Storyboarding for eLearning Design

When I started my journey into Instructional Design and I heard about storyboarding I felt a bit overwhelmed. I was convinced I had never done it before, but as I started to review my past courses at Boise State I found that during my Youtube for Educators course I had created a great storyboard for a documentary I had put together.  As a visual person, I really appreciated being able to tie pictures or visions to my ideas.  As I reviewed the work, I found that I could easily use it for both video and eLearning design.  Scripting is something that is very new to me, creating my own videos I usually just fly by the seat of my pants (a great teacher trait) but as I move into the corporate world I am finding that the more I can create or communicate my vision and get feedback from stakeholders FIRST is better.  Tim Slade mentions that communicating your vision and getting feedback from the storyboard is important instead of wasting time fixing a deliverable that could have been adjusted in just the storyboard phase.  

The first storyboard I am commenting on is the one I had from my Boise State course, it was for my Minecraft for Education Documentary. The template is a very linear, simple boxed design but I appreciate that I can easily communicate my ideas on the left with visuals on the right.  Using this format I can easily line things up, and I could easily cut and paste and move things around if I needed to.  I wonder if it is too simple and does not have enough for eLearning slides, it would be great for short videos but feel that I would need something more fleshed out for eLearning.

After watching the videos by Tim Slade I thought of my eLearning Storyboard notebook that he created, it’s very simple but packed with ideas. Recently when I started to build an instructional video for OPWL 523 I referenced it often to get ideas on what I needed to think of when I was building it. Tim Slade’s notebook has slide information, a slide-type with a checklist, a slide design that I can draw out with, a box for Audio Narration/On-Screen Text, and two boxes at the bottom with Technical Notes and Navigation. What I loved was all of this information that I didn’t even think about on one page, and it would really push me to think about these aspects.  The cons are that these are SO finite that I don’t know how reasonable they would be to use in my current practice. We are often rapidly deploying eLearning and the emphasis seems to be on getting content out, this process would make it difficult to do that.

On Tim’s blog, I did find more storyboarding templates including a visual and written storyboard, these were free and downloadable and much more reasonable for everyday use.  As someone who prefers visuals and often thinks in pictures, I really gravitated towards the visual Storyboard Template. It had a box for audio or text, interactivity and programming notes, and a slide mockup.  The pros of this were definitely the ability to create a visual mockup, but also take into consideration will I have to code a progress bar? What type of transition or movements. The only negative would be taking Tim’s advice about reducing visual design that could hinder a Stakeholder or SME’s ability to look at the content which would be difficult with this template including a visual mockup space.