Learning and course creation have come a long way. There has been a blend of all types of learning, including brick-&-mortar classrooms, digital tutorials, virtual classrooms, E-learning, and many more. Irrespective of the type of learning, curating content can be quite challenging. It becomes even more painful when you decide to include graphics, videos, or other forms of engaging elements. That is when storyboards come into the picture.
As the name suggests, storyboard talks about the learning/training course with a twist. It is a map in the form of a slide deck, document or prototype in which the trainer/instructional designer lays the framework for the learning/training course. Storyboards are ubiquitous and can be used with models such as ADDIE. The advantages of using storyboard in training/learning include boosting learner’s engagement, visual training, and determining the weakness in training design.
Every storyboard has ‘solid foundation’ as a common factor that describes its success. While designing a storyboard, one should include every single piece of learning, including engaging content, visualizing and interactive elements. The key steps involved in designing a storyboard that leaves an impact on the learner are as mentioned below.
Select a storyboard template
There is no storyboard that is ‘one-size-fits-all’. The types of storyboards vary according to the learning/training needs as well as the type of industry. Some may require word document and others might need powerpoint slides. Depending on your project needs and industry, determine a specific kind of storyboard.
Define the objective & goals
In the next step, have a clear idea about why you are creating the storyboard, what are the desired outcomes and the primary & secondary learning goals. These aspects will act as a guide throughout the process. Identify the learning needs of the learner and the key elements you want the learner to take away from the learning experience. Additionally, determine the amount & type of data you will be working with.
Identify the target audience
Determine the type of audience and perform interviews, focus groups, survey, etc. to gain insights into the educational, cultural, and professional knowledge base of your audience. If a storyboard has already been created in the past, assess it and know what all are the aspects that require improvement. Also, determine how and when you will evaluate the learners. Figure out the right type of assessment approach for the chosen concept and audience.
Curate the content
Collect the necessary information from various materials and subject-matter experts. Develop interactive content while keeping the learning objectives and learning needs focused. Define your topic, focus on key points, and describe your idea/theme. Use simple language, short sentences, real-world examples of metaphors. This is followed by defining the design elements. Do not include all gather information as a whole. Instead, break them into chunks of information and then include them in your storyboard.
Add & sequence the content
Next, decide the sequence in which you will present the content. Add the content to develop and arrange the sequence in the document or screen. The natural the flow of content, the effective is the learning course. If required title every page in the storyboard for the sequencing purpose. Also include interactions, navigations, progressions, branching, etc. to guide the learner to the next page or slide in the storyboard.
Select the authoring tool
After developing a complete content for the storyboard, the next step is to choose the authoring tool. Figure out if there are many interactions, elements that slow down the development, and dialogue simulations prior to finalizing the authoring tools. Some popular authoring tools include iSpringsuit, which consists of rich features required to add life to the storyboard.
Choose the multimedia elements
Multimedia elements such as animations, simulations, videos, graphics, etc. can easily capture the attention of the learners. Incorporate analytical description in each part of the storyboard and decide upon the type of visual elements you want to include in your storyboard. Ensure to leave a small room for audio/video clips, interactive elements and narrations in the major slide/page in the storyboard. However, make sure not to overdo the same.
Add the narrative script
After selecting the multimedia elements to incorporate the voice-over script. Ensure to keep the text short as the major concepts will be explained through the voice-over. Also, make sure not to explain the unnecessary concepts pertaining to the topic as it might bore the learners. Include the script for each individual branches in the storyboard.
Map navigation & review the storyboard
Identify the graphics you will include to represent next & back action and choose a specific position within the story to include these actions. Also, ensure there is a fine transition between the pages or slides. Prior to deploying the storyboard, obtain feedback from subject-matter experts and ensure the course has the potential to add value to the existing knowledge-base of the learners.
Follow the steps mentioned above, choose the best software and kick-start the storyboard developing process. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to drop your comments below.