I ask 'What would you do?' questions - are those scenarios?
‘What would you do?’ – it’s a small point but makes a big psychological difference as it places you outside the story. We often say we would do something in a situation knowing full well that we probably wouldn’t. With a scenario we’re looking for the engagement of the learner’s thoughts and emotions so that a response will be more genuine. So we don’t want the distance of ‘this isn’t me but if it was, here’s what I think I’d do’
Do you have a step by step guide to how to build a scenario?
Yes! There are two actually. The beginner's level is the Designing Predicaments Workbook - you'll see links to it elsewhere on the page. And there's a series of videos to go with it.
I'd like to do a scenario but my manager doesn't get it.
Your manager may be worried that it's over-complicating things to make a scenario. They may be right. If the task you're training for doesn't involve judgements and decisions - or is just knowledge not a task - forget it. But if people have to make judgements based on a principle at work, they need practice to get it right and learn from mistakes. That's what scenarios are for - they're worth the effort because they work! More reasons here.
Nobody seems to understand what I'm trying to do. How can I quickly create a working 'scratch' version of my scenario?
Here's a free tool you can use to build your scenario and instantly create a working prototype: Twine.
I want to write a scenario that I think will get complex. How do I plan it?
There are two ways - plan it top down, from flowchart to actual words. That's the best way. But it's also possible to write it 'bottom-up' in other words create the story and let it unfold as you go. I've done both and both can work. More about the methods here.
How should I close a scenario so the learning points are clear?
Years ago, a Tom Kuhlmann post, lost now, stuck in my mind. It pictured a learner groaning “Please don’t give me a scenario – just tell me what I need to know and let me get back to work!” Does that give you a clue? Read more here