(dup) Scenarios

Woman shopping in 1950s grocery.

You realise you’re in a shop where credit card readers haven’t been invented yet, and you left your purse with Mama. Gosh! Do you
a) ask to open a tab
b) offer to do some dusting in exchange for your groceries
c) scarper?

Most elearning goes info, info, info, info, test.  Then you might get to section 2, which goes info, info, info, info, test.

Scenario-based learning is based on decisions, that lead to other decisions.  Now where have you seen that before? That’s right – life!  Scenarios aim to make the learning as much like life as possible.

A good scenario has the five Cs:

  • a Context that closely resembles the work situation where this skill will be put into practice
  • a Character – in most cases ‘you’
  • a Challenge – a set of choices that are all plausible, all tempting
  • Consequences – instead of the feedback being the Voice of God saying ‘Correct’ or ‘Incorrect’, the feedback shows what happens in the story as a result of your decision
  • Conclusions – a ‘debrief’ stage that explains why the best decisions were the best, and the principles behind them


The result is that the learner doesn’t feel patronised, is more interested and curious and, most important, can relate it to what she does in her job and can transfer it to a new situation.

Let me help you design scenarios
I can help you plan and script a complex branching scenario or a series of shorter, simpler mini-scenarios, in about three hours. The output will be a script you can circulate for approval or take to your elearning producer or developer.


Free elearning scenario template

Just follow Designing Predicaments step by step for a believable, engaging learning scenario.

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