Portfolios & Demo Reels

Edin Ibric & John Goodwin

Portfolios with no Restrictions

In the programs we teach in all require students to work toward developing a professional portfolio of work that demonstrates what they have learned by showcasing all of their talents, skills and hard work over the 3 years of each program.

We already don’t have many restrictions in our portfolios and Demo Reels because each student is allowed to pick a path that they want in their learning and career directions. This allows them to focus on all of their individual learning needs/goals and allows us as teachers to help the students reach those learning goals.

Portofolio requirements

Since each student may have chosen different paths that means the requirements would need to stay flexible to make sure that all of the assessment and learning is fair and reasonable for all the students. The requirements will need to be interchangeable and customized so it would be difficult to list all of the requirements since there would be so many different combinations

Key learning

The Key learning with portfolios and demo reels in our programs are really about the ability to use critical thinking skills to solve creative problems and this is demonstrated in so many different ways. We use primarily authentic tasks that are based in real world situations because our ultimate goal is for the students to gain employment in games and animation. Since portfolios and demo reels are what these industries use to identify people they want to hire, the students need to know how to create a professional portfolio and demo reel. They need to understand how to assess their own work critically and put aside emotional connections to some of their work and just be able to consider working with only their best pieces. This can be hard for some students to be able separate their emotions from their work because they grow attached to it and in some cases that work may not best demonstrate their abilities affectively.

Purpose for Portfolio

For our students the portfolios and demo reels are used to show case the students best work, which allows potential employers to scout students and hire them for their video game or animation productions. The kinds of work that you may find in our students portfolios or demo reels would be:

  • Concept Drawings
  • Modeling
  • Animations
  • Level Design/Game Design
  • Environment Art 3D or 2D
  • The list goes on…

From the work the students have produced they pick their best pieces and assemble them into a Demo Reel and Portfolio. The Demo Reel is a video presentation that highlights the student’s best work that is used to communicate their quality of work to potential employers. Portfolios we usually use as a 2D presentation that show stills or images of the students best work, which accompanies the demo reels on the students websites.

Fair Assessment

The assessment is on going with each student as they work toward building their portfolio. The student’s work with their teachers very closely pick and refine the work that will be featured in their demos and portfolios. The students will usually have various milestones throughout a semester where they receive formative feedback and guidance but also receive open critiques with peers to identify any more areas that can be improved. With each milestone the students hit we normally see a strong progression in the student’s growth in what they have learned because we can usually see drastic improvements to the work.