Create eLearning courses using Storyboards

When starting your Instructional Design process, templates are crucial to transition focus from structure to creative development. While each project varies and has different requirements, I created a basic Instructional Design: eLearning Storyboard template for you to further customize for your individual needs.

Let’s start with identifying the “Sections and Screens”.

This post includes a free downloadable template, with an example of the template in use below.

Download the template here!

Using the eLearning Storyboard Template

Section and Screen #

The section and screen make up the sequential numbering system for your storyboard. In the storyboard, you will divide up your content into sections. This could be to align with the learning objectives or by overall larger topic within the course. Within each topic, you will create various screens to walk through the content. A screen is a small informational piece that supports the overall section. Let’s put this into action using the simple topic of weekly meal planning for a family of four. In this storyboard example we have three sections with sub-topics within each:

  • Section 1 – Introduction
  • Section 2 – Meal Planning
  • Section 3 – Meal Prepping

eLearning storyboard

We then transition to screens within sections. Screens are small sections of content that support the section. Essentially this outlines items that support the item that you are training on. In this example, Section 1.0 – Introduction is simple and does not require more than one screen.

Let’s look at “Section 2 – Meal Planning”. In this section, meal planning includes:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Creating a shopping list
  • Price comparing

In an eLearning course, the content must be bite size, readable on the screen, and allow for movement and interaction.

eLearning storyboard

Voiceover Code

In the eLearning storyboard template, the second column is designated for the Voiceover code (V/O code). Professional voiceovers for the Narration Script are a crucial aspect of most eLearning courses. Each segment of audio must be saved with a unique file name, creating a systematic coding system. This coding system enables eLearning programmers to effortlessly match the required narration to the correct screen, ensuring a seamless integration of audio with visual content.

eLearning storyboard

For this example, I have used the section and screen number plus “v” at the voiceover code unique identifier. If there are custom images or videos, I recommend using the same section and screen number plus a different letter.

Narration Script

In the eLearning storyboard template, the third column is dedicated to the Narration Script. This script serves as the copy that the voiceover artist will articulate during professional recording. As an instructional designer, your role is to breathe life into the content through words, making it engaging and informative for learners.

When crafting the narration script, consider the pivotal task of providing directional guidance to the learner. This guidance may include prompts such as instructing them to explore additional resources, like downloading a “how-to” PDF located at the upper right of the eLearning player. You can also guide them through the navigation process by suggesting actions like clicking the “next” button to continue. Additionally, the narration script may include instructions on how to complete engagement or knowledge check questions, enhancing the interactive learning experience.

It’s crucial to note that the narration script needs to be exact. Voiceover artists adhere strictly to the provided script and do not take liberties to correct grammar, adjust tense, or alter words for sentence fluidity. Therefore, as an instructional designer, meticulous attention to detail is paramount. Ensuring the accuracy and clarity of the narration script guarantees that the voiceover artist accurately conveys the intended message, maintaining consistency and alignment with the instructional goals of the eLearning course.

eLearning storyboard

Now, let’s apply this to our Meal Planning example:

Onscreen Text and Graphics

The fourth column in the eLearning storyboard template is dedicated to Onscreen Text/Graphics. This column encompasses all elements that must be visible on each screen, ranging from images and words to videos and interactive elements. Detailed documentation is required to curate a visual experience that complements the narration script and enhances the overall learning journey. This involves selecting and placing images strategically, incorporating concise and effective onscreen text, and integrating interactive elements seamlessly. The Onscreen Text/Graphics column serves as a blueprint for creating engaging and informative visual content that aligns with the instructional objectives of the eLearning course.

eLearning storyboard

Now, let’s apply this to our Meal Planning example:

eLearning storyboard template

Programming Notes

The fifth column in the eLearning storyboard template is dedicated to Programming Notes. This section serves as a vital communication channel for conveying build specifications to the eLearning development team. In many instances, the instructional designer is responsible for curating the storyboard and integrating all components before transitioning to the eLearning development team. These professionals, well-versed in eLearning curation tools, can expedite the development process due to their constant familiarity with the tools.

In the Programming Notes section, precision is key. It is imperative to provide specific requirements for the course, covering aspects such as text color and font specifications for headers, sub-headers, and general copy. Additionally, outline completion requirements, navigation pane details, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance, and other course-specific elements. Be explicit in dictating transition guidance, whether it involves incorporating a “next” button for learners to progress to the next slide or requiring interaction with specific items before advancing in the course.

eLearning storyboard

Now, let’s apply this to our Meal Planning example:

eLearning storyboard
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