Tag Archives: Storyboarding

Storyboarding and Structure – Key for Video Creation

23 Apr

Recently I’ve been reading Lee LeFever’s excellent The Art of Explanation. I’ve always been an admirer of Lee’s Common Craft videos and his book superbly explains the process of how Common Craft videos are made.

For me, perhaps the most interesting aspect of Common Craft’s video making process is the storyboarding. Lee explains that there is a common story arc based on three basic elements:

1. A character wants or needs something.
2. He or she despairs without it, and must overcome a hurdle to get it.
3. He or she is eventually successful.

This framework for storytelling mirrors the structure I try to follow when storyboarding my own Common Craft type videos.

Over the last year or so, I’ve been creating so-called “John and George” videos.


John is your typical worker, frustrated with the challenges of modern-day work and new technology. George is John’s co-worker, who is always around to help (think on-the-job, informal learning).

In a typical video, John finds himself with a problem and seeks George’s advice.

For example:



The video always ends with a successful outcome. For example:


So far, I’ve created eight John and George videos and the feedback has been positive.

Mooting Moodle for All

28 Aug

Last week I had a really interesting meeting about creating a course in Moodle. Most of the material that I create, whether it be quick reference cards or videos, ends up on the organization’s intranet site, so using Moodle is new to me.

Perhaps the most striking thing about Moodle is how user-friendly setting-up a course seems to be. Navigating around is a breeze, while uploading files is simple. The only real stumbling block for me is the creation of quizzes. The design for this feature seems a little clunky and difficult to follow. However, with some trial and error I’m sure it will begin to make more sense.

Talking about trial and error, I’m beginning to storyboard the course that I will end up on Moodle. Hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll be able to share some tips and tricks about my experience with using Moodle. In the meantime, I’ll definitely moot Moodle for all.

The role of a SME and storyboards

10 Jan

Perhaps the most crucial aspect of any learning project is the relationship between the SME and the instructional designer. And perhaps, for an e-learning type project anyway, the most crucial document that shapes the relationship between the SME and the instructional designer is the storyboard.

The storyboard is usually created by an instructional designer after initial discussions with the SME. The document is then given to a SME for review.

But what should a SME be looking for when reviewing a storyboard?

As an instructional designer, I am looking for feedback on two key areas:

  • Content – is all the content there, make sense,  consistent as well as accurate?
  • Learner reaction to material – does the instructional design relate to the experience/expectations of the learner?  

Here are some further tips on reviewing a storyboard: