Many instructional designers (IDers) have a variety of tools at hand to design and map out the client’s e-learning course for the client’s review, and to provide a detailed roadmap for the team who will develop the course. Most of the IDers I talk with use Microsoft Word to write out a detailed storyboard. Others like to do rapid prototyping by writing up the storyboard, with generic graphical elements, inside PowerPoint itself.
I’ve used both processes as either/or but not together. Recently, I decided to use both processes simultaneously, and I sent out a tweet about it on Twitter. A couple of “tweeples” replied that they were interested in hearing more.
Simultaneous Storyboarding in Word and PowerPoint
The screen shot to the left shows my desktop on my Apple MacBook Pro laptop. I have Office for the Mac. Word is open on the left, and on the right you can see the Thumbnails view in PowerPoint (PPT).
The Word document shows the storyboard template for two screens (click the image to enlarge). The PPT file shows the draft prototype for each screen in the course, and the generic elements (circles, squares, rectangles) I added as placeholders for the actual photos, text, and graphical elements I’ll add later.
I begin by writing the “business story” in Word. As I begin to think in terms of on-screen content and navigation, I use PPT to prototype what I’m thinking in terms of the navigation and content “load” on each screen. I really enjoy this process because PPT helps me to “flesh out” what I write in Word, and make corrections where needed.
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And, in the Comments, please share your storyboard tips and tricks so we all can learn from each other. Thanks!