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Instructional Systems Development

UMBC ISD Portfolio Requirements

Beginning with the Fall 2012 semester, students admitted to the Master’s degree in Instructional Systems Development – Training Systems, will be required to complete a professional portfolio. This requirement replaces the comprehensive exam requirement.

The purpose of this requirement is to provide students an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned in their coursework and the program. It also provides students, employers, clients, colleagues, etc. with tangible evidence of our graduates’ knowledge, skill, abilities and competencies. Portfolios can be a wonderful career tool that may assist graduates in getting jobs, promotions, new clients, and other professional opportunities.

Students have the opportunity in nearly every class to create basic artifacts. With some polishing and improvements, these artifacts may be used to satisfy the portfolio requirement.

In order to graduate each ISD Master’s student must provide a professional portfolio of course-related work samples that reflects their accomplishments throughout their tenure in the program. Portfolios must be approved by the portfolio committee for the student to graduate.

What is a Career Portfolio?

The portfolio will contain a minimum of 8 and maximum of 10 work samples.

Up to two co-created or group work samples will be accepted with proper documentation, and consent from other contributors and a description of individual contribution to the work product.

Portfolio Content

In addition to the work samples, students will be required to include the following items, which may be documents, video, audio or other formats selected by the student:

Cover Page Format for Each Work Sample

Each work sample must have a cover page to introduce the reader to the sample. It must have the following format:

Competency: Identify the competency the sample demonstrates
Context: Describe situation where you created the sample
Action: Describe what you did & why
Results: Describe outcomes, use measurable results if possible

Examples of Work Samples

Students should aim to present a varied portfolio that demonstrates a solid grasp of core competencies and the competencies in their area(s) of interest or specialty.   It is not necessary to demonstrate all of the competencies in any model.  Examples of the types of work samples that may be included in the student’s portfolio are:

Students are responsible for honoring all copyrights and ensuring that appropriate credit is given for all materials used in the portfolio.

Work Sample Competencies

Students must use the following professional associations as a basis for their work samples. These associations are:

1. Association for Talent Development (formerly ASTD)

The ATD competencies include:

2. International Board of Standards for Training Performance and Instruction (IBSTPI)

The IBSTPI competencies include:

  1. Communicate effectively in visual, oral and written form.
  2. Apply research and theory to the discipline of instructional design.
  3. Update and improve knowledge, skills, pertaining to the instructional design process.
  4. Apply data collection and analysis skills in instructional design projects.
  5. Identify and respond to ethical, legal implications of design in the workplace.
  6. Conduct a needs assessment.
  7. Identify and describe target population and environmental characteristics.
  8. Select and use analysis techniques for determining instructional content.
  9. Analyze characteristics of existing and emerging technologies & their use.
  10. Use instructional design and development process appropriate for a project.
  11. Organize instructional products to be designed, developed, and evaluated.
  12. Design instructional interventions.
  13. Plan non-instructional interventions.
  14. Select or modify existing instructional materials.
  15. Develop instructional materials.
  16. Design learning assessment.
  17. Evaluate instructional and non-instructional interventions.
  18. Revise instructional and non-instructional solutions based on data.
  19. Implement & disseminate instructional and non-instructional interventions.
  20. Apply business skills to managing the instructional design function.
  21. Manage partnerships and collaborative relationships.
  22. Plan and manage instructional design projects.
3. International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI)

Portfolio Structure

All portfolios will be submitted via a file sharing site or a website of the student’s creation.  Either is acceptable.  Students are responsible for the creation and maintenance of their portfolio and may use a web building tool of their own choice. 

File sharing tools to consider:
Website tools (optional) to consider:

It is recommended that students do not spend a lot of time designing and creating a website since simple file sharing is acceptable.

The design of each portfolio will be unique to the student. The portfolio should be well organized and carefully planned so that all visual, audio, and text are clear and flow intuitively for the viewer.  All files and links must operate flawlessly.

Preparation for the Portfolio

The program offers the following resources in order to prepare for the portfolio:

Initial Review of the Portfolio

Students will submit their portfolios for initial review after their 6th course and no later than their 8th course.  The purpose of this review is to provide students with feedback so they can be prepared when they submit their portfolio for the final review.

When you are ready to share your portfolio please contact Dr. Williams at

Final Review of the Portfolio

Each portfolio must be submitted for final review in mid- semester during the semester when students expect to graduate (April 1st for Spring, July 1st for Summer, November 1st for Fall graduation).  A feedback committee consisting of faculty, ISD board members, selected alumni and employers will conduct a preliminary review of each portfolio and offer suggestions as necessary.  Final grading (pass or not pass) of the portfolios will be made by vote of the committee.  Feedback will be made in a timely fashion, so students can meet graduation timeline requirements.  The committee, at its option, may allow for additional work to be completed to meet requirements.  Possible outcomes may include:
1. Pass – pass without any conditions
2. Pass With Conditions – passing is conditional on making minor changes
3. Not Pass – student must make changes changes/revision based on committee feedback and then must resubmit their portfolio

Final Portfolio Submission Deadlines:


The semester that you apply for graduation is when your portfolio is due.

When you are ready to share your portfolio please contact Dr. Williams at


The following time table is provided as a planning tool to guide students

First Semester – select file sharing tool, post from courses after each semester
After 6 courses – student must post portfolio for initial cursory review by evaluation committee
Final Semester – submit final portfolio mid-semester of semester that student intends to graduate (April 1st for Spring, July 1st for Summer, November 1st for Fall graduation).
After Every Semester – post work samples from course(s) taken that semester
Ongoing – student request feedback from fellow students, co-workers, alumni & professionals

Portfolio Ownership

All submitted portfolios are the property of the student but may be used as examples by UMBC unless otherwise specified by the student.

Note to Students

These requirements are subject to change.  Since this is a new requirement and process for students, the ISD program may need to flexible with the administration of the requirements.

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