Storyboard your way to success!

Instructional designers drawing a storyboard for elearning

Storyboarding is such an important step when creating your learning course. It ensures that you have an end goal and a path to get there.

Using a storyboard helps to kick start your design process. It allows you to align and organise your thoughts as well as solidifying your learning content. Doing a storyboard makes it easier to share your ideas, and share it with experts to ensure your content is correct.

Whilst storyboarding may take time, it is better to check the validity of your ideas before you put your course together. There are certain elements which can make the storyboarding process streamlined and successful. As well as having organised learning content, it’s important that you also organise your storyboard.

Organisation is key!

Every successful online course has one thing in common: a solid foundation. If you don’t have a stable structure in place when you begin creating your eLearning deliverables, every aspect of your eLearning course will suffer as a result.

Christopher Pappas, eLearning Industry


Objectives – these are what most people layout before meetings, lessons and presentations. They help us to understand why we are here and the things we are going to accomplish. Objectives are equally as important for your learning course.

For learners, objectives help them to understand what they should be achieving at the end of their learning session. They give learners a path to follow and a clear goal. Additionally, objectives highlight to your learning experts and managers that there is clear reasoning for the course.

It is important to identify your objectives at the beginning of the storyboard process. By doing this there is always a reminder of the goals whilst developing the rest of your course. These objectives ensure experts are aware of how learners will achieve targets, and can ensure further learning remains on topic.


What is an elearning course without media? One of the aims of elearning is to reduce the costs of classroom based learning. It is also used as a way to engage learners more and to help them retain information efficiently. Media is an important part of this process, it makes learning more engaging and relatable.

Media can come in different forms; text, audio and visuals – including video. It is important to highlight the specific media you want to include in your course, and why. Ensure you point out why you think each piece of media is going to be delivered that way. This way, experts can deliberate on whether it is the best way to teach learners that specific lesson. For some areas of learning, it may be more beneficial to have a video over audio, for example.

Media works well as it engages with learners. It immerses them into scenarios, and can give them a glimpse of what’s to come on the job. One reason to use videos, is that they can be paused, giving learners time to digest the content before resuming – ensure you highlight this within your storyboard.


Interactivity can really boost your course. It can immerse learners, and really involve them in the scenario. These interactive elements give learners the chance to experience things they may not be able to through your usual training materials.

It is important to highlight interactivity within your storyboard. You should describe what your interactive assets will do, and why. Again, it is all about explaining to the expert why this is the best way for your learners to achieve their goals.

Speaking of experts, those overseeing the user experience have a role in this. It is important that you show that interactivity does not interfere with the user experience. Your learning should remain just as easy and simple to use. It is particularly important that you do not hinder the learning journey, if anything you make it easier.

Decision making

Decision based learning is starting to become the norm within learning and development. It allows learners to make critical, realistic decisions within their learning. This enables you to test learners’ knowledge, and for them to see how their decisions affect their work.

Again, it is vital to highlight when learners will come across challenges like these. You need to ensure they are being tested at the right time during the course, and whether it is relevant. Without this you may be putting unnecessary pressure onto your learners.

Additionally, adding too many assets like decision points, interactivity and media may make the course feel crowded. Laying out all of your assets onto your storyboard may highlight that you could be pulling the learner away from the content itself, just to make it more engaging.

It’s important to engage, but more important to ensure the end goal is achieved.

Can you storyboard your way to success?

Storyboards help to ensure that your content is goal driven and focused. You are able to efficiently provide reasoning and detail about your learning to subject matter experts and managers. This will guarantee that your content is learner focused. Once you have mastered your first storyboard, the rest will be straightforward. 

If you want a successful learning course, and learners reaching goals, then this is the way to achieve it!

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