Notes while developing eLearing storyboard

After a thorough needs analysis and design document is approved, the development of scripts is the first step in the creation of programmer ready materials, called PRMs. The script or storyboard is simply a screen-by-screen description of what students will see, hear, and do when running the program. Once the designer completes the script, it becomes the guidebook for all other team members: artists, audio/video producers, and programmers.

Storyboarding process:

1. Organize all information and media elements
2. Review rationale for materials choice
3. Produce flowchart or screen-by-screen outline
4. Write preliminary text
5. Produce initial text
6. Check the fit of overlaying displays and interactive elements
7. Check content elements for fit and appropriate in the given context
8. Build information linkages
9. Review flowcharts and storyboards

Regardless of the format chosen, every script or storyboard has the following eight major elements:

Project Information includes the name of the client, curriculum title,
course title, date, draft or version number, and script page number.

Screen Label indicates which screen of the program is being described.
Sometimes screens are called frames or events. These screen labels are
generally coded with both a lesson number and screen number. For example,
Screen 03-0090 refers to lesson 3, screen 9. The extra zero at the end of
the screen counter leaves room to fit additional screens into the script in
the future. If you wanted to add a new screen in lesson 6, between the
existing screen 12 and 13, the revised script would reference the new screen
as "06-0125." While this labeling system might seem arcane at first glance,
it can save a lot of time and energy later. Since artists name graphical
images using these numerical screen labels as file names, this system avoids
the need to renumber all the screens in the script whenever a new page is

Screen type.

Items Naming You should give name unique to every item in the screen that will be used latter by the development team to avoid the integration errors that face any course in the integration phase.

Audio/narration is specified in the script if the technology used supports it. Typically an audio voice over (sometimes labeled VO in the script) of the narrator is used. Sometimes the audio segment of a script specifies "Play dramatic music," "Buzzer sound on incorrect answer," or some other sound effect.

Video clips, if used, are described in the script, giving both camera direction and writing out the actual dialogue for on-screen actors. Descriptive notes to the director are included, such as "executive at her desk," "prestigious environment," or "slow zoom as she reaches her conclusion."

Animations Requires a complete animation storyboard. Specify if 2D or 3D animations are required. Generally 3D animation is more expensive to create than 2D but not always. An animation storyboard requires the starting frame of the scene, key frames depicting any changes to objects (size, shape, color, location, path, etc), and the final frame. It is difficult to prescribe how many key frames are required, but the rule of thumb is to create at least one key frame for each major change in state/position. The animation storyboard does not have to be a work of art, and could consist of simple hand drawn (scanned images inserted into the document) or electronic sketches. Stick figures are acceptable in the storyboard, as long as the animator knows what the characters should look like.

Graphics are provided in the script as a verbal description of what should appear on screen, or a sketch. The purpose it to help both the reviewer (client or subject matter expert) and the artist who must create the final images, to visualize what the designer has in mind. Descriptions might be "Show group of business people around a conference table, gender balanced and multi-culturally diverse" or more vague like "Computer on desk." General descriptions enable artists to apply their own creativity and resources. At the same time, given only a loose interpretation, the final graphic the artist creates may not match what the designer had in mind.

On-screen text (Course Name - Chapter Name - Screen Name - Content) section of the script describes which words will appear on the screen. In many Web-based training programs that can not support audio, text is the primary learning media, thus this section of each script page may be quite long. In other programs where audio narration is the primary instructional media, the text is used to reinforce the audio. In these cases, the text is likely to appear as brief bullet points or short statements. Font and color information should be included on an exception basis only as the project Style Guide should contain style descriptions for the different text types. It is highly recommended to use a file naming convention that will help relate media files to their parent screen. The naming convention could indicate the type of media object and its sequence in the screen.

Navigation and interactivity describes the action items of the program - - what can the student do on this screen, and what will happen next. Standard navigation options include phrases such as "Next button moves to next screen in sequence" and "Menu button jumps back to Main Menu." These types of options that are available from every single screen often are excluded from the description. Once noted on the first script page, navigation is assumed to be constant. Other types of interactivity might be "Answer A: Play buzzer sound and display in feedback window, 'That's incorrect. Try again.'" Or even directions related to the theme or metaphor, "Clicking elevator doors causes doors to open, followed by interior elevator scene, and movement to fifth floor (lesson five)."

Notes is the final section in a script that provides an area for any additional comments that do not fit easily into one of the above categories. This informal area allows the designer to communicate directly to an artist or programmer. Comments might be: "The corporate culture is very Generation X. Let's make this opening screen colorful and extreme. Feel free to get creative!" or "This question segment needs to be tracked for final report purposes. We need to track specific answers in addition to correct/incorrect information."
Notes while developing SB:

• Storyboard should be clear to any reader where one screen ends and the next screen begins, and anyone should be able to grasp exactly what will happen on that screen.

• The storyboard should in great detail describe each and every element required for the learning object. This includes menu, glossary items, help screens, the individual screens in a lesson, In fact absolutely everything required to create an individual screen.

• A complex screen may require more than one storyboard page.

Just as with the design document, once all revisions are made to the script, the client needs to officially approve it. This approval is critical since even small revisions to wording in audio narration or video segments will require the re-hiring and scheduling of actors and voice talent, additional time in a studio or recording booth, and the digitizing and editing of sequences. Whoever has final approval rights of the scripts needs to know that they have to be perfect, before production begins. An official sign-off memo makes this point explicit.


stev4n said...

3d scanning do you use to create the 3d animations

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