From plain text to an engaging learning experience: Instructional design at work

Instructional design comprises a complex mix of elements, and refers to the way that the curriculum is communicated to the user through games, activities, assessments and much more.

Here is a quick look at a project we worked on recently at Hornbill FX – transforming an ordinary book into a highly engaging personality development learning program using Instructional Design methodologies. 

Input Analysis and Planning

The source content shared for the project was simple text – and a LOT of it – shared by the author via eBook. To convert this into an interesting game-based learning structure, it needed to be split into different sections.

Here’s a sample of how chapter one was split up into bite-sized modules. As the input content is text only, we spent time on planning which sections of the content would benefit from video, animation and interactive scenarios in each chapter.


Graphical treatment

While the structure of the content was being put in place, the graphical treatment of the characters and elements required was developed in parallel. Design aesthetic depends heavily on the nature of the learning modules, the content being presented and the audience being targeted.

In this case, since the content is based on a book, the graphical design reflects the Shakespearean aphorism, “All the world’s a stage and [we] are all merely players’. The designs use masks as a major element throughout the course. This helps users pick the right attitude and mindset that matches their emotions.


Storyboarding and Planning for Interactivity

The planned presentation of the content would allow learners to choose their own path and make their own choices through the program. This happens through interactive scenarios with built-in branches. 

Each decision made by the learner leads to a different path. These paths will further engage the learners with short animated sequences, a relevant storyline, and role-based interactive content in order to, ultimately, deliver the desired learning outcome. 



With the storyboards for the learning content in place, this outline developed through instructional design techniques is then ready for the implementation process to begin.

Converting text-based curricula into interactive, engaging learning modules, structured logically, and presented with appealing and communicative graphical elements, is essential for those who wish to fully harness the power of e-learning and deliver the best possible digital learning experience to their users. 

At Hornbill, we understand that instructional design can make or break your e-learning experience. Our team of instructional design specialists, graphic designers, animators and content specialists interact extensively with your team to develop the right approach to take your learning content from boring to immersive. For more information, do contact us for a consultation today.