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 early in a project, rather than get bogged down in content details.
Prototyping is learner-centric and can answer questions such as:
- What behaviors are most important?
- Are the activities effective at building the required skills?
- Are the activities motivating?
In contrast, traditional storyboards content-centric and answer questions 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.