The origins of storyboarding are within the film industry, where it was popularised by Walt Disney Productions during the early 1930s. A storyboard in this context is a graphic organizer in the form of images displayed in sequence to pre-visualise a motion picture, animation or interactive media sequence.

In learning design, a storyboard is a (usually) graphic way of representing the sequence of outcomes, assessment, activities and resources in a course. It is a means of representing the overall way in which a course is organised and how the different elements are sequenced and fit together.

Consider the following storyboard example which provides an overview of the learning resources and activities for achieving the learning outcomes and the assessment strategy for both formative and summative assessment:

Basic Storyboard Template for Course Design.jpg

In this example, the four columns represent four weeks, with one topic focus per week. During week 1, learners watch a video and read a paper to complete an e-tivity (online activity) and write an essay, which is assessed. The teacher provides formative feedback. In week 2, learners listen to a podcast, read a paper and write a reflective blog post. Other learners comment on this post. In weeks 3-4, learners read more papers, listen to a podcast and watch a video. They might do a group presentation and write an essay. The teacher undertakes a summative assessment.

In practice, storyboards are developed using a variety of tools from flipcharts to web-based technologies.


  • Original version of these materials were developed by Gabi Witthaus and Brenda Padilla for the Storyboard for Storyboarding open course under CC-BY-SA license.