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Elearning storyboards are a blueprint for the course and are important for the eLearning design process. A storyboard contains details about the content, media, graphic elements, assessments, and so on. It can be as detailed or as simple as you want it to be. If you want it to look nearly as detailed as the final output, you must make it visually rich. If you do not wish to spend time on this phase of development, you can keep it as a simple text document or PowerPoint deck.
You may choose to skip the storyboarding phase, especially, if you are developing the course on your own. You already know how you want to deal with a slide so you may not want to spend time on the storyboard design. Regardless if you are developing the online course on your own or have a team to help, you should never skip the storyboarding phase. Storyboards help in generating a clear plan for managing the project. They also help you figure out how different elements fit together.
You can use any format for your storyboard. But, there are certain elements that your storyboard cannot miss out if you want it to serve its purpose effectively.
Title: Information on course name, date, and so on
On-screen text: Text that appears on the screen including click-to-action instruction
Audio: Narration script per screen
Navigation: Specification on how the learner will navigate the course
Media: Information on media elements like image, videos, animation, and so on.
Assessments: Test questions and their answers to check the understanding of the learners
Here are some tips to ensure that your storyboard is effective.
#1: Analyze the delivery platform before you embark on storyboarding. You must keep any limitations in mind before including any complex interactions, graphics, and large attachments.
#2: The storyboard should reflect the learning objectives that were agreed during the custom design phase. It should be clear enough for the stakeholders to get a taste of the final output. If they have voiced any key concerns initially, your storyboard should take care of it.
#3: Chunk content in a way that your learners do not get bored. Include audio and video to break the monotony. Put in interactive elements and visuals to keep your audience engaged. The content should help the stakeholders understand how the message is being presented. Include the narration too if there is a voiceover element.
#4: Ideally, write content for each of the learning goals you mentioned. First state your topic, then explain the key points. Maintain a conversational tone throughout. Avoid using long, winded sentences and jargons. Make your audience think about the concept you are teaching. Include deliberate questions.
#5: You need to have a clear sequence in mind regarding the final course. Decide how the course will be presented to the learners. Make sure that the flow is natural. Focus on how to chunk similar topics. See to it that the transition from one topic to the other is smooth. You may consider using a title for each page of the storyboard to help you organize your content.
#6: Videos, images, animations, and similar multimedia elements are a must for a course. Decide on what elements you will incorporate and include it in the storyboard. Even if you do not have the assets ready, you can include a description of each and how you plan to use them in the course. Sometimes the client provides the multimedia elements, but if they do not, you should create your own.
#7: Navigation is an important aspect of a course. You need to include details of the navigation in the storyboard itself. Decide where you want to put the next and previous buttons and what graphics to use for it. Choose how you want your learners to navigate in a branched scenario. If a learner provides an incorrect answer to a question, where will he land? Navigation details become all the more crucial if there are branching scenarios in your course.
No two eLearning courses are alike but if you want the course to be successful, you must storyboard it at the initial phase keeping these tips in mind.
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