Everything eLearning Pros Need To Know About The Use Of Speculative Scenarios In Corporate eLearning

Everything eLearning Pros Need To Know About The Use Of Speculative Scenarios In Corporate eLearning
Summary: Speculation has a variety of connotations, depending on the industry in question. In this article, I explore how it can be used to open minds and enhance immersion in your eLearning scenarios.

6 Tips To Make The Most Of Speculative Scenarios In Corporate eLearning

Imagination isn’t something generally associated with running a business. Unless you’re in artistic fields, business is considered to be practical, maybe even conservative. But speculation does come into it, and not just in terms of property appreciation. Speculative scenarios can be helpful online training tools. They can take the form of branching scenarios or more straightforward simulations. They exercise corporate learners’ ability to apply theoretical learning in context, enabling them to broaden their thinking and teach them to perform under pressure and respond on their feet. In what other ways can these mental assignments build business? And what are the essential elements that successful speculative scenarios in corporate eLearning should include?

How To Add Speculative Scenarios To Your eLearning Design

1. Self-Reflection And Personal Evaluation

One of the perks of using speculative scenarios in corporate eLearning is that they give corporate learners the chance to reflect and discover something new about themselves. Speculative scenarios enable them to explore new situations and hypotheticals. But you need to give them ample opportunity to evaluate their behaviors, actions, and cognitions. For example, the speculative scenario involves a difficult client who is offering them a subtle bribe. This encourages them to evaluate how they would handle a COI issue on the job, and why they might have that reaction. They’re also able to explore unexpected or unfamiliar challenges to broaden their experiential knowledge. If they ever do face similar problems in the real world, they’re already equipped with the practical know-how they require.

2. Interactivity And Immersion

Simulations can be presented in a variety of ways. You could participate in a role-playing video game scenario where you’re fully immersed in a digital world. Using your chosen avatar, you move through the game acting and reacting to situations as they come up. You could play out the same scenario while wearing Virtual Reality goggles with haptic sensors. Or you could read the simulation in question format and respond with an essay. While each method is viable, interaction assists recall. Opt for a method that engages as many of your corporate learners’ senses as possible. If you can somehow make them smell and taste it, then do so.

3. Hypothetical (But Relevant) Contexts

Even as you develop speculative scenarios in corporate eLearning, use realistic examples. The situation may be hypothetical, but it must still resonate with employees. A first-person fantasy adventure could be interesting, but it’s removed from your corporate scenario. If you really do want to transform employees into elves or knights, at least tangentially relate it. They could – inside the video game – move through a mock-up of your sales floor, waving wands to match a customer to the perfect product. A better scenario would be to have them collecting files or updating computers, all while watching a buzzer. Program activities and tasks they’d encounter on an ordinary workday. Have them simulate asking for a raise or negotiating with a client that’s demanding a discount.

3. Learner-Centered Design

While you probably have all kinds of cool tricks you’d like to try, you’re not developing your own corporate eLearning course. Use employee surveys and questionnaires to see which skills they’d like to acquire or gaps they need to fill. Incorporate their chosen lessons into your online training. For example, if they’re having trouble finding leads, simulate cold calls. Create speculative scenarios where they practice persuading friends, neighbors, or strangers to buy company products. It doesn’t even have to be a sale. Just teach them how to start ‘sales conversations’. They can always refer the lead to a sales team member and let them close. Go extreme by exposing them to hypothetical situations that are more far-fetched. They’ll learn how to work under pressure and the ‘small stuff’ won’t phase them when they venture into the workplace.

4. Detailed eLearning Feedback

Speculative scenarios in corporate eLearning could end multiple ways. As such, it’s a natural fit for a branching scenario or virtual simulation format. Allow corporate learners to repeat their simulation, picking different directions each time and exploring ‘alternate endings’. After each simulation, give the corporate learner a debrief. This lets them see what went right/wrong and how they can work with that. This also gives you the chance to reiterate how the speculative, theoretical online training ties into real-world applications. For example, the activity may have dived into the ‘worst case scenario.’

However, it still revealed a crucial gap the employee needs to work on to improve performance and customer satisfaction. Be sure to offer eLearning feedback during the same session, while they’re still fresh. The exercise should be visually arresting, aurally immersive, and emotionally engaging. Really get them into the story, both for pleasure and for knowledge retention.

5. A Solid Story

It’s not enough just to offer situational phrasing. Build a world with exciting, relatable characters. Corporate learners can pick the one they best identify with. They can also pick job-specific avatars that will offer them customized skills. These skills are applicable in their speculative scenarios in corporate eLearning. Once you select a character and story arc, carry it throughout the online training. Each unit or module can have a separate task. These speculative scenarios can blend together to form a coherent overall story. Corporate learners are likely to recall the narrative sequence, and it can act as a prompter to remember the principles they’re learning.


Speculative scenarios and branched simulations are a good way to teach a variety of corporate skills. It’s a versatile option, and it’s fun too. It’s also a rich source of data for analytics. Just be sure to use this imaginative play in the right way. Apply interactive tools for full engagement and create an immersive online training experience. Use realistic contexts that are in some way tied to the job. Take direction from your corporate learners on the abilities they’d like to acquire. Plot out your simulations in story formats and end each activity with eLearning feedback and a debrief. It corrects errors and plants knowledge deeper in the corporate learners’ minds.

Are you looking for even more ways to make your eLearning course stand out from the crowd, and wondering if AR/VR might be what it needs? Download our free eBook Step Into The Screen: AR/VR Technology's Role In The Future Of eLearning to discover the benefits of using Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies in eLearning, how to integrate AR/VR into eLearning courses and some of the best practices to create online training courses with AR technology.