What are prototypes?
Prototypes are functional, interactive sketches that help you design meaningful learning experiences.
Why bother with prototypes?
Prototypes help instructional designers focus on the learner experience rather than get bogged down in content details. Prototyping can answer questions such as:
- What behaviors are most important?
- Are the prototyped activities effective at building the required skills?
- Are the activities motivating?
In contrast, traditional storyboards are highly detailed and focus on content issues such as:
- Are all topics covered?
- Is the wording correct?
- Are styles and graphics attractive?
Won’t prototyping slow me down and increase my costs?
No, for two reasons:
- Prototypes are created and evaluated early in the design process. By obtaining feedback when it’s easy to make adjustments, prototyping means less rework in the production phase.
- By taking a learner-centric approach to design, you’ll find that much of the content you might normally place in a course can be provided in a simpler format outside the elearning, such as in a job aid or reference document. Here’s a great job aid from Cathy Moore to help you decide when elearning is appropriate.