Did you know that the first storyboard was developed at the Walt Disney Studios during the early 1930s when animator Webb Smith drew chronological scenes on different sheets of paper and pinned them on a bulletin board? This was the most primitive form of a storyboard which has eventually attained its present form through a continuous process of experimentation, creative vision, technological knowhow and a lot more.
David Becker once said, “A storyboard’s primary value is that it forces you to have a reason for, and a consistent approach to everything you do”. A well scripted storyboard not only talks to its end audience but to the team as well. It gives designers the clarity to visualize the content and enhance the aesthetics of the storyboard. Simply put, a storyboard is a well sculpted monument which is the result of intense brainstorming, creative inputs and ideas to deliver content with the right flavor of interactivity, animation, images and a lot more.
Before designing a storyboard, it is imperative to be clear about the motive behind designing the module, the message it intends to convey and the target learners. Clarity of objectives helps to guide the entire process of storyboarding. Moreover, clear objectives also allow a good course design along with excellent assessment development. “Content is the king” is an often used phrase. Hence, crisp and concise content is needed. Here, Subject Matter Experts play a pivotal role, albeit these experts should give due consideration to the target learners. As Mark Twain rightly said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else”.
Thus, the essence of any storyboard can be completely lost if the target learners have not been identified. This can be done through various mechanisms such as focus groups, surveys, interviews and a host of other methodologies.
Nicole Legault stated, “There is no right or wrong way to storyboard; developers and instructional designers use a variety of different templates and methods”. This statement conveys the significance of choosing the right template. There are a plethora of free templates available online and these simplify the task of the designers to a great extent.
Assessments are an essential part of a storyboard as they measure a learner’s attainment of learning objectives. They help to strengthen learning and evaluate a learners’ comprehension of the course. Preparing a proper assessment segment in a storyboard requires a lot of thought and effort. Yet, the effort is worth it, as it promotes retention and enhances problem-solving skills.
Graphics, animations, learning videos, etc., are some of the ingredients that go into the making of an impactful storyboard. The advantage of a good visual design is that it compels the learner to go deeper into the subject and learn more. Proper visual design principles can be applied to make the screen alluring and attractive, without compromising on the actual content and message to be conveyed. It is a good practice to include a summary of the key points covered in the module.
If each eLearning program has a solid groundwork, every segment of the eLearning program will be a success, which is why a detailed storyboard is an important tool for eLearning professionals.
ITM University Online, one of the leading MBA institutions in India imparts education through well drafted eLearning storyboards and a host of other digital techniques that have the ability to create an engaging experience for the learners thereby leading to longer retention of the concepts mastered.