As Instructional Designers, instead of concentrating more on the content and presentation patterns, it is better that we actually keep ourselves in the end users place and try to understand the gaps in our eLearning course. At the first level, I prepare the storyboard keeping in mind the on-screen text and audio script to explain the on-screen text. At the second level, I look at my storyboard from a learner’s perspective, to identify the gaps in the flow, subject, its explanation, and visualization.
I have given 5 tips that will polish your storyboard, and thus transform it into a more learner friendly course.
Start with a scenario – invariably, we straightaway select a concept, define it, and explain it, stop! Think in this way, ‘Why should the learner know this concept?’ ‘Does he/ she benefit by learning this concept?’ ‘What problem is the learner facing, which will be solved with this eLearning course?’ etc. Based on the answers, create a scenario to begin the course, and give a key message that this eLearning will give the solution. The learner will read the scenario and will get connected to it (as he/she is facing the same problem in the job), and takes up the course to find the solution.
Use an agenda slide – present an overview of all topics dealt with in the course; this can be done with the help of a process diagram or a flowchart with each part and its topics listed below it. As the course progresses, summarize what the learner has learnt (topic covered), and list out what the learner is going to learn (in the next topic). This will guide the learner, as well as build the topics in their cognizance as they complete the course.
Provide examples and non-examples – for every concept that you are teaching, it is best to provide an example, and an example is better understood when you show a non-example. To explain about Aeroplane the example would be a rocket and the non example would be a parachute.
Support the content with visualization – the human brain understands content and saves it in the form of images; so make it a point to support every slide with one or more apt images. You can always ask the SME or your client for real work-related images; many organizations prefer to add such personalized touch to their eLearning courses.
Give scenario-based exercises – instead of posing simple questions, think different, and assess the learner with scenarios that depict real incidents occurring in the work place. Let the learner think about the situations which he or she might come across and then select from a variety of options. Again, working with an SME is key to getting information about such work-related scenarios.
I’m sure these tips will help you in your next web-based training storyboard development. Let me know which tip you liked the most and you are going to use this in your next storyboard? You may also help me by sharing your own ideas of ‘how to keep the learners connected to the online learning’.