eLearning Interactions: Comic Strip Panels

Comic strips tell a story in a linear timeline that read from left to right. Anyone who opened a newspaper as a kid, read comic books or graphic novels, or has ever seen a panel meme is familiar with the style of storytelling.

One obstacle in eLearning is that our participants cannot tell us a story. An option is to let them free-type a story, but the authoring tools with which I am familiar do not give intelligent feedback on free-type text. This gives eLearning designers and opportunity to get creative when they have an objective that is well severed by storytelling. One option is to use comic strip panels to arrange a story using the drag and drop functionality in your authoring tool.

Below is a basic wireframe of what this interaction can look like. In this interaction, each indiviudal panel is available to be clicked and draggeed to the empty boxes.  You can make this more visually interesting by making the panels a series of frames hung on a wall,  televisions, or anything that is relevant to your topic.

ComicBookPanel

I typically design this to have incorrect answers bounce out so that there is no way to get this interaction incorrect. That way, the only feedback is positive, and they get as many chances to arrange this correctly as they need. Once the panel is put together in the correct order, the feedback is populated to explain why this is the correct order.

What do you think about comic strip panel interactions? What application do you see for this type of interaction? Let’s chat about that any anything else on your mind about learning and development in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “eLearning Interactions: Comic Strip Panels

  1. Another awesome article, Heather!
    What type of software do you use to do the “bounce back”? I have been trying to figure out how to do it easily in power point.

    • Thanks, Jace. We typically work in Articulate Storyline. You could make this work in Captivate as well or with any HTML5 editor. I am not familiar with a way to make this work in PowerPoint. Do you have access to any authoring software? If you are developing eLearning, it may be worth the purchase.

    • I am glad you like it, Maureen. The feedback, as usual, is where the magic happens. They are given the opportunity to fail, work to make it correct, and then learn from the feedback why that is the correct order.

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