Storyboarding has the potential to greatly improve your eLearning output. In this article, we explore seven ways you can ensure that you reap the full benefits, with reference to our easy-to-use and completely free downloadable storyboard template.

A storyboard has to be built in a certain way in order to maximize the benefits: neglect certain details and you risk making mistakes. Leave certain people out of the process, and you’ll miss key insights that may be costly to integrate later in the process. Here are seven tips that will help you get the most out of your storyboard.

Please note: We’ve also developed an eLearning storyboard template to get you started, incorporating fields for each of the tips that follow. We hope you find it useful!

1) Assemble Your Materials—and Grab a Storyboard Template

Storyboarding is a process you should repeat every time you develop and author a course. And that means having a template is going to save you time.

A good template will help jog your memory about the details you need to include. As you develop more courses using your template, you’ll get a feel for whether you need more or less detail than the template allows. So don’t be afraid to adapt an existing template for your purposes.

Don’t forget to download your free eLearning storyboard template here.

2) Define Your Overall Structure Before Storyboarding

The focus of your storyboard will be the screen-by-screen breakdown of content, interactions, feedback, and visuals. However, it’s important to not lose sight of how each chapter and screen relates to the others. We recommend developing a top-level view of your project structure before you dive into the detail of your individual screens. This should list the navigation elements, chapters, and introductory/conclusion screens you need, and how they connect.

We’ve included a project structure page in our storyboard template in the form of a simple table. If you have a lot of display conditions and branching scenarios, consider building a flowchart instead. This will be especially useful when comparing to Gomo’s own course overview page

Discover more about project structure in: ‘The Simple Life: How a Simplified eLearning Project Structure Sets You up for Success

3) Keep Things Focused on Learning Objectives

Your storyboard should state the topic of each screen, and you should include details on your intended audience and key objectives in your project structure. Use plain language throughout, and in general, you should explain ideas in terms of what they do for the learner.

Include these details on the project structure page of our storyboard template, or create an extra blank page if you need additional space. We have also included a space to map your learning objectives to each individual screen. This will help you evidence where your learning objectives have been covered. It will also be useful should you need to streamline your course for any reason—a reminder of what absolutely must stay.

4) Keep Track of the Assets Required

Taking stock of both the assets you have and the assets you need to create to complete your project will assist with budgeting and planning production. Consider the tools, images, videos, and repurposable content you have at your disposal to get the job done. Then, record them against both the screens they’re needed on and as a running catalog of everything you need.

Our complementary storyboard template includes a space for recording all the assets required for your course on the cover page, as well as space for per-screen requirements on the “screen storyboard”.

Also on the blog: ‘13 Things You Should Know About eLearning Assessments and Quizzes

5) Include Visuals

Film storyboards are visual tools for a primarily visual medium. By contrast, eLearning storyboards may need to include a little more text to explain certain ideas. That said, don’t try to achieve everything with a written description alone—to borrow another important idea from film making, “show, don’t tell!”. Some animations and interactions will be easier to convey with diagrams or mockups. You should at least include a selection of images as a “mood board” for the kinds of visuals you would like to see on each screen.

More on the subject of choosing images: ‘3 Simple Factors To Help You Make Better Image Choices For Your Courses

6) Focus on One Learning Objective per Screen

As much a point about creating courses in general as creating a storyboard specifically, it’s best practice to focus on a single objective per screen. A storyboard can help you with this focus: if you’re running out of space in any screen template, you may want to consider splitting it into two! Another useful way to work might be to make the learning objective the first thing you write on each screen template.

The storyboard template attempts to steer you towards this structure by including a place to record a “screen type” for each screen.

7) Get as Much Input as You Can

Share the storyboard with everyone who will be inputting on the final design—including clients, but also your all-important SMEs—to ensure that they understand and agree to the plans you’ve set out and know what’s expected of them. Continue collaborative working as you build your course too. This will be easier if your authoring tool is cloud-based and built around multiple contributors. Features such as version control and permissions will help ensure that collaboration doesn’t become a free-for-all.

Discover More About the Power of eLearning Storyboarding

Our full guide, ‘13 Ways to Get the Most Out of eLearning Storyboard Templates’ begins with a discussion of the benefits of building a storyboard, covering how storyboarding:

  • Aids team collaboration
  • Helps you visualize your learning design
  • Puts the learning experience first
  • Lets you identify design weaknesses
  • Makes it easier to budget effectively
  • Saves time

In addition to this insight, we have also produced a downloadable storyboard template to help you record all of the critical information that goes into an effective storyboard. Use the download form below to grab both resources.

Download the guide and storyboard template today

Complete this short form to access the PDF and storyboard template:

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