Random Thoughts on Instructional Design
Imagine trying to condense a summary of your abilities, educational background, and professional experience onto a typed page. Imagine a prospective employer using it to compare your abilities with those of other job seekers. You know that this type of conventional resume inadequately represents your potential as a candidate for the job. In today’s competitive job market, students seeking employment in the design and often teaching fields need more than a paper or electronic resume.
A digital/multimedia professional portfolio exhibits an individuals professional skill, growth, and achievement more effectively than an old-fashioned resume.
This site will help you plan, organize, and develop a digital/ multimedia portfolio which will showcase your experience/background and successfully propel you into the instructional design and/or education fields.
A digital portfolio goes beyond a conventional resume. A portfolio is a visual representation of your finest work. It provides visual evidence of your abilities, achievements, and interests. It demonstrates your uniqueness and sets you apart from others competing in the job market. More importantly, a portfolio tells the story of the road you’ve traveled and the direction in which you are heading.
Although portfolios can be created in a number of ways, this tutorial will focus on the development of digital portfolios.
Begin the portfolio development process by planning your strategy. Effective planning in the early stages of development will let you customize the portfolio for a specific job or firm. It will help you collect and organize relevant materials. Planning at the beginning will reduce work and frustration in later stages of assembling a presentation portfolio.
Remember that it is essential to tailor your portfolio to your audience and purpose. Reviewers in business, industry and education will all examine your portfolio differently. Using an identical portfolio will not help you achieve the appropriate results.
There are 2 main types of portfolios:
Regardless of the type or purpose, most presentation portfolios:
Answering the questions listed under each of the bullets will help you plan your portfolio strategy:
Self-reflection may seem out of place in a portfolio, but it can make a difference in how vividly you communicate your knowledge, skills, and personality. Self-reflection helps portfolio reviewers get to know the real, essential, unique YOU.
In a portfolio, self-reflection typically appears in 2 different forms: comments on the artifacts you include in the portfolio and a statement of your career goals and objectives (sometimes called a mission statement).
Descriptive/analytical comments on artifacts let others know how you think about your work. They also convey your ability to share knowledge with others.
Read this reflective statement.
“I included this particular lesson plan because it is an example of an evaluation tool used at the end of the term and demonstrates my commitment to authentic assessment. This philosophy is an important part of constructivist learning theory, which guides much of my instructional strategy.”
This statement briefly explains both the immediate purpose of the artifact and its “place” in the larger context of curricular goals. The teacher lets us know she didn’t just stumble onto a neat project but is knowledgeable about learning theory and able to translate theory into practice. Her self-awareness suggests that she will be able to generate other such meaningful projects in the future.
Professional Goals and Objectives
Providing a reflective statement of your career goals and objectives communicates your interest in your work or educational discipline, your “fit” with your profession or discipline, plus relevant personal characteristics, such as your seriousness and your enthusiasm.
The statement should be short, about 3 sentences, and should focus on the next 3-5 years of your career. You can include specifics about job type and/or industry as appropriate.
In addition to providing reviewers with a way to get to know you better, the personal career statement can be a self-help tool, as well. Writing it will help you think about who you are and what is important to you. It will help you crystallize your vision of who you are and where you want to go.
For help in writing a personal career statement, first answer the following questions about yourself:
Now think about your professional and career goals and compare that to your personal development goals.
All of the information above is simply there to help you to clarify your life, identify your purpose, and express your deepest values and aspirations. Take this information and synthesize it into 3, 4, or 5 points. That is the foundation of your mission statement.
Keep in mind that your mission statement should be limited to 3 sentences and no more than 30 words. Begin your statement with the words, “My personal career mission is . .” and finish with qualifying words and phrases to describe your mission.
Sample Career/Mission Statements
Employers expect a portfolio to include a reflective statement of your career goals ans objectives that communicates your interest in your work, your “fit” with your profession, plus relevant personal characteristics, such as your seriousness ans your enthusiasm. The statement should be short, about 3 sentences, and should focus on the next 3-5 years of your career.
In addition to providing reviewers with a way to get to know you better, the personal career statement can be a self-help tool as well. Writing it will help you think about who you are ans what is important to you. It will also help you crystallize your vision of who you are and where you want to go.
The following are samples of career/mission statements.
To develop your portfolio, you will gather a representative collection of your work which best shows your skills, competencies, and talents. You should also include evidence of your professional accomplishments, educational achievements, and assessments made by professionals and in some cases instructors. In addition, you may want to identify personal goals or auxiliary areas of competency that enhance your value in the profession.
Together, these items are called artifacts. You should collect a wide variety of such materials in your working portfolio. Don’t save everything: collect only items which show you at your best. From this collection in your working portfolio you can customize a selection that meets the needs of your presentation portfolio.
Although there are no fixed rules regarding the classification of artifacts, it helps to divide them into categories. Typically, artifacts are divided into 4 categories.
It is important to limit to no more than 10 the number of artifacts in your presentation portfolio. Reviewers generally spend about 5 to 7 minutes to scan a portfolio, so too many artifacts will hurt rather than help. Quality, rather than quantity, will lead the reviewer to explore the portfolio further.
When selecting artifacts from your working portfolio, aim for variety. Avoid redundancy. For example, do not include multiple images demonstrating your Captivate skills or several of the same types of lesson plans. Also try to vary artifacts by type, choosing a few examples from each of the following artifact categories.
Artifacts are documents produced in your high school and college courses or gained through general life experience. Remember, your selection of final artifacts for your presentation portfolio should be tailored to the job you want or the company you want to work for.
The following are lists of some of the artifacts that we suggest you collect.
- Multimedia products developed
- Blogs and Wikis
- Planning documents
- Instructional web sites
- Needs assessments and analysis
- Unit/lesson plans
- Assessment/test tools
- Performance Improvement Plans
- Staff development projects
- Internet/Intranet activities
Medical Laboratory Technician
- Procedure guidelines
Attestations are documents about your work prepared by someone else. A sample of the type of artifacts that would be include in your presentation portfolio are provided below.
Note: Employers expect a candidate to maintain professional affiliations and continuous professional development. Your professional development statement should reflect the efforts you take to network and remain informed professionally.
Productions are documents prepared especially for your portfolio. Examples: personal career goal (mission) statements of beliefs about your profession, industry, or a solution to a target industry problem.The following is a list of productions you should include in your presentation portfolio.
Note: Maintaining connections t the community through community service within your discipline as well as without demonstrates to a potential employer that your interest in the work is beyond just wanting a job and a paycheck. Some of the items that you may want to include in this section are:
Early in your career you should start collecting samples and materials that reflect your knowledge, skills, and accomplishments. These items are called artifacts. Don’t save everything! Collect only the highest quality material and then store it properly in your working portfolio for safety and easy retrieval. You will not use all of the artifacts you collect. In fact, you should include no more than 10 artifacts in a presentation portfolio. However, it is important to keep more materials accessible so that you can choose from them to customize a presentation portfolio successfully.
The following list of the kinds of artifacts you might include. (Remember that in addition to artifacts all presentation portfolios will also include your resume, letters of recommendation, references, professional memberships and affiliations, a statement of your career objective or goals.)
Storing your files properly will keep them safe and make them easy to retrieve when you are putting together you presentation portfolio.
Here are some hints on storing artifacts.
This checklist is designed to assist you when either creating or evaluating your portfolio. It may be used ex post facto to identify weaknesses and strengths of a completed portfolio and to amend the portfolio accordingly before submitting it for assessment, or to an employer. It may also be used as a formative assessment tool when initially selecting materials that will eventually constitute the final document. In any case it is important to remember that a portfolio must always remain dynamic.
|1. Does this material add value to the portfolio?|
|2. Will this information be interpreted as intended?|
|3. Have on significant items been included?|
|4. Will the format be easily understood by another person?|
|5. Is the presentation format appropriate for the materials?|
|6. Are there weak statements that must be eliminated?|
|7. Will the portfolio serve as a mirror image of the author?|
|8. Are competency statements consistent with course objectives or employer skill requirements?|
|9. Do competency statements reflect degrees of proficiency?|
|10. Are artifacts restricted to essential elements that demonstrate proficiently for a specific field/position?|
|11. Are only major artifacts provided?|
|12. Have materials been properly identified within the portfolio?|
|13. Are supporting document/samples identifiable and retrievable?|
|14. Has redundant information been eliminated?|
|15. Are statements of connectivity apropos?|
|16. Has editing been used to reduce unnecessary verbiage?|
|17. Has spelling and grammar been checked throughout the portfolio?|
|18. Has clear navigation structure been included?|
|19. Has a credits and contact page been included?|
|20. Do the color scheme and graphics reflect the culture of the target audience?|
|21. Have headers and footers been used where beneficial?|
|22. Has material not germane to assignment/position been eliminated?|
|23. Have materials been checked for weaknesses and inaccuracies?|
|24. Is the resume / vita (vitae) prepared and included?|
|25. Is the portfolio an ethical representation of the author?|