Last week at the ATD TechKnowledge conference in Las Vegas, I led a session on tools anyone can use to easily create a great looking portfolio. It went really well with lots of great feedback. We covered options for getting your courses online and 20 free tools ranging from super fast personal landing pages that can be created in minutes up through more powerful, flexible (but still easy to use) options. Here are the tools and resources I shared.
Build Your Elearning Portfolio: It’s Easier Than You Think!
Standard resumes and cover letters are no longer sufficient if you want to stand out from the crowd. Having a good portfolio has always been important for freelancers, but it’s quickly becoming a must have for anyone in e-learning who hopes to snag the best opportunities that come along, inside your organization or out. Having a portfolio is a great way to showcase your accomplishments, skills, experiences, and personality. A good portfolio highlights your best work, along with personal achievements that can accentuate your abilities and help you successfully market yourself to potential clients or employers. Even if you’re not in the market for a new job, now is the time to build a portfolio that showcases your talents and proves you can actually do what your resume says you can do. Waiting until you need it could be too late. Creating a great looking e-learning portfolio is easier than you think. With more options than ever before, anyone can build an e-learning portfolio that looks like a million bucks.
Grab a copy of the handout: 20 Free Tools For Building Your Portfolio
…or explore additional resources and examples from my shared collection of portfolio bookmarks.
Getting Your Courses Online
If you want to get your course online for others to see, you’ll need to host your published course files on a web server. But don’t worry, there are several free, easy to use options available that will have you and your course up and running in no time.
If you’re using Articulate authoring tools Tempshare is the quickest, easiest way to get your courses online. Just publish your project, click the .zip button and then drag your zip file onto the tempshare page. In a few seconds, your project is online and you can share the resulting URL with anyone. You can see a screencast and get more details in this post “Get Your Projects Online with Tempshare”
NOTE: The link is only good for 10 days. After that you’ll need to re-upload your project and get a new URL.
If you’re using other authoring tools or need a longer term solution, Google Drive is a great option. Google Drive has a web hosting feature, that gives you 15GB of free storage space that you can use to host your online course. For details, check out this article I wrote on the Articulate E-learning Heroes site “How to Share Your E-Learning Course for Free With Google Drive“. It’s super easy!
If you’d like to have some LMS type features, SCORM.com will host your courses although you’ll only get up to 100MB of storage space. Still a great option for access to features normally only available in an LMS and a great tool for testing your content. Sign up for a free account and try it out for yourself.
Check out this screencast on how to use Dropbox for hosting your course. Signup here for a Dropbox account.
NOTE: Accounts created after October 4, 2012 require the $5 plan for this to work.
This is definitely the LEAST user friendly option to get started with. But Amazon S3 offers you 5GB, free and is a very inexpensive option if you need a lot of storage space. Learn more and sign-up for a free Amazon S3 account here.
Nameplate or Personal Landing Pages
These ‘online business card’ sites are great because they’ll give you an online presence within a matter of minutes. They’re very visual and you can choose a template, fill in some details and you’re all set.
Almost everyone has a LinkedIn profile, but not everyone realizes how you can add appealing visual content to their profiles. Using LinkedIn’s professional gallery feature can make your profile stand out from the crowd. Learn how to enhance your LinkedIn profile with the professional gallery.
Infographics are very popular these days and these sites will translate the information from your LinkedIn profile into a great looking infographic/visual resume.
Another great idea is to show off your own design skills by creating your own visual resume. Once you’ve created your visual resume slides here are several sites that can host them online for you.
Office (PowerPoint ) Online
Create a note including any images, links, etc that you want and then use the sharing option for anyone to view it online. A cool thing about this option is you can update it even after sending the link, which allows you to make corrections, additions, etc without needing to reshare a new link. See the slide deck above for an example. Get Evernote
If you’re already collected things for your porfolio in Evernote, postach.io can turn them into a great looking online blog/website format. Just create your note and tag it with “published” to add content to your postach.io site. Check out what it can do at postach.io
Use Your Authoring Tools
Finally, another creative way to show off your skills is to build a portfolio using your authoring tools.
Here is a simple Storyline portfolio example I created. You can download a copy over on my templates page.
Stephanie Harnett and Bruce Graham have even built their entire websites using Storyline.
There are tons of sites built specifically for the purpose of creating an online portfolio. I’ve kicked the tires on a lot of them and these are a few of my favorites.
This is my favorite one of the all. Behance is very complete, gives you some insightful stats and allow you to connect with others by appreciating and following people you like.
If you’re looking for a good balance between flexibilty and ease of use without needing any html/css coding skills you might want to consider one of the many website builder tools.
In my opinion, if you have some time to put your portfolio together and you want the best looking, most flexible option you should use a WordPress site. WordPress.com sites are quick and easy to create while offering a wide variety of free design themes that work great for portfolios.
To get an idea of what you can do check out these WordPress sites I’ve created :