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Designing eLearning Storyboards – 4 Quick Tips for New Instructional Designers

The effectiveness of an eLearning module is often contingent on the quality of the instructional design and the eLearning storyboards that are provided to the programming team. Here are four tips for new instructional designers, to ensure you are designing effective eLearning storyboards in order to create an engaging and memorable eLearning course. For the experienced instructional designer, consider these tips a refresher for good instructional design.

1. What will you use to storyboard your eLearning course?

There are many different ways you can create storyboards for an eLearning course. Although some instructional designers may choose to use Word, at Pathways Training and eLearning we always use PowerPoint for our eLearning storyboards. The reason we use PowerPoint is that it it allows clients to see the types of visuals and the exact content that will be presented on each screen in the eLearning course, along with allowing the client to easily review the eLearning script (we put this in the notes section in the PowerPoint storyboards). The client also has a chance to see exactly what activity, interaction, or knowledge check will appear throughout the course.

The benefit to using PowerPoint over Word for eLearning storyboards, is the client will know the exact “look and feel” of the eLearning course and the type of graphics that will be used on every screen. When eLearning storyboards are created in Word, there is a lot more ambiguity about how the final course will look when programmed, which can cause a lot of issues later on, especially if the eLearning course looks different from what the client envisioned or expected.

2. Know what you are teaching and what you want participants to do differently after taking the eLearning course.

Think about what you want people to get out of your eLearning course. What do you want them to learn and what do you want them to do differently as a result of taking the eLearning. If you don’t know this, how can you possibly design an effective course? Knowing this information is essential, before you start developing your eLearning storyboards.

3. Know your target audience and assess what they know (and don’t know) about the topics being presented in the eLearning course.

Conducting focus groups, surveys and interviews will allow you to understand and assess what participants know about the content that will be presented in your eLearning course. Research is key to creating a successful eLearning storyboards. Learn as much as possible about your audience, aspects like their educational background, culture, professional knowledge base, experience level and what skill sets or knowledge you need to include in your eLearning course. Figure out what they know and don’t know about the content being presented, so you can spend more time on information that is new to participants and do a quick review of content they already know.

4. Assess participants understanding of key content throughout the eLearning course.

Once a concept is presented in an eLearning course, ensure you test participant’s understanding of the new content. This should be done through interactive activities such as mix and match, drag-and-drop activities or multiple choice questions. Feedback must also be provided to each participant on how they did on each knowledge check in the eLearning course, so that learners can learn from their experiences.

For more information on how to design effective eLearning storyboards, contact us at Pathways Training and eLearning via email at or 1-888-961-6011 ext 122.

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