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.

Elearning scenario examples

Simple scenario

Complex branching

Your scenario questions answered

Here's a regularly updated list of questions and answers about scenarios: Scenarios Q&A

Free elearning scenario template

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

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