Borrow from video game design to create cutscenes in branching scenarios: short scenes that move the plot forward without requiring interaction.
A story with no challenges is boring and won’t engage your learners. When we use stories for learning, the challenges should mimic the kinds of issues learners will face in their real workplace. You don’t need an evil villain in your story, but you do need obstacles to overcome.
Scenarios for learning should include several critical elements: a protagonist or main character, that character’s goal, and the challenges that character faces. The main character’s goal is what drives the scenario. All of the action and decisions in the scenario move you closer or further from that goal.
The free open source tool Twine makes planning, writing, and creating branching scenarios easier. It provides a simple way to create functional prototypes.
In stories for learning, the protagonist should be someone your learners identify with, a person with similar goals and challenges.
How many options do you need in a branching scenario for each decision point? What numbergives the best balance of realism and manageable complexity?
Use one-question mini-scenarios to make your assessments more relevant and valuable. They’re fast, flexible, and can work in virtually any tool.
Watch the recording of my webinar with Swapna Reddy on scenario-based learning.
A branch and bottleneck scenario structure keeps the complexity of branching scenarios manageable while allowing a deeper progression over time.
Use random name generators to quickly create character names for scenarios in learning. Different tools have different purposes and benefits.