Are your eLearning storyboards on point? Or do they have a tendency to create more confusion than clarity? In this article guest writer Christopher Pappas shares 10 tips to improve your eLearning storyboards.
How To Improve Your eLearning Storyboards
eLearning storyboards help you organize your thoughts and create cohesion in your eLearning course design. However, you have to incorporate a few key elements in order to achieve the desired results. Likewise, every member of your eLearning team needs to be on board and fully aware of the core learning objectives. Here are 10 top tips to improve your eLearning storyboards.
1. Focus On A Single Objective Or Desired Outcome Per Screen
It’s relatively easy to crowd your eLearning storyboard with an abundance of learning goals, objectives, and desired outcomes. Before you know it, you’re staring at a screen that’s cluttered with multiple eLearning activities, placeholders, and reminder notes. For this reason, it’s important to focus on one key learning objective or outcome at a time. Consider what online learners need to take away from the eLearning experience and how to most effectively convey the information. Then decide which eLearning activities, assessments, and modules support the primary goal.
2. Take Stock Of Your Assets Beforehand
Developing an eLearning storyboard is a lot like piecing together a puzzle. You must have all the elements on hand in order to create the “big picture”. In the case of eLearning, you have to gather all your assets. This includes eLearning authoring tools, media, and eLearning content that can be repurposed. As a result, you’re able to determine which resources you still need in order to develop and plan accordingly. For example, include a placeholder for the interactive simulation you’re currently working on.
3. Use A Storyboard Template To Save Time And Resources
Storyboard templates save you the time and trouble of creating an eLearning storyboard from scratch. All too often elearning authors struggle to produce engaging designs when faced with streams of technical content from subject matter experts. See how to use collaborative storyboarding to create engaging elearning and get your hands on the collaborative elearning storyboard template we use on all our own projects!
Alternatively, develop your own storyboard master template to reuse for future eLearning projects. This allows you to incorporate certain elements that are unique to your eLearning course design. For example, creative intro pages or interesting layouts.
4. Research Your Audience
Every aspect of your eLearning storyboard must cater to your audience. Ultimately, they are the ones who have to absorb the information and apply it in real-world settings. Thus, personal preferences and learning needs are of paramount importance. This is why you have to research your audience before you start storyboarding. Conduct online surveys, assessments, and interviews to determine their expectations, goals, and delivery preferences.
5. Chunk Before You Sequence
Divide your eLearning content into sub-categories, then sequence the events so that online learners can gradually assimilate the information. It’s best to build on more basic concepts and work your way up to complex ideas. For example, lead off with a quick reminder of the topic so as to refresh their memory, followed by a summary of the information they’ll learn throughout the eLearning course. eLearning content chunking helps to prevent cognitive overload, which improves knowledge retention. Instead of flooding their memory banks, you follow a natural sequence of events in order to slowly but surely impart knowledge.
6. Find The Right Project Management Platform For Your eLearning Team
If you’re working with a team of collaborators, you need an effective Project Management online tool to centralize your communications. These tools also give you the ability to provide feedback, assign tasks, and collectively create an amazing eLearning storyboard. Ideally, the Project Management software should have ample storage capacity, as well as an intuitive User Interface so that every member of your eLearning team can reap the rewards.
7. Include A Good Mix Of Multimedia
No eLearning course is complete without rich multimedia to engage and entertain online learners. As such, you need to include a good mix of online training resources and activities to appeal to different learning preferences. If you are still developing multimedia elements for your eLearning course, simply incorporate detailed placeholders. For example, include a written description of what the eLearning activity or resource entails, and how it benefits online learners. In addition, which core learning objectives or outcomes it supports.
8. Create An eLearning Script
Scripts are crucial for eLearning courses that feature audio narrations or character dialogue, as they allow you to create timestamps to ensure that the visuals align with the audio. For example, the narrator provides instructions just before the task simulation or recommends supplemental online training materials at the end of the compliance online training module. You should also include script notes for all of the eLearning activities involved.
9. Incorporate Transitions And eLearning Navigation Controls
A polished eLearning course design eases online learners into the next eLearning activity or module. This involves seamless transitions that create a bridge between every page or section. You should also include eLearning navigation contol notes in your eLearning storyboards. For example, include placeholders for the backward and forward arrows or the social media icons you need to add to the bottom of each page.
10. Review The eLearning Storyboard From A Different Perspective
Imagine that you didn’t create this eLearning storyboard and have no prior knowledge of the subject matter. Now look at it and see if everything still makes sense. Keep in mind that remote collaborators are going to use this eLearning storyboard to tackle their respective tasks. Thus, you need to include detailed notes and explanations of every eLearning course design element; even things that may seem obvious. For example, different font styles and page borders.
eLearning storyboards serve as a visual guideline for your eLearning team. As such, you’re able to create more effective eLearning experiences that achieve the desired results. Use these 10 tips to enhance your eLearning storyboards and develop a goal-centered road map for everyone to follow. For a step by step guide to building a successful elearning production process take a look at this detailed guide.
Do you know which Instructional Design elements are a must for developing your eLearning course? Read the article 10 Instructional Design Elements To Include In EVERY eLearning Course to discover the top 10 Instructional Design elements that no eLearning course is complete without.
Christopher Pappas is founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning Industry. Christopher holds an MBA, and an MEd (Learning Design) from BGSU. eLearning Blogger | EduTechpreneur | eLearning Analyst | Speaker | Social Media Addict
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