Member Login

The Power of Storyboarding


Unlock the Episode: Listen and Download the Free MP3 from My Podcast Today!



  • Storyboards plot out e-learning course structure and flow, helping with media selection and content inclusion.
  • Interactive courses are the focus, utilizing various techniques and media, including pre-existing materials.
  • The provided storyboarding checklist helps organize course content.
  • Each page of the course has its own individual storyboard.
  • Consider course objectives, syllabus link, and module duration for student engagement.
  • Create assessment criteria and incorporate design elements like colors and text attributions.
  • Select the authoring tool and learning management system (e.g., Canvas, DTL, Moodle, Google Classroom).
  • Use a variety of interactive content or media (3-5 forms) on each page.
  • Structure content within lessons as a sequence of slides, including learning objectives, introduction, content, and summary.
  • Use different techniques to present content, such as storytelling, scenario-based approaches, and demonstrations.
  • Include examples of inductive and deductive approaches and integrate different media for engagement.
  • Use clear and inclusive language with bulleted lists and active voice.
  • Utilize graphics (illustrations, diagrams, icons) to complement the text and use digitized photographs for realism.
  • Keep audio short and complementary to visuals, avoiding redundancy and extraneous audio.
  • Accompany videos with comments and avoid using videos with only a speaking teacher. 




Hello, Crystal Harper here from eteach online. My mission is to help other teachers who are wishing to transition into elearning learn the proper skills to design an effective and engaging elearning course from scratch.

Storyboards plot out elearning course content structure and overall flow of the course. Building a storyboard is great practice when determining what media to utilize in your course as it gives you the opportunity to think about how and where elements will fit into the course. It will also help you with determining whether you have considered all the necessary content to include in your course. In order for content to be presented effectively, it's essential for it to be accurately prepared instructional techniques need to be developed creatively through an engaging and motivating learning experience. Content can consist of many different elements ranging from documents and presentations to interactive sending simulations and job aids. This video will mainly focus on the development of interactive courses, which is the most common form of developing elearning content. interactive content allows for teachers to use a variety of techniques and media, it's very likely that most of the content for your course you're creating is already available. Some examples of already made content may include user manuals, classroom course handouts, lectures, slideshow presentations, documented case studies, training materials, reference materials, and illustrative materials such as photographs, images, graphs, and tables. It's important to note that already made materials must be carefully designed and structured in alignment with instructional support in order to determine how learners can function throughout the course. So today, what we're going to be doing is going over a storyboarding checklist that I created. The storyboarding checklists that I will provide you is a guide, depending on the online course that you're creating, some of the topics might not be applicable for your course. But the storyboarding checklist will be really helpful for you and organizing all the content for your online course. And then I will also be going over a sample storyboard that I created myself so that you can see a real visual representation of what a storyboard actually looks like. Okay, so here we go. Right here is the storyboarding checklist that you can also download. If you look in the description of this video, I will give you access to download this checklist for free. Also, these are some sample storyboards that I created myself that will go along as we go through this checklist, so you can get a better visual representation of what a storyboard actually looks like. Okay, so first are the basic elements, you need a project title and individual page title. So that goes right here, project title, and the lesson title, and right here is the actual page title, you also need to have the text that will be presented on a page to display. So right here under script is all of the text that will be on the page. I also want to mention this too, that every single page that you will be putting onto your core into your course, is going to have an individual storyboard. So every page is going to have an outline just like this. Next is the graphics such as images that will be utilized in any background image and the overall layout of the content. So right here is where you list the graphics. You also need to include video, media or description and have a link to the source of the video. So right here are some YouTube videos that are going to be included in this course. Next is the audio transcript, such as voiceover narration, and there is no audio transcript for this page, so it is not applicable. And next is navigation information, such as links that will be included in the page being described and where they will take the learner. And right here is where you include the links. Each page or slide of planned elearning content is represented in the storyboard. You also might want to consider including a syllabus link on the storyboard so that your students can easily refer back to the syllabus at any moment. This is just a reminder saying to know your course goal. Always keep that in mind as you're creating your storyboard. It's a good idea to keep about three to four objectives per module. Actually, for example, in this module, there is only one terminal objective but two enabling objectives. This is a good thing to keep in mind. Because when students are going through an online course, if one module takes them forever to get through, they feel like they're not really accomplishing anything. So it's just a good idea to keep in mind to only have about one lesson per module, kind of like each module they should be able to get through in about a week, so they feel like they're actually progressing through the course. Some of these are also just some reminders, creating assessment criteria that need to be included in the storyboard that you write that you create for your assessment. The storyboard is also

where you're going to be showing your design elements, such as your background color, your color schemes, and then your text attributions as well. It's also important that you've already selected your authoring tool, your learning management system, the more popular ones I would say, are canvas, DTL, or Moodle. And I know a lot of teachers right now are using Google Classroom.

It's also important to keep in mind to use a variety, at least three to five forms of interactive content, or media on each page on each storyboard that you're creating. But there's also exceptions, of course, which determine the lessons content sequence content within lessons are structured into a sequence of slides corresponding to the screens of the final interactive lesson. So this is a great and very common way to lay out your pages. The first page will be learning objectives. And then the next two to three screens will be the introduction. And the content can go anywhere from four to 25. Screens. 25 is kind of a lot. But the content usually is, I would say closer maybe to four to 10 pages, and then the last page will be your summary screen. Okay, so you need to use at least two different techniques to present content. This includes storytelling scenario based approaches, a toolkit approach and demonstration practice method. So just be sure to keep that in mind when you're creating your modules, that you include some of these techniques. As you're going through the course. These techniques really help with keeping your students engaged, so it's super important. Also, be sure to include examples in each of the lessons both inductively and deductively. It's also a good idea to integrate different media to present the examples as well. Also, be sure to use diagrams, graphics, and flowcharts. When possible, use lists or tables. These are all just suggestions but great ways to help engage your learners. Next is language style. Be sure that the content within each module is written directly, simply and clearly. avoid jargon. And also be sure to be sensitive to this to your students that are not native English speakers, use personal pronouns and be gender inclusive, use bulleted lists when possible, and an active voice this just really helps with the flow of the course. I don't think it's mentioned here but whitespace is really important. And an online course when there's so much content all mashed together, it kind of overwhelms the students so it's really good to space out. I honestly space sentences One to One to two every sentence I'll make a space and it helps your students read the text easier. Next is graphics. Graphics include illustrations, pictures, diagrams, and icons so the graphics include a variety of different communication functions including decorative representational, mnemonic organizational, relational, transformational and interpretive. Be sure to avoid graphics that may not have real function and complement the information in your text and when using narration present corresponding graphics and spoken words at the same time, use digitized photographs when creating a realistic context. So ensure that diagrams, graphics and screenshots correspond to their descriptions as well. Next is audio. Be sure to keep your audio short and use audio to complement the visual elements. Avoid redundant audio, and also avoid adding extraneous audio such as background music and sounds. It's just unnecessary and distracting. Lastly is video. Be sure that your videos are always accompanied by comments, and also avoid using videos that only show a teacher speaking. Okay, so that's it. I hope you now have a better understanding on how to storyboard your online course. So be sure to download the storyboard checklist so you can reference it whenever you need to. Thank you.


eLearning and Instructional Design for Beginners Community 

  • In-depth courses & training
    Access my rapidly growing library, attend monthly live training & accountability support groups
  • Exclusive tools & members-only discounts

    Tools, templates, downloads, checklists and more - plus receive special perks & discounts

  • Supportive community & network
    Feedback and support from fellow instructional designers, career-driven business owners, and experts who will keep you on track

Get Your Software Toolkit for Instructional Designers

Tools & processes that will help you plan, build, and grow your instructional design career and freelance business.

How to Evaluate Your eLearning Course?

How to Plan Your Portfolio?

What are Instructional Videos?

Communication Strategies for Successful eLearning Design