Modern Training

How to improve your eLearning storyboard

Posted on: June 3, 2022

If you’re looking to develop an employee training curriculum or any type of digital learning solution, an eLearning storyboard is a great place to start. An eLearning storyboard consists of a document or slide deck laying out the principal information in the course. It can include a visual framework for the text, images and other media.

In a corporate environment, this material is generally created by an instructional designer prior to the development of the eLearning course. It allows L&D to visualize the concept, identify gaps and make changes. If you’re looking to improve an existing storyboard or ensure that your new storyboard hits all the right notes, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. 

Keep it focused

Establish a clear singular learning objective for the storyboard, and ensure that every slide or interaction reinforces that objective. 

For example, rather than creating one course that covers all of your training principles for a retail store, you might break up the training into multiple eLearning courses: one that covers upselling, one that covers customer engagement, one that covers loss prevention, etc. If your existing storyboard covers multiple learning objectives, consider dividing it into more focused lessons. 

Know your audience

If you want to unlock the full benefits of eLearning, you must know how to effectively cater to your audience. What types of devices do they use? What type of course content best fits into their flow of work and resonates with minimal disruption? 

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can tailor your storyboard accordingly. For instance, if you determine that your course should be optimized for mobile devices, this will have a major impact on your optimal dimensions, layouts and the amount of material you can condense into each slide. 

Prototype your storyboard

Don’t just create a rough outline or text document—present it exactly how it will appear to users. This can be done using an eLearning authoring tool, slide show presentation software or UX prototyping software. Only then will the team be able to accurately identify what’s working and what’s missing. 

Anyone reviewing the storyboard should be able to run through the eLearning content as a user would. This is why prototyping software or dedicated storyboard software is often a much better option than a presentation tool like PowerPoint; it better accommodates real-world simulations during the development process. 

Organize information according to priority and complexity

When organizing your slides, consider which concepts are most important for your learners to know right away and prioritize each concept accordingly. Then break those concepts down to introduce the simplest, most fundamental information first. 

The goal is to organize information in a way that supports microlearning, whereby small segments of important information are introduced gradually. Microlearning has been shown to improve learner engagement, knowledge acquisition and retention. 

Make your eLearning project collaborative

Don’t just beta-test your visual storyboards with volunteers or potential users. Feedback should be solicited from other instructional designers, SMEs, graphic designers, supervisors, HR professionals and anyone who will be involved in the training process. How does the layout look? Is the material accurate and easy to understand? Does the eLearning storyboard flow naturally?

People with different expertise will offer specific suggestions for improvement. By incorporating these suggestions as part of your storyboarding process, you can develop a training course that resonates with learners, offers an excellent aesthetic and covers all of the essential information. 

Don’t shy away from eLearning storyboard templates 

It’s important to keep your theme and style consistent throughout each slide, and a visual storyboard template can make this easy if your current storyboard is cluttered or if your design resources are limited.

Premium and free storyboard templates that suit your desired look and feel are easy to find online, or you can also design your own storyboard template and reserve it for all in-house storyboarding projects. 

Include multiple learning and media formats

Don’t let your course be monotonous. Include a rich variety of text, images, video and interactive content like quizzes. Just keep in mind your learners’ needs and preferences, as noted above. 

If your existing storyboard is text-heavy, try mixing it up. Different types of content resonate with different people, and you can solidify concepts more effectively by presenting them in multiple ways. For example, you can use text to explain the principles of customer conflict resolution, but then you can really drive the point home with a video that demonstrates a real-life conflict interaction. 

Don’t let storyboarding become a resource drain

While eLearning storyboards can be huge assets for developing original learning content, they are resource-intensive. First, you have to produce all of the material yourself. And then, once the storyboard is approved, you have to build the actual training course. 

You can eliminate a lot of this hassle with a quality communications and training solution like Axonify, which lets you create, test and revise your learning materials right within the system. You don’t have to imagine how the course will look because your team can actually run through it and determine what needs to be revised. And you don’t have to create all of the material yourself because the Axonify content library includes a wealth of professionally designed off-the-shelf content tailored to a variety of frontline industries in addition to AI-driven tools that can supplement your content authorship. 

Whether you decide to storyboard your online course in-house or use external solutions to help build it out, the important thing is to keep it focused, keep it relevant and keep it engaging. After all, learning is about more than just information—it’s about communicating that information in a way that connects.