Many instructional designers know that creating an elearning course is pretty straight-forward, but making that course effective takes considerable effort. There are a variety of strategies available for presenting content, each has its own merit. However, if you want to build better elearning courses, you can do so by putting your energy into building better storyboards.
Storyboards are the foundation of any elearning project (or at least they should be). They create a road-map for the course.
There are many reasons why storyboards are critical to an elearning implementation, but what I find to be the most beneficial is that it removes the distractions. I have known many people who don’t put in enough effort during this phase of the elearning design process so as to jump into development sooner. While this can be tempting, and clients sometimes prefer to see the “end result” right away, it really is an ineffective way to build a course.
Clients get distracted by what the course looks like and how it functions rather than paying attention to what is actually being presented. Instructional designers get distracted by all of the possible features they can use to present the information in different ways.
When putting rigorous effort into the storyboard phase of the project, you remove these distractions. You are forced to think about the content, the audience, the objectives, and presentation method in a way that is content driven rather than tool driven.
You will find that the more quality time you spend on your storyboards, the quicker it takes to develop the course. You also ensure that the client is satisfied with the content so future reviews will move along quicker as well.
Do yourself a favor and look for ways to improve your storyboards – you’ll find it makes your job easier and your courses better.