How much direction does a developer need to build a module?

If you are working on content that is dense heavy, policy/implementation related, and long (ex. 40 minute module), as a Storyline Developer, how much detail would you prefer to be given to work from?

Options could include from the simple to the detailed, including: 1) just the script, 2) a high-level design (script broken into what appears on each screen & high level verbal concept ideas for design), 3) storyboard (same as previous but with images instead of/in addition to verbal, or 4) instructional design map (turnkey details on how to build each layer, step-by-step)?

3 Replies
Daniel Sposato (Philly)

Being more of a interactive designer than instructional, I'd prefer option 2 and 3. But I don't think I'd like 4 as much as it sounds like most of the creativity would be taken away from me. It sounds like more of a "do as it says" rather than "do something like this".

I like to have as much information as possible, of course, as it's going to help the project to better accomplish what it's intended to do. But having the flexibility to implement your creative ways of teaching that information is what is going to drive the designer to put more effort into the production of the course. And I've found that even after a bad critique of a course that I was given the freedom to put my ideas into, as opposed to a step-by-step course, the final result pretty much always turned out a better product in the end.

Jason Reed

Option number three has been the best solution in my experience. The storyboards should contain everything you need to know to build the course. Of course, there will need to be some collaboration and revisions, but like Daniel suggested, you want to leave some wiggle room as to how exactly the developer implements your designs.

Whenever I've developed storyboards, I try to define what each slide will look like and what you might see on screen. I'll also indicate where I'd like interactivity, but without being too prescriptive. For example, you can do a drag and drop in so many different ways.

It's about finding a balance between letting them know what you want and allowing them some creative freedom in execution.