Storyboarding creates the backbone of an e-course but this step in e-learning development has to be an efficient one. There are various stakeholders working together on a storyboard – the client, the subject matter experts, the graphic team, programmers and of course, the ID team. But overall, it is the responsibility of the ID team to present a strong and meaningful storyboard – all within set timelines. Here are some tips for efficient Storyboarding – within time and budgetary limitations:
- Plan well to avoid too much or too little details: The ID team needs to bring a balance in detailing the storyboard. This would best be accomplished by understanding the clients or SMEs, for they have to finally sign-off the document. Detailing of graphics and animation should also be done accordingly, but unnecessary detailing can be left out. For instance, the image size in a slide may not be mentioned but left to the discretion of the designer that it will comply with aesthetic standards. But if an animated mentor is incorporated in the course, detailed specifications of color and size should be mentioned. This may not be included for every slide, but should definitely feature in the introductory slide. This will save a lot of time and effort while creating clarity for the team.
- Dealing with multiple rounds of changes: Storyboarding is a complex process and changes in the process of finalizing one are expected. But these cannot go on for an unprecedented amount of time that it starts to affect the timelines and ultimately, budgets. Basics like client preferences in language-usage, colors and tone can be understood to provide details and directions for content development.
This can prevent reworking of textual content or graphics at a later stage. The main roadblock, though, is when a storyboard fails to give clear directions to the client for visualizing. Storyboarding templates can be utilized to save time as well as effort. These templates have assigned places for audio scripts, OST, interactive elements and graphics. An added advantage is that they also have the ability to save versions of the storyboard and track changes. This keeps the team at par with proposed changes and going back to previous versions is also possible, if the newer ones are not approved. Templates have seen tremendous success in showing clearly to the client, how a course will shape up and ensuring that it meets up to the expected standards.
- Storyboarding in a hurry – Storyboarding is a detailed process, but some courses just have to be made in a hurry. While templates, stock images and simple animations can be incorporated to hasten the transition from storyboarding to actual development, rapid authoring tools can also be used for storyboarding when working for rapid development of e-learning. Many rapid authoring tools, like Captivate, can be used to create a storyboard. Content development can be started on a parallel level and incorporated as and when. Similarly, graphics too, can be prepared and incorporated in the developing storyboard. This process is successful if all groups working on the storyboard are in perfect sync and are not averse to regular review sessions that enable to simultaneously finalize storyboard as well as content and graphics. Being built on rapid authoring tools ensure that, once finalized the content can be converted into e-learning friendly formats and comply with all necessary standards.
Storyboarding is an essential component to e-learning development and it is a step that cannot be skipped – proven to save both time and moneys. While adhering to necessities, it is a process which is essentially creative and to do some innovative thinking is probably the first step to successful storyboarding.