Never create an e-learning without a storyboard!

Walter is a young HR professional with a background in e-learning development. He recently started at AllCorp, where Human Resources is currently investing heavily in digital training. His manager assigns him the task of collecting feedback from experts in the company on two existing e-learning courses. Based on that feedback, Walter has to apply the necessary improvements. Deadline: within two weeks...

Walter meticulously tries to consolidate the diverse feedback. That ends up taking him days – more than he had expected. One expert lists all the areas for improvement in a series of emails, another sends screenshots with some brief comments, and yet another person makes several phone calls to point out a few things. AllCorp's brand new employee now has barely a week left to effectively implement the changes. When he opens the digital training courses with the e-learning software, Walter gets rather desperate. The digital course appears to have been constructed without any apparent coherence. Once again, Walter loses valuable time.

Four weeks later…

In the end, Walter delivers the updated e-learnings two weeks after deadline. He already shudders at the thought that new updates to the trainings may be needed in two years from now.

The horror we just described is perfectly avoidable. How? Thanks to a storyboard.

What is a storyboard and why is it essential in e-learning?

An e-learning storyboard is to a digital training course what a script is to a movie: the foundation on which a team counts and builds to efficiently achieve the very best end result. A storyboard is an accessible document that centralizes all relevant information about an e-learning, such as:

  • The learning objectives and the target audience
  • An overview of the course structure
  • An overview of specific technical components (e.g. scoring system, voice-over, information layers...)
  • Clear guidelines for reviewing the storyboard and suggesting modifications
  • ...

Last but not least, an e-learning storyboard describes the exact content of the course, word by word, image by image and with clear guidelines for the developer to ensure a quality user experience.

It is important that ultimately stakeholders validate the storyboard. When creating a brand new digital training course, that way you avoid investing unnecessary time and energy in the (often complex) technical development. A lot of e-learning developers suffer that fate when, at a later stage, they have to comply with arbitrary requests that force them to undo prior work.  

Do you have a new colleague like Walter who has to update an existing e-learning? Thanks to a storyboard, he or she should have a clear blueprint to get to work efficiently.

What makes a storyboard really good?

A good storyboard contains all the things we just described above. Another benefit of a storyboard is that it allows you to give timely and sufficient consideration to some questions that are often overlooked, such as:

  • Isn't there too much jargon that makes information inaccessible?
  • Should certain information be more concise or clear?
  • Does the tone of voice of the e-learning match that of the organization in general?

Have you succeeded in optimizing these points? Then you have a top-notch storyboard. That will translate into the quality of the e-learning course you eventually develop.

Invest in writing skills

As an HR or L&D department, do you have the luxury of having one or more e-learning developers in house? If so, be sure to check if any of them have a fluent pen or a knack for languages, and are interested in specializing. He or she might be the right person to be your permanent storyboard creator.

Invest in that talent by having the employee take copywriting courses or workshops, for example. It doesn't have to be about saving your e-learnings from all possible spelling mistakes (although that is certainly important too). A good copywriter is someone who knows how to convey information in an interesting way. He or she is generally referred to as "a storyteller".

Some people are already more predisposed to storytelling than others, but one thing is for sure: storytelling enhances learning. Moreover, there are several methods that you can learn as an e-learning copywriter to incorporate storytelling into your digital training and engage your user with the learning content, for example:  

  • Sketching desirable, terrifying or just recognizable situations
  • Making use of characters
  • Using details to implicitly play on emotions or desires

Temporary need for a storyboard copywriter or coach?

At Neo Learning, we pride ourselves on being a team of specialized learning consultants. That means: each and every one of them has a passion for - and knowledge of - digital learning... and on top of that, their own domain of specific expertise.

It won't surprise you that we also have copywriting specialists on our team. They focus 100% on everything that has to do with storyboarding. They'll be happy to do the same for your team. Would you like to call on one of them as a coach to teach employees how to create flawless storyboards themselves?

It's all perfectly possible thanks to our Neo Learning Acceleration service.

Artikel geschreven door:
Neo Learning Consultants

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