Art of e-learning

Storyboarding OOC Week 3: learning outcomes and assessment


Week 3 of the Storyboarding OOC just ended. It was an interesting one, with an initial debate around the question as to whether learning outcomes are really necessary. There was general agreement that statements of intended learning outcomes are necessary and important for guiding the course design process, and that they also help in managing learners’ expectations. The discussion then focused on writing clear outcome statements, and describing the assessments that were being planned. Several participants shared the links to their storyboards (in Linoit, Popplet and Google Sheets), showing how the learning outcomes are distributed across the timeline of the course, and how they are aligned with any assessment tasks.

Meanwhile, a number of people who joined the OOC late have been catching up on the earlier activities, introducing themselves to everyone (Week 1) and selecting their storyboarding tools (Week 2).

What I am really enjoying about the OOC is the fact that the storyboard provides a visual point of reference for all the activities, as participants focus on a different element of their storyboard each week, gradually building it up in layers. This represents a more realistic use of storyboards, in my view, than when they are simply inserted into a course on learning design as one component of many. In real life, course designers will spend many hours on a storyboard, often spread over many days or weeks, especially if they are creating a new course from scratch. Also, working through the storyboard one layer at a time in the OOC enables course designers to focus on every aspect of course design, from the high-level design with overarching outcomes, and rough outlines of assessment tasks, learning activities and supporting resources, down to more granular descriptions of each of these elements. Course designers can keep returning to the storyboard and adding more detail, until they get to the point where they feel it has served its purpose. It will be interesting to see whether different participants on the OOC have different criteria for considering their storyboards to be complete.

This week we’re focusing on adding in the learning activities to the storyboard – in the first instance, just titles and purpose statements of the learning activities (using Salmon’s five-stage model to guide sequencing decisions), and later adding more detail, such as description of the task, response to other learners and timing. I’ll be back with the next update in a week’s time.