Designing Predicaments Step 6: the right reason

Today in our series about elearning scenarios, we look at the reason why the right choice is the right choice. You need to define that in Step 1, and be aware of it throughout. It’s important that it’s not just applicable in this situation but in a range of situations – in other words, it’s a principle.

In the last video our character was in a predicament which we’d built, and we’d decided what the best choice was.

Before we look at the other choices, it’s important to be sure about the reasons for that being the best choice, and how we make the link to other work situations.

So this is Step 6

In instructional design there’s a distinction between a procedure and a principle. A procedure is a series of steps which, followed correctly, give the right result. Something like ‘How to create a new document in Word and save it in a folder’ or ‘How to set a central heating timer to come on twice a day’. You either do it right or do it wrong.

A principle involves judgement. It’s a statement that a certain type of action will usually lead to desirable results, but you have to decide whether it applies in this situation and how you would apply it.

There’s usually no point in writing scenario-based learning about procedures, unless you want to focus on speed of decisionmaking. You’d be better creating a job aid.

So what principle are we getting at here? That is also something you will have set down in Step 1 under ‘because …’

It might be a principle that your sponsor gives you in words – for example a company’s model of customer service. Or it might be something you’ve elicited from a subject expert – a gut feeling or rule of thumb that you’ve put into words. The point here is that you have to know what it is, and that it could apply to more than one situation.

In our case it’s the principle that feedback on performance should always be given in private, to allow the recipient to digest it, question it and make decisions based on it. Positive feedback is a different thing from public recognition.

When you’re building the scenario you can test their understanding of this in the debrief stage.

Working Out Loud update

I’m now feeling quite comfortable with Videoscribe, and have used it on the Action Map page of this site too. In that case I didn’t have a voiceover.  I’ve learned how to erase parts of the screen, and remove objects without the ‘eraser hand’ too.  My next learning task will be creating more of my own graphics in Illustrator and formatting them in SVG in such a way they’re not too detailed for Videoscribe.

It’s still taking me at least half  to three quarters a day to write each script, record the voiceover and get the Videoscribe made and uploaded. So that’s an issue but one I’m happy to live with for now while I do have the time, and I hope I’ll get quicker as time goes on.


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