Storyboard your Facilitator Guides
Most of us think nothing of creating a storyboard to organize video or interactive media sequences graphically. We might even use cue cards with words written on them to help actors and facilitators remember what to say. However, when it comes to instructor-led classroom training, we barely manage to hand off a deck of PowerPoint slides. We might create a handout from the slide deck with a few notes; we might even go crazy and write down a few key points, but we rarely consider taking the time to storyboard and script classroom training.
I suggest it’s time to change that way of thinking. The same painstaking preparation that goes into creating eLearning will help ensure the same two-part goal for any training session: to provide a consistent delivery to achieve a specific learning outcome. Here are two simple steps you can take to apply your eLearning storyboarding skills to ILT.
Making a facilitator guide visual involves more than bringing the slide images into Word. Convey what you expect the facilitator to do visually, by adding icons. Icons communicate expected facilitator actions more quickly than words, and they take up less room. Icons also draw the eye in a way that words on a page do not, serving as a roadmap as the facilitator moves through the delivery of a lesson. How the icons look is up to you (and the subject of several more blog posts.) The point is that a set of symbols used consistently will convey your directions more efficiently and effectively than words alone.
Write a script for the facilitator. Assume nothing. I know that facilitators may express dismay at being presented with a script, but said plainly, the only way to ensure consistency across all your content is with a script. Moreover, a script frees the trainer to focus on delivery and interpersonal dynamics because they do not have to think about what they are going to say next. During a live session, your facilitator’s delivery skills are every bit as essential to the learning process as the words are.
There’s one last thing to say right now.
Yes, you do have the right to visually cue and script the facilitator.
Think about this for a moment: You are about to shoot a three-minute video, but you didn’t build a set because you didn’t want to insult the experienced producer, and you didn’t write a script because you know the actor has played this part before. You wouldn’t do this. How is classroom training any different? Your responsibilities are the same.