If you’re considering engaging the services of an eLearning provider to help you with your learning strategy, or if you already use eLearning within your company, you should be aware of the impact that storyboarding has in the execution and development of your learning experience.
So, what exactly is storyboarding?
Essentially, a storyboard is the ‘story’ of the solution communicated within a document, containing the words, the content and the visuals. A storyboard is the blueprint for any eLearning solution – it’s that important.
A storyboard details the types of interactions that the learner will have to undertake. It details the decisions learners will need to make, the number of choices available to them, and it outlines the feedback that the learner will receive when selecting different choices, articulating what score or KPI measure is behind each decision learners make.
It also includes the build notes, timing of interactions, how the pages are expected to look and feel, and how the user will experience the learning. Before storyboarding occurs, extensive workshops with clients to ascertain their learning needs should be undertaken. These workshops help identify who the learners are, what the organisation’s key motivations and goals are, what they’re struggling with, what they’d like to improve, and what the learning outcomes are.
After workshops are completed, a top-level concept is created. The solution is broken down into topics, containing the elements within each of the topics, what areas will be covered, the key messages, and the learning outcomes the client wishes to achieve.
So, what are the reasons why storyboarding is critical?
1. You have a tangible concept
A storyboard is a tangible piece of work rather than a series of vague concepts that have been discussed. Just like an architect would create detailed, comprehensive plans for building a house, storyboarding really is the ‘blueprint’ for eLearning solutions. Storyboarding is essential as everything is contained in one document that can be communicated to all Stakeholders. That helps communicate ideas between the instructional designer and developer, and provides a clear visualised solution for the client.
2. Ideas are transparent
With every idea continually being communicated, confirmed, adjusted (or even replaced) a storyboard will allow both the learning designer and the client to confirm their concept will work. This transparency gives the client much more confidence. Sue Fell, Head of Sales & Client Relations at Workstar says, “Quite often, the client will take the project more seriously when they see the work that’s happening. It makes them more connected to the project and more certain of their vision.”
3. It increases collaboration
Storyboards are an effective collaboration tool. It allows for ideas to be generated from both the learning developers as well as the client. “Collaboration is critical”, In addition, it allows all Stakeholders, including developers to contribute further ideas allowing storyboards to evolve until a final concept is agreed upon, and therefore the collaborative process really is not only advantageous, but also crucial.
4. The creation process is more streamlined
Sometimes once concepts have been discussed, developers who do not storyboard will charge ahead and start creating the eLearning. However, this is fraught with dangers.
Firstly, storyboarding allows you to identify any errors or potential problems at an early stage. It is much easier to adjust the document before coding commences to avoid wasting valuable time and money re-developing an adjusted idea.
5. You can smartly determine the appropriate media
Storyboarding allows you to be clever with how you organise the learning solution. At Workstar, we are not just focused on the learning outcomes. We care about how the person is engaging with the learning to change their behaviour, how the media will be used to engage them, and of course, getting the right balance.
As such, learning needs to incorporate the most effective elements for each solution, from the visuals, interactions and movement, through to the animation, video and audio grabs. Each element must be used smartly, especially with the increasingly shorter attention spans that humans experience. We recommend breaking each element into small learning bites for each learning concept.”
Storyboarding leads to excellent storytelling. If you put in the effort with a thoughtful approach at the beginning of a project, and if you do that successfully and wholeheartedly, then you will likely have less problems down the track. You will also more likely produce truly engaging, behaviour-changing learning solutions.
At Workstar, we’re passionate about helping organisations create powerful experiential eLearning solutions that help transform critical behaviours, and give those organisations a competitive advantage. If you’d like to chat with us about how we can help transform your business and your people, contact us using the button below. We’d love to collaborate with you!