Notes on Instructional Design: Storyboarding

“Notes on…” is a series, based on notes I took during courses I completed.
Each post highlights a key takeaway I took from the course, along with my own notes.


key Takeaway


“Where to start?” Whether it’s a home DIY project or a project at work, it’s always crucial to figure out where to begin. When training or designing educational resources, doing a needs analysis is absolutely imperative for the success of the instructional material. I also appreciate the various ways that you can storyboard - text-based, visual-type, or rapid prototype. This allows for approaching it in a way that matches you or your team’s preference.


Overview of Storyboarding

What is a storyboard?

Includes text, visuals, and audio for every screen of a course

Storyboard = Basic Game Plan
Project title, screen information, on-screen graphics and text, audio information, navigation indications

Benefits of Storyboarding

  • Gets everyone on the same page - what content will be developed

  • Mutual agreement with members of your team

  • Invites collaboration

  • Re-think course design: structure and flow - why are you designing it this way?

  • May save time and money

Core concepts of storyboarding

  1. There are many ways to storyboard

    1. Text-based: writing about what learner will see/hear

    2. Visual-type: Screenshot of what the learner will see

    3. Rapid prototype: Building and publishing a rough deck

  2. Build your storyboard according to those reviewing it

    1. Know what your reviewer wants

  3. Be aware of the gap between storyboard and finished course

  4. Give just enough detail

    1. Don’t overdo it on detail; indicate what the course will look like

Understanding when to start

  • Analysis: Needs analysis - what issue or problems are we trying to address with this training? What’s the best way to address that issue? What do we want them to do after the course is done? (learning objectives)

  • Content Development: Culling and reworking existing content; fill in gaps; relevant activities

  • Storyboarding: Craft the course

Text-Based Storyboarding

Understanding text-based storyboards

Usually built in Microsoft Word

Columns for audio, on-screen text, on-screen graphics, graphic notes & navigation, reviewer comments

Use this when you have a graphics person creating them or when using an already approved template

Storyboarding an opening slide

Always smart to title each slide - and number i.e. 1/42 slides