5 Tips On Creating A Potent Scenario-Based Learning

5 Tips On Creating A Potent Scenario-Based eLearning Course
Summary: Scenario-based learning is a great way to inculcate critical thinking and problem-solving skills in an organization's employees. Both these skills are invaluable in every industry. In this article, we'll discuss how to create eLearning courses that utilize this type of learning.

How To Create Potent Scenario-Based eLearning Course

Critical thinking and on-your-feet problem solving are skills that are required in most organizations, by almost every employee. These skills are best developed by putting employees through real-life scenarios so that they can experience what happens when they are faced with a problem on the job. Scenario-based learning is a principle that can be used in corporate eLearning by focusing more on context than on content, creating complex real-life problems that require an analytical mind, and quick judgment skills to solve. It is understood that people learn best when they apply a skill in scenarios that require it, and that is what scenario-based learning seeks to take advantage of.

When creating a scenario-based eLearning course, one should use scenarios that are non-linear in nature and that the parameters often change depending on the learners’ responses. But before you begin creating such a course, you must make sure that you are properly equipped. Take note of the following points.

  • Development of problem-solving skills should be the top focus of the training.
  • The scenario-based training examples must be able to be simulated in a controlled environment.
  • Learners/employees should at least have basic skills to help them solve the scenarios.
  • The organization must be ready to expend the resources required to create and push a scenario-based approach, i.e. time, budget and effort.
  • The required skills and content must stay relevant long enough for the scenario-based approach to be successful.

Keeping these points in mind, let us now have a look at the tips that will help you create an effective scenario-based eLearning course.

1. Plan An Ending In Advance

There should be a final, preferable outcome of every scenario. Of course, there can be multiple correct endings, but they too, must be planned in advance, and each path thoroughly thought out. Each outcome must match with the learning objectives of the course. An effective way to plan endings is to start with the outcome, and then working your way to the beginning.

2. Determine The Content Mix

How are the scenarios going to be presented in your eLearning course? Well, it is advised that scenarios be made as real as possible, so images, videos, and interactivities are obviously in. You can also include resources such as articles from Wikipedia (particularly when your scenario is based upon a famous individual), forums and social media groups for discussions. Also, eLearning might require to be complemented with good-old traditional classroom training sometimes, and thus a blended-learning model should also be considered to deliver the scenario-based learning.

3. Take Care While Choosing A Topic

If you haven’t worked on scenario-based learning before, you’ll soon find out that creating real or realistic scenarios that play out well in training (eLearning or otherwise), is not an easy task. This sometimes results in the Instructional Designers eLearning professionals going with half-baked scenarios. If you’re going to do that, you might as well refrain from using scenario-based learning at all. Your scenarios must force the employee/learner to employ his/her critical, analytical, judgmental and evaluative powers. They must encourage the employees/learners to think outside the box, and put themselves in the middle of the scenario before taking any action.

4. Storyboard Each Path In A Detailed Manner

Each scenario-based course begins with a problem statement. Finding the solution to the problem is the main motive of a scenario-based course. It is after the problem statement that the course branches into various paths depending upon the choices the learner makes. Make sure you provide a detailed outline of what happens in each phase while storyboarding the course. This way, you can not only track the flow of the course but can also ensure smooth transitions between different scenarios.

5. Take Help Of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) And Other Experienced Professionals

SMEs ensure that the content presented in the course is accurate, relevant, and realistic. SMEs are especially important while designing a scenario-based course, in order for it to be as close to reality as possible, and preferably based upon real occurrences. You could also take the help of experienced professionals like managers, team leaders and other senior members in the organization, as they have experienced many a situation that you can simulate in your course.

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