Before you jump into creating any elearning program, it is important to first create a storyboard for the course.
Surprisingly, there are many instructional designers who do not put enough effort to an effective storyboard. Besides making it difficult to create a consistent learning environment for users, failing to generate storyboards for your courses can actually be detrimental to your productivity in the long-run.
If you are doing work for a client, internally or externally, the storyboard is the perfect way to establish buy-in. In fact, it is a good idea to require sign-off on all storyboards prior to starting the build phase.
Getting sign-off from key decision makers will limit the amount of rework as you start to build the course. Sure, you will deviate to some degree from your storyboard, but this process holds everyone accountable.
If you are new to storyboards, then the steps below (originally detailed by the eLearning Brothers) is a great place to start.
1. Understand the Goal of the Course
This the main reason why you are creating the course – it’s the primary objective. Make sure everyone is on the same page as to the purpose of the elearning.
2. Collect Content
Assess what content currently exists and map that against what needs to be created. The gaps you discover are what need to be covered in the course content.
3. Define the Learning Objectives
Each course should have objectives, and those objectives should relate back to the overall goal of the elearning program as defined in #1.
4. Create Assessment Criteria
What good is elearning without measuring its effectiveness? Before creating courses, you should define what you will measure, and how this data will be collected.
5. Use Templates Where Possible
For your storyboard, and courses, you should use elearning templates to help speed-up content development. Templates also let you focus on the content instead of the design – perfect for tight timelines.
6. Choose a Design Model
Certainly optional, but it is helpful to understand the lifecycle of your course development, and models like ADDIE or SAM can ensure everyone is on the same page as to development and delivery expectations.
7. Select Design Elements
Are you going to rely on simulations, videos, graphics, and text? If so, define each of the elements in accordance to the material you are going to deliver. For example, software training via elearning often benefits from simulations.
8. Choose an Authoring Tool
There are many out there (Articulate, Captivate, iSpring, etc.), so you’ll want to do your research on which tool is ideal for your situation – including type of content, timeline, and budget.