Storyboarding for eLearning

What is storyboarding?

A storyboard for eLearning is a document that eLearning developers create in the beginning of the development phase to outline the visuals, text and audio elements, interactions, navigation and anything else that will be used in the eLearning course. Storyboards serve as the course blueprint and help set the expectations for the development of a course, while saving time and encouraging team collaboration.

Why is storyboarding important?

Storyboarding is crucial to the development of an excellent eLearning course for many reasons. All members of the eLearning development team will reference the storyboard for guidance and direction. Designers, narrators, developers and anyone else involved in the eLearning project will use this to understand what they need to design or what they need to contribute. It’s also a great document to have your clients and subject matter experts review to make sure your course is on track for success from day one.

What should I include in a storyboard?

To create an effective storyboard, make sure you include these elements: 

  1. Overall project information. 
    This should include the name of your course and lesson name. Each slide within your storyboard should also include a slide label and title. These titles should share the main idea of each slide and will also help maintain the order of the presentation.
  2. Audio and video instructions. 
    This includes anything from the narration of each slide to instructions on what music or sound effects to use.

  3. Graphic instructions. 
    This will share verbally how you would like specific images to appear within your course. Include images if needed to help relay the information in a visual form. If using video make sure you include the file name of the video you want to use, so it’s easy to find.

  4. Text elements. 
    Provide the exact on-screen content you will be using in your eLearning course. Make sure you also include what font, size and color you would like for each text element. Confirm that the content you use is clear and will be easily understood by the audience. 

  5. Interactivity and navigation. 
    Describe the actions that will be used in your course. Anyone who reviews your storyboard should be able to easily understand what the learner can do on each slide and what will happen next. Confirm that your interactions have a purpose and will help the learner understand the presented information. 

What software do I use to create a storyboard?

This is based on personal preference. If you are looking to create a storyboard that is mostly text-based, Microsoft Word is commonly used. If you are looking to take a more visual approach, PowerPoint is a popular tool.

Other Helpful Storyboarding Tips:

When creating your storyboard, make sure you also ask yourself:

  • Who is your audience? Do your research on who will be taking your course. Consider background, age, experience with eLearning and any other demographic that could have an impact on your course. 
  • What authoring tool will you be using? Before you begin storyboarding, choose what authoring tool you will create the course in to confirm that you can implement every aspect you want to include.
  • How will each slide be organized? Each slide within your storyboard should include one idea or concept. Make each slide consistent throughout.