Those who design and develop educational applications have undoubtedly come across the term “Storyboard”, a vague and obscure term. So what is a Storyboard?

Definition – Purpose

The development phase of an eLearning course involves many complex steps and activities to ensure a quality product. Storyboard is the graphic representation of drawings or pictures in series, with the ultimate goal of visualizing an e-learning course, video, game, etc. It is used by designers and developers to facilitate collaboration between the different teams of development and especially between the developers and the so-called SMEs.

Subject Matter Experts

SMEs, or Subject Matter Experts, are the ones who will guide the project designers on their own needs and requirements so that the end result is successful and acceptable. Storyboard will bridge the gap between them as they reflect each other’s thoughts while also saving production time as they minimize misinterpretation as SMEs will now have an idea of ​​how the product will be structured, allowing them to intervene before developers reach the development phase. After all, good cooperation between these two groups is essential for the successful creation of the final product.

The stages of creating an educational Storyboard

Having clarified what SME is to make the concept of Storyboard even more comprehensible, reference should be made to the steps followed by various instructional designers in creating a productive Storyboard.

1. Initial meeting with SMEs to identify the primary & secondary goals that are to be achieved by using the product. Investigation of the main needs as well as the objects which are of secondary importance.

2. Recognize learners’ background through research, for example by interviewing them, focus groups, or by reading past research reports. The purpose is to identify their primary experience, their pedagogical background and some social characteristics that need to be respected during the creation in order to identify possible limitations.

3. Gathering all the examination data required. SMEs will help determine when and how users will be tested. At the same time, the frequency and the way in which the information is to be summarized should be clarified and, finally, it should be ensured that the examination and recapitalization data are in line with the learning objectives. A useful template for this process is Bloom’s taxonomy. Finally, all the multimedia that will be integrated into the template and the final product should be collected in this step.

4. After evaluating the above, the design of the product’s Storyboard begins. This can be done on paper, in a document, or in the form of a presentation. In this phase the initial slides – scenes are presented in a simple and easy – to – understand form. At this stage, Storyboard is organized into chapters that better reflect the structure of the lesson. Titles are set on the slides, so that a proper flow when accessing the lesson – application is achieved. It is also necessary to show all the available interactions that the user can perform as well as the options to move from one point to another. The precursors to this phase will determine both the scope and the type of applications required to implement the project.

5. At this point a second contact is made with SMEs in order to present the template so far. The product is evaluated by them in order to investigate whether it is in line with the stated needs and requirements. If it is decided that the product may become quite extensive and time-consuming, the possibilities of breaking it down into smaller digestible parts are explored. This technique is called microlearning. Finally examples that support and reinforce the cognitive assimilation of the learning objectives are also invented in this phase with the help of the SMEs.

6. If the template presented at the previous phase is accepted, the various texts in the template should be scrambled. SME’s are asked to skip unnecessary text or information in order to minimize cognitive overload by reducing its size to what is absolutely necessary, especially if narration is offered to the users.

7. The final Storyboard is ready for review and analysis. If the SMEs are satisfied, the instructional designer / developer can now proceed with the development of the product using the appropriate tools for the project.