7 Unconventional Branching Scenario Ideas For Online Training

How To Creatively Use Branching Scenarios In Online Training

Your branching scenarios for online training may offer real world experience. But are they truly engaging, entertaining, and immersive? The secret to successful branching scenarios is building a connection with your employees. They need to forget about the distractions that abound around them and just focus on the task at hand. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is using the element of surprise. Here are 7 innovative, attention-grabbing ideas for using branching scenarios in online training.

1. The Case Of The Consumer Conundrum

Everybody needs to indulge their curiosity and play the part of detective now and then. It's why mystery movies, games, and books are so popular. You can use this to your advantage by creating a customer persona-inspired scenario. Present employees with multiple customer profiles and then encourage them to match the right product with the right consumer. An incorrect decision leads to a dissatisfied customer or a lost sale, while the right choice helps them achieve their sales goals. Just make sure you precede this with product knowledge online training so that they know the features and specs. Even experienced sales employees need a refresher from time to time.

2. Pick The Right Path… With A Twist

Most branching scenarios deal with decision paths. However, this one has a twist. The entire branching scenario is set in a fictional world. Complete with mythical characters and fantastical challenges. All of the elements present real world situations, skills, and tasks. For example, they must barter with a peddler along the path, which builds their negotiation skills. The paths are literal paths that lead them to various dangers or desired outcomes. This branching scenario idea is great for bored or distracted employees who need more excitement in their professional lives.

3. Use The Tools At Your Disposal

There are actually three approaches to this branching scenario. The first requires employees to find unique items hidden in the image. Much like the hidden object search games that are so popular these days. The second involves objects that are located throughout the branching scenario. For example, they enter a room that contains a variety of tools and they must use them to complete the task. Lastly, you can ask employees to pick-and-choose from different objects that are already in their virtual inventory. Whichever approach you use, the goal is to spark their creative thinking and reasoning skills. They must use the tools at their disposal to solve the problem and tackle the task.

4. Video Vignettes

This is a more interactive and cinematic branching scenario design. It follows the usual branching scenario format. Employees must interact with eLearning characters and make decisions, which lead them down different paths. However, there are brief video clips that bring the action to life. For example, the eLearning character responds to their question via video, or the clip shows them the interior of a room after they choose to open the door.

5. Survival Instinct

Are you looking for ways to take your branching scenario to the extremes? This survival-based branching scenario has a number of variations. Your employees may be stranded on a deserted island. Or they must escape from a maze. The decisions they make bring them one step closer to getting out safely, or being stuck in the situation. They must use all of their skills and knowledge to assess the circumstances and then plan a course of action. As such, this is the ideal approach for skill-based online training. For example, building problem-solving and teamwork abilities.

6. Quiz Show

Who doesn't love a good game show? Instead of the usual decision-path format, turn your branching scenario into a quiz show. Every correct answer unlocks a different route or a unique object they need to complete the task. This is a great way to add more incentive to your online training program, as it combines real world application with game mechanics. Employees must answer the questions to make it to the next level or earn enough points. Just make sure that you tie it into the learning objectives. For example, each question should relate to a specific compliance topic, skill, or work-related task.

7. The Usual Suspects: A 360º Experience

Use 360º videos to make your branching scenario more engaging and immersive. Give your employees a mystery they must solve. Then allow them to explore the environment on their own and look for clues. They're able to shift their perspective to examine the area and find the clickable objects. You can even follow this up with eLearning character interviews to make it more realistic. This is ideally suited for case studies or real world examples, as it allows you to bring them to life. Bear in mind that producing a 360º video can be costly and time consuming. However, it does take interactivity to a whole new level.

Whichever of the above ideas you choose, keep in mind that different employees have different presences. As such, you need to research your audience in order to choose the best approach. Their motivational factors, training needs, and goals all play a vital role. Conduct surveys and pre-assessments to learn as much as possible about their performance gaps. Then use this data to customize your branching scenario.

Fortunately, all these ideas easily adapt to virtually any subject matter. The most effective branching scenarios incorporate real world elements and offer the ideal amount of challenge. Employees have the opportunity to explore every aspect of the situation and then make choices based on pre-existing knowledge. They must use all the skills and resources available in order to navigate the obstacles and achieve the best outcome. These unconventional branching scenario ideas for online online training offer all these benefits. However, they also spark your employees' imagination and make your online training program more memorable.

Are you still wondering whether branching scenarios are your best bet? Read the article The Top 7 Benefits Of Using Branching Scenarios In eLearning to discover the many advantages that branching scenarios can really offer to your learners.

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