eLearning storyboards are an easy way of showing your audience how a course works. When you use it correctly, elearning storyboarding can pave the way for engaging digital education.
eLearning storyboarding is easy to master and it only involves a few simple steps. First, you’ll want to decide on the learning solution that your course offers. Then, you’ll collect and outline your course content, making it as detailed as possible. Lastly, you can tackle the writing and editing.
Once these steps become second nature to you, eLearning storyboards will make your life easier in terms of content planning. So how do you master the eLearning storyboard for engaging digital education? Let’s have a look!
What is an eLearning Storyboard?
Many beginner-level eLearning designers start by asking the wrong questions such as “how to create a storyboard for eLearning”. But creating something you don’t understand yet can create bigger challenges down the line.
So, before we dive into the juicy details of how to create them, let’s look at what eLearning storyboards are.
An eLearning storyboard is a tool that defines graphics, text and audio components, interactions, and navigation for eLearning courses. Developers use the gathered information to add value to their digital education platforms and create more engagement.
eLearning storyboards also give the students a clear-cut understanding of what you do and don’t offer. That way, you filter out the people who may be uninterested in paying for your services without any hassle. Consequently, your business fends off anyone who won’t help your conversion rates, right from the get-go.
If you prepare it the right way, an e-Learning storyboard can also become a blueprint for future projects. You can tweak the information, test it again, and use it in a pinch.
Now that we’ve identified an eLearning storyboard, it’s time to focus on how it can help your course perform better.
How Can You Benefit from an eLearning Storyboard?
An eLearning storyboard comes with many benefits. Of course, the exact kind of benefits that you might choose to focus on will vary, based on your niche and goals. But overall, most businesses and eLearning platforms start storyboarding with two main objectives: engagement and conversion.
When you use eLearning storyboarding for your business, it rules out boredom and presents your viewership with more engaging content. As a result, the audience is drawn to your content like a moth to the flame. Therefore, storyboarding gives you higher conversion rates by turning interested parties into customers.
As we mentioned earlier, the cool thing about eLearning storyboarding frameworks is that they are entirely reusable. So not only will you be drawing more customers in, but also, you can kiss the days of messy content goodbye.
With a ready-to-use framework waiting for your next project, you can take back your time from content planning and focus on other aspects that need attention. But the real question is: how do you get an eLearning storyboard to be THAT good?
The short answer is: following our step-by-step guide is more than enough. The long answer, on the other hand, will take a bit more time than that. So hold onto your hats, because we’re diving right in!
The 5 Detailed Steps of a Killer eLearning Storyboard
When you organize your to-do list for the day, handling the tasks becomes easier. Similarly, laying out the exact steps that will lead to efficient eLearning storyboards can also make mastering the concept easier.
Without further ado, let’s look at these 5 detailed steps that can change the game for any digital education course.
1. Select and Design Your Training Solution
Before you focus on how you can build an engaging course via eLearning storyboarding, you should design a training solution.
Selecting and designing your training solution properly is key. Because this lays the groundwork for your upcoming steps.
Whether you’re working on a short-term course or a full-fledged training program, it’s important to understand where your audience is coming from. What are their pain points? How can your course help them get over performance issues?
These are some of the questions that can help you get the right eLearning statistics.
Though the most efficient way of figuring out how to solve an issue is conducting a needs analysis. A needs analysis is often tedious and requires the help of a subject matter expert. But the good news is that hiring a group of these experts can get you the right data on your target audience.
Through the needs analysis, you can figure out the root cause of performance decline. Once you find the issue, you can choose a strategy of improvement, either through training or other means.
Should you decide to provide your audience with a training program or course, you can start designing.
2. Start Gathering Content on Your Course
When you get past the hurdles of designing your training solution, you’ll have a clear idea of whether eLearning is necessary. If you find that it can be helpful, then you can start eLearning storyboarding.
First, you will need to start gathering content that’s relevant to the course.
Collecting your course content could be the most challenging part of building an eLearning storyboard. However, it’s also the most rewarding step, because this is where you get hands-on experience.
Subject matter experts can give you raw data. Though when it comes to data organization, and gathering content, you may find that there’s no second set of hands to take the job.
But this doesn’t mean that content research has to be a hassle. There are many ways to get quality content for a course, depending on your project.
You could interview subject matter experts, review online information, list some relevant best-practices, or do competitor research. The goal is to understand whatever you can about eLearning trends and other relevant information. Even if you don’t consult an expert, this can get the ball rolling.
However, if you find that you need more assistance, talking to someone who’s done this before could also be helpful.
Finally, you could consider analyzing specific processes and procedures. That way, you can break them down to simpler, more attainable steps. This is also called task analysis. Task analysis can help you lay out your eLearning storyboard more easily, allowing you to smoothly transition into step three.
3. Outline Your Course
The third step of creating an eLearning storyboard can get somewhat more demanding than the rest.
Having so many things to talk about —especially if your course is on a delicate, detailed subject— could be overwhelming. All the content is likely raw, and not so appealing or fun. Which is why you should turn generic facts into something engaging and enjoyable.
At such a point, creating a rough outline of how these bits of information will come into play can be handy. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula that you can copy and paste. Rather, this part of the process is one that requires trial and error. But the good news is that once you find what works, you can replicate it.
If you need visuals while you work, using images, sticky notes, or perhaps even a cork board can be helpful. Or if you’re better with pages full of words, creating a step-by-step binder might be the best move.
Whether you go for online tools or at-home solutions, finding what helps you automate the process is important. As soon as you start feeling comfortable with the process, coming up with an outline will become a habit. Ideas will flow through your mind. So make sure you catch them in time and organize them to the best of your abilities. After all, creating an eLearning storyboard takes time.
While you go about creating this outline, it’s important to look for where you can include interactive design. A couple of the most popular ones are click-to-reveal and performance-based activities. But if you have any innovative ideas, now is the time to test them out.
Since you’ll be reviewing everything when you’re done, don’t worry too much about having a refined outline when you’re done. This step is all about outlining your content and letting your creativity shine. As long as you can make your audience test their skills with these interactions, you’re good to go.
4. Format Your eLearning Storyboard and Get to Writing
There are many eLearning storyboard formats that you can adapt as you start writing. But just like how outlines differ based on your needs, eLearning storyboard formats are also unique to each project.
That said, you can probably fit most writing formats under one of two categories: visual and written eLearning storyboards.
Written eLearning storyboards are less demanding. You can often create them in a pinch, especially if you have access to Google Docs or Microsoft Word.
But you need to keep in mind that this format usually works for content that requires high levels of focus. For example, if your eLearning courses rely on narration, you could leverage written formats.
Unfortunately this is not suitable for topics that require visuals such as images, graphics, or even animations. However, there is one great benefit to working with written formats: they are easy to tweak.
If you work with stakeholders or want to run things by subject matter experts, this feature is great to have. Though if you have no need for a second set of eyes, written formats might not be of extreme benefit to you.
In such a case, you might want to look into visual eLearning storyboards. These storyboards can be created in Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Apple’s Keynote app.
Using slides comes in handy when most of your material is written down in front of participants to read. Similarly, working with graphics and other visuals can also call for this type of presentation.
Whatever format you choose, involving numbers, as well as detailed descriptions of what’ll be onscreen can get you better feedback.
5. Add Final Touches to Your eLearning Storyboard
The last step of creating an eLearning storyboard that promotes engagement is making sure it’s perfect. That’s why final touches like editing and reviewing can sometimes make or break your eLearning storyboard.
To avoid any mishaps before the completion of your eLearning storyboard, you need a development timeline.
This is the complete history of your content creation process. It outlines responsibilities of each team member and marks the due dates of necessary tasks. With a development timeline, you can keep every task and team member in check.
Moreover, when the time comes to review the work you did, your development timeline can help track issues.
Let’s say you’re facing difficulties regarding course audio. The development timeline can show you who was in charge of the audio and what tasks they’ve completed. So if anything isn’t functioning properly, you’d know where to look.
The important thing here is to update such information as your eLearning storyboard progresses. Because if the eLearning storyboard gets its final approval despite having some issues, you might face some customer service problems.
Make sure you review both the development timeline and your eLearning storyboard with help from subject matter experts and stakeholders. Once everything’s clear, you can start course development.
Creating an eLearning storyboard is fun and rewarding. But it can also become time consuming and exhausting if you don’t do it right. However, when you build it right, an eLearning storyboard can help you get to a course prototype faster.
As long as you take things one step at a time, you can easily create an efficient eLearning storyboard. That’s why it’s important to get the right content, outline your information, and keep track of what you do.
Plus, when everything comes to fruition, you can go back and replicate the process if you’d like.
All in all, there’s more to gain from this process than there is to lose. After all, setting out to create your first or next eLearning course with the right mindset can warrant great outcomes.