I was hired as a freelance consultant on a project funded by MENTOR to design and develop a self-paced module that their volunteers would take prior to attending a series of in-person trainings. This short module would explore some of the key concepts from the in-person training and serve as an orientation for it. The full in-person training was already developed and that consultant provided the talking points that served as the basis for the e-learning module. My role was to convert the brief talking points into a storyboard and then a 20-minute module in Articulate Storyline.


To start the design process, I reviewed all the material that had been developed for the in-person training including facilitator guides, slide decks, and handouts. The designer for that training was also able to provide a bare-bones outline of the content that should be covered in the orientation module. I read through the outline, rearranging content to improve the flow, noting any areas where the information was unclear or missing, and identifying opportunities for creative ways to cover the material.

I organized my approach to the content into the client’s preferred storyboard template that includes the narration script, on-screen text, interactive instructions, and a rough mockup of the slide layouts. I ensured the visual mockup included the funder’s branding requirements such as font and colors and a selection of stock images that matched the tone and content of the slides. The client, funder, and I conducted two rounds of revisions to make sure the module covered everything we needed it to in a way that made sense.

Once MENTOR approved the final storyboard, the client sent the narration out to be recorded and I began converting the storyboard into an Articulate Storyline module. MENTOR uses a standard template for their e-learning modules so most of the initial development was straightforward to slot in the new text and images into the animated or interactive slides, as appropriate.

As with most projects, sometimes the proposed animation or interactions don’t work as expected in Storyline. I developed an alternative that did work within the constraints of the tool and explained the deviation to the client for approval. Other slides changed from the storyboard to the final project after either the client or the funder realized they didn’t like the layout or functionality once they saw it full-size during the two rounds of feedback reviews. In the final round of feedback, MENTOR requested the addition of a custom progress bar to track learner progress. I finalized the module by creating and syncing closed captions, adding alt text to the images for accessibility, and setting the reporting and tracking to work within their LMS.


Click the button below to view a short demo of this module (full module available upon request). This demo contains the player navigation orientation and the first content section. The conclusion slide has been moved to indicate the end of the demo.