Do storyboards and Moodle mix?

Usually when I develop a course I work directly in Moodle. My new client would prefer that I storyboard the content, as they need to have a number of levels of approval before it is uploaded.

Does anyone here work this way and can you suggest any storyboard templates that might be useful? I'm familiar with the elearning storyboard templates like those on Connie Malamed's site but these are not quite flexible enough to capture all the considerations of course development in Moodle. I'd be really grateful for any ideas about how best to approach this.

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  • Thanks Craig and Gareth for your helpful replies. Craig - yes I think Balsamiq would work well for a wireframe approach. Hope it's easy to use, I've got new-tool learning fatigue at the moment but I will definitely have a go. I will use a test course to develop the content, but I can't hand over work in that format so that's where my problem lies.

    Gareth - you have highlighted part of the issue for me here which is that I think I need to go back to my client and find out more about their first design principles because my job is to put the content together as an engaging course, not to design the overall look and feel of the course. So the kind of storyboarding I am doing is less high level - more about how the content will be delivered through the Moodle activities and resources. I also want some facilitator guidance in there too. If you don't mind mind sharing, Gareth, what is your process for signing off content and 'treatment'? Is this conducted 'old school' by commenting in Word or do you share docs with another programme?

    • I use learning path outlines produced in a Word table (in landscape mode) or on Google docs. There are columns for Activity Type, Description, LOs, Resource Type (SCORM, PDF, discussion etc.), Learning Time and usually a Notes and Comments column. I try to keep things pretty high level so that it can be signed-off without too much navel gazing. Of course where the learning path includes SCORM modules I create a conventional storyboard for those in PowerPoint. Topics are visually separated in the table so that it is easy to locate them. I'm currently writing a series of blogs on learning paths and your question has prompted me to include a Learning Path Design Template.

    • Thanks John, that's fantastic. I look forward to reading your blog.

      I can mock up something now. Looks like we might need to have different storyboards for different phases of the project. Is this how they might look do you think?

      • Prototype/design - to agree overall look and feel/theming, key elements (Balsamiq/Axure)
      • Learning path design - to give a feeling for the flow/process of the course Activity Type, Description, LOs, Resource Type (SCORM, PDF, discussion etc.), Learning Time and Notes and Comments (Word)
      • Activity/resource content - to present edited content that is tied to learning objectives and assessment - sections for: text, suggestions for images/design, links to other activities (eg discussion forum), assignments, instructions for tracking and completion (Word)
      • SCORM modules - screen by screen (powerpoint)

    • Perfect! Basically you are drilling down as you learn more about the content (and the client). But the sooner you get to a prototype in Moodle the better - because that's when the client really understands what the end result will look like. I find that once they see a good prototype clients will let you get on with the work with much less checking.

  • Storyboarding to me is a high-level plan of how the content is going to be organised, with some idea of how this can be achieved through the use of resources - text, simulation, graphics, video, etc deployed at the right time throughout the project to optimise the learning experience.  

    I am used to having a storyboard approved at several levels- the content is often paramount (sometimes leading to delays...) and the SMEs will need to sign that off; the treatment i.e. the quizzes, other interactions can sometimes be questioned if not aligned with the overall design/message.  For example - does there need to be tracking of a quiz? which bits are mandatory and those not? 

    So I suppose what I am saying is that the storyboards I use are focussed on getting the content owners engaged in the design process from the outset.  The developer role is to make this match the brief and make it come alive and engaging.  Hope this is of some use.

  • Hi Jane,

    Why don't you try using something like Balsamiq or Axure to create some clickable wireframes to try
    and emulate Moodle? We did this for a client ad part of a prototype stage and they were very happy with the result.

    Alternatively, why not just develop straight into a 'test' Moodle?

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