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Developing an E-learning Storyboard – Pitfalls to Avoid

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Developing an E-learning Storyboard – Pitfalls to Avoid

Storyboarding is the most important part of the development phase as it gives the complete structure of an online course. A storyboard is a document that combines instructions on using text, audio elements, photos, videos, graphics and interactivities.

People make mistakes, inadvertently, while developing an eLearning storyboard. To develop an effective and error-free storyboard, you should avoid mistakes. Here are a few common mistakes that we should avoid, in order to develop a perfect and error- free course.

Adding too much of on-screen content: Stop adding too much of content on the screen. Instructional designers should be able to break long strings of information into bite-sized, “absorbable” pieces. To make this happen, first you need to understand the content thoroughly by analyzing the raw content. Once you analyze the content, then decide what is relevant (Need to know) and irrelevant (Nice to know).

Always include Need to know content on-screen as it is essential for learners to achieve the learning objectives rather than Nice to know information, which helps deepen their knowledge and understanding. Present Need to know information in bulleted list to make the learner understand quickly and effectively.

Adding too much of on-screen content

Placing irrelevant images: As we all know, images talk more than the content. Images have to extend the conversation, rather than confuse the learners. For example, if your content on the screen is related to small pox in children, there is no point using an image of an adult with small pox. It does not make sense and will only add to the confusion. Images should connect to the content in such a way that the learner should be able to grasp information instantly.

Placing irrelevant  images

Making use of audio that has poor sound quality: Rather than using audio of poor quality in terms of writing style and tone, it is better not to use audio at all. It is advisable to avoid unwanted noise, slang and mismatch between the audio and onscreen text, as it makes the learner uncomfortable.

Audio enhances the interest levels of learners, and it is better to use the narrative style for scripts. Audio scripts should be in a conversational tone.

Example: In case of scenario-based learning, it is advisable to use more than one audio character in the course, as it adds richness to the course.

Making use of audio that has poor sound quality

Missing instructions: Missing or giving unclear instructions about assessments and interactivities in a course can confuse the learners. They may feel frustrated and skip the slide. Proper instructions guide and direct the learner in the course. It is recommended to write the notes to the developer, regarding the visual effects you require for that content.

Missing instructions

Disrupting the flow of content: When chunked content is not presented in a logical flow, it can confuse the learner and also makes it difficult to retrieve the information. It is better to organize on-screen content clearly and also maintain the logical flow.

Always chunk the content first at the screen or topic level and then at the lesson or unit level. This needs to be followed by chunking at the module level and finally at the course level. This logical flow helps in facilitating effective learning and also conveys information efficiently.

Disrupting the flow of content

Giving unclear navigation: Unclear navigation destroys the learner’s interest in the course, as it confuses him. Navigation plays a vital role in eLearning because it guides and instructs the learner. The navigation of an online course needs to be user-friendly and self-directing. Only then, it allows the learner to explore and learn the concepts quickly and effectively.

Giving unclear navigation

Thus, by avoiding these pitfalls, instructional designers can design and develop highly effective eLearning storyboards. What do you think?

View Presentation on How Instructional Design Helps in ILT and E-learning

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