional design jobs. Additionally, we will explore how to craft an effective action plan, establish a solid online presence, and unlock countless opportunities within this thriving industry.

So, let's waste no time and dive right in!...

Continue Reading...

Become an IDOL 78: Instructional Design Volunteer Project for the Massage Therapy Foundation with Whitney Lowe

Guest: Whitney Lowe, Massage Educator & Online Learning Developer

In this episode, I'll be chatting with Whitney Lowe. Whitney has been a massage educator for 34 years, and teaching online since 2006. We discuss the IDOL World Project and how he was able to get a volunteer project completed for the Massage Therapy Foundation. If you are a non profit organization check out the IDOL World Project here.  We can connect you with our volunteer learning designers. 

Listen to this episode below: 

Subscribe to Become an IDOL Podcast: Apple Podcast | Spotify | Google Podcast 

Here's a little more info about Whitney:

He is a subject matter specialist with massage for pain and injury treatments, has authored two books, contributed to multiple others and written hundreds of articles. He hosts a popular podcast (The Thinking Practitioner) and is committed to producing high-quality learning experiences for all his students.

Connect with...

Continue Reading...

Harnessing Your Personality Type to Reach Your IDOL Goals

We’ve all been there. You’re trying to get more work done or minimize the amount of time you spend working, so you look at how other people do it, right? You copy them by making lists, using the Pomodoro Technique, working first thing in the morning so you’re not interrupted, etc. And sometimes it works, but a lot of times it doesn’t, and you’re left wondering what’s wrong with you that you can’t get the same results.

Guess what? Nothing’s wrong with you! Everyone is different, and everyone’s work style and needs are different. One thing I have to learn over and over again is to work with, not against my personality and natural tendencies when it comes to being productive. 

So how can you work with your personality type instead of feeling bad that you don’t have a different one? While there are several personality frameworks out there, I’m not going to go into Enneagram types or Myers-Briggs (though if you...

Continue Reading...

Using Canva as Your #DoItMessy Website

In 2021, I was a full-time teacher looking for a creative new career for post retirement. I decided instructional design would be a great fit for me! After researching my options, I chose the IDOL courses Academy to help me reach my goals.  


The IDOL courses Academy has a jumpstart program called #DoItMessy. It is designed to help you dive in and quickly develop the basic steps towards ID job readiness, and then go back and refine what you have created. One of the steps is building a website for your portfolio. An online portfolio, preferably a website, is part of the art of landing a job in instructional design. Since I was working full-time, I didn’t have the time to learn the ins and outs of website builders.


When I began building my web pages on Canva, I discovered that Canva was an easy, quick solution to my website dilemma. I could create my own #DoItMessy temporary website! Here’s how:


Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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


Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Enter your email below to get instructional design tips and tricks delivered straight to your inbox.