American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club, Her and Nebraska have been nominated for 2014 Oscars under the category Original Screenplay. Any guesses on who will be the winner? A lot goes into the screenplay of a movie – we all know that. It does influence the way a movie shapes up.
All elements – dialogues, audio, video, narration, background score – need to be balanced and should work in harmony to give that perfect output.
An eLearning course, though not at the same magnitude as a movie, does demand a good screenplay, also known as storyboard to instructional designers. But do learning and training professionals, who are unfamiliar with eLearning course development, truly realize the work that goes into writing the screenplay for an eLearning course? Trust me, it is as challenging and daunting as writing a screen play for a movie, if not more. A storyboard of an eLearning courses consists of various elements – with each of these elements clearly demanding a different writing approach. Let’s look at what these different elements are and how they need to be approached differently.
An eLearning course could typically consists of
- On Screen Text that requires crisp and powerful writing skills that manages to capture the attention of busy employees.
- Narration that needs an audio script in conversational style that is not too overbearing and is easy on the ear.
- Stories or scenarios that demand creative writing skills requiring a fair amount of imagination but ability to put it in context.
- Technical information that requires complex content needs to be presented in simplified and an engaging manner.
- E-assessment where questions have to be framed to be not too easy yet not too difficult for employees to handle.
Additionally, you may also have videos or animations that require a storyboard within a storyboard. Each of these elements require a different genre of writing and in a literary world, if a person is a fiction writer, he or she sticks to that genre and others might prefer article-writing, commentaries or non-fiction writing. But an instructional designer typically has to don all these caps at the same time to bring out an effective eLearning course. Hats off to the instructional designers in the eLearning world, who handle different genre of writing all at the same time. I guess it is time that one sets up an award for original screenplay/storyboard for eLearning courses too!