3 Replies
Nancy Woinoski

Wireframes were originally used in 3-d digital modeling to show the outline and connection points of the 3-d image before rendering the image - which could take hours.

The term was adopted by web designers to show the layout and structure of a website before all the content was added.

So I guess you could use a wireframe in elearning to show the basic screen layout and navigation paths for a course if you are designing a complex course with a lot of branching and interactions but I don't think this is really necessary in most cases.

The storyboard is a term taken from the film industry.  A storyboard is a  visual depiction of the scenes, dialog, action in a sequential order. So in elearning this is where we show what content will be on each screen, any dialog, narration, or interactivity.

Where is really starts to get confusing is some people in elearning use the term wireframe and storyboard interchangeably.

Sean Speake

For me they represent two different things.

As Nancy pointed out, you can use a wireframe to show layout and structure of a course, sans-content. I tend to use this approach more when we're looking at non-linear or branching learning.

A storyboard could include those elements, but generally also includes course content, but is focused more on the slide/scene level.

Holly MacDonald

I'd add at a wireframe stage - I show the hierarchy of the course/module (mindmap or org chart in ppt) and the proposed screen types/activities. 

That gives the high level overview and direction of the module. It helps me see the pace or cadence of the course and helps the client see the "big picture", including sequencing and overall level of activity.