Storyboarding, for people experienced with eLearning and course design, can be an extremely simple way to ensure you’re getting great quality training and maximum effectiveness. Unfortunately, not every corporate trainer is experienced with eLearning, so here’s what you should know, whether you’re a novice or simply want to refresh your training efforts.

Storyboarding mistakes and how to avoid them

What is Storyboarding?

Storyboarding is a concept that’s been around for decades – in fact it’s been used since the animation movies of the 1930s.

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When you storyboard your multimedia training materials you’re basically laying out a blueprint of your ideas, your core concepts and your instructional design components you hope to include in your course.

It basically serves as a map of your training materials.

How Can Storyboarding Benefit Me?

Storyboarding is the best way to gauge how well laid out and effective your content is going to be. You may have an idea in your head about your corporate training and once you storyboard it, it may simply not make sense. Download a free presentation on Microlearning: Practical Microlearning – Let’s make a long story short

When you create a storyboard you can also see if information flows logically and whether or not it’s going to promote an intuitive learning process for employees. You may find there are gaps in the knowledge you’re presenting, or one idea may not flow as well as it could to another. Once you see your ideas laid out in front of you, you can work on the best way to move through the information and decide on an optimal navigation style.

Also, when you create a storyboard you can then get input from other people in your organization about how the training content should be laid out, and often when you get several different voices and opinions you’re going to get content that’s more effective and doesn’t demonstrate gaps or deficiencies.

Finally, storyboarding can be extremely helpful when it comes to the design of complicated and branching scenarios. It’s a good way to lay out the situation and the potential options employees will be exploring. Instructional design can be simple or complicated. It doesn’t have to be scary though. Try to iterate and get your audience to give you feedback every chance you get. Using digital assets in your storyboarding and course development can be trial and error but at least have some fun with it.

What Are The Most Common Storyboarding Mistakes?

People typically go into the storyboarding process with the best of intentions, but there are some common pitfalls that often occur, particularly if you’re new to laying out your eLearning content in this way.

  • You go it alone: When you’re storyboarding you need input from not only others within your organization, but also the other people who will be working with you to develop your content. Storyboarding should very much be a collaborative effort, particularly if you’re also going to be working with graphic designers, writers or audio specialists. Everyone needs to come together to create a storyboard that’s going to work from all angles, and you need to know their plans before you can really delve into storyboarding.
  • Too much of the same, or too little of the same: Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? What this means is that when you’re storyboarding you’re really creating the look and feel of your multimedia learning content. You need to be able to have a sense of continuity between the overall design of the pages, including everything from font to color schemes, but at the same time you don’t want to have an identical page layout that’s repeated throughout. You need to work on balancing a sense of cohesiveness with some visual interest and uniqueness between pages. The storyboarding process is the perfect time to address these issues.
  • Last minute storyboarding: Storyboarding isn’t something that you should rush to do very quickly before a meeting with other members of your team. You need to lay out your initial vision and then give yourself some days or even weeks to think it over, seek feedback and perfect it. Once you’ve initially laid out your learning content, you can take days to change it as you get a fresh, new perspective. The beauty of storyboarding is the fact that it lets you see changes that need to be made before you actually create training, but you don’t have that luxury if you wait until the last minute to do it.

Storyboarding is a brilliant way to make the development of your training content more efficient, and ensure you’re maximizing the return on your investment, if you’re willing to take the time to do it correctly.

Do you find storyboarding to be a valuable undertaking?