What is a Portfolio?

Portfolios are portable, visual archives of your instructional design products, such as multimedia graphic designs, Web sites, Flash animations, video clips and papers that can be presented to prospective employers or customers in a variety of formats to market and promote your skills. Traditionally, artists, models, and photographers transported their portfolios in folders, notebooks, binders, or briefcases.

ITEC students are required to develop a digital portfolio over the course of the program. (Beginning with students enrolled in Fall 2008, portfolio approval by the department is required before a student can receive their degree.) Portfolios should not contain all works produced during the ITEC program, but should be comprised of three or more selected samples that best demonstrate your creativity and professional competency in:

  • The instructional design process
  • The ability to apply learning theory to instructional problems
  • The ability to create effective instructional resources in appropriate media

Before developing your portfolio, it is important that you take time to identify your:

  1. Professional Goals.
    • What do you want to do with your ITEC degree?
    • Can you show prospective employers, customers, or faculty that you are proficient with the process and tools needed for effective instructional design, product development, or project management?
    • How can you demonstrate meeting the Student Learning Outcomes?
    • Assess your strengths.
  2. Audience. Who is your intended audience and what is their mission? Schools, corporate training organizations, or developers? Your portfolio should address your audience's needs.
  3. Content. Showcase samples related to your goals. What do you want to illustrate, and in what order? This is an opportunity to reflect your style.
  4. Presentation. The portfolio should be well designed and aesthetically pleasing.

Make it easy for portfolio viewers to look through your portfolio by including a Table of Contents, a statement of professional goals, your resume and a summary of your primary skills. Include 3-10 work samples, and if your portfolio contains written material, excerpt no more than two or three representative pages from each. Samples should be grouped by category and annotated with a brief caption explaining the context in which the work was done and what challenges you faced and overcame. The portfolio submitted prior to graduation must demonstrate how you've met the ITEC Student Learning Outcomes.

Quality Assurance (QA)

Before you make your portfolio public or take it to interviews, be sure to obtain several reviews from ITEC peers, faculty or other professionals, and then and revise it! Proofread your portfolio carefully; use a consistent format. Obvious mistakes will quickly undermine your credibility.


SF State's Academic Technology ePortfolio website explains how to craft an effective portfolio, provides a few basic templates for electronic portfolios, and links to several helpful samples to help you develop your own portfolio.

A sample ITEC eportfolio template can be viewed here, and the template files can be downloaded here. A recording of a one-hour overview presentation recorded March 18, 2010 can be viewed here - http://tinyurl.com/itec-eportfolio (this will launch the Elluminate application).

Indiana University, Bloomington provides its doctoral Instructional Systems students with an excellent discussion of portfolios.

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Portfolios Examples
Portfolios from past SFSU ITEC students can be viewed on the Student Work page.