Recently, Bryan Jones from eLearningArt invited me and 59 other eLearning people to share their single best tip for creating effective eLearning scenarios. The post is now live, and you can check it out here: 13 eLearning Scenario Tips that 60 Experts Agree On
He asked everyone this question:
What’s your #1 tip for creating effective eLearning scenarios?
Use your objectives to drive the action in your scenarios
Align your scenario with your objectives. An engaging scenario that doesn’t help learners practice relevant decisions tied to your objectives is a waste of time and resources. Use scenarios to provide learners with a realistic context where they can make choices. In a scenario, the main character’s goal often reflects achieving or demonstrating the learning objective. Use your objectives to drive the action in your scenarios.
More on objectives in scenarios
Begin with the end in mind
Tie your objectives to scenarios right when you start planning. Begin with the end in mind. At the end of the training, what do you want people to do differently? It’s important to ask what you want learners to DO, not what you want them to KNOW. If we’re aiming for behavior change, then we need to focus on what behaviors we want. It’s not enough to simply increase awareness. This is how I start planning branching scenarios.
Connect objectives to character goals
In a scenario, you also have to connect the objectives to the goals of your main character. As an example, say one objective is for learners to “Provide reasonable accommodations for employees when requested, following company procedures and meeting legal requirements.”
What does that really mean for managers? Think about the business need. A manager’s goal isn’t really to provide the reasonable accommodation for a disability. Their big goal is to help their team be productive and successful. That’s the driving motivation. Providing accommodation will help the team be more successful; that’s the connection between the character’s goal and the learning objective.
Make the scenario relevant
One recurring theme in the tips from the other experts was about making the scenario relevant. I think that ties to the learning objectives as well. If you always keep the end goal in mind, you’re more likely to create a relevant, realistic scenario.
Provide feedback to support your objectives
The feedback provided in the scenario also needs to help you meet those learning objectives. What type of feedback is most effective depends on your audience.
Read all the tips
You can watch a summary of all 60 tips in four minutes in this video.
Visit the full scenario tips post to see all the detailed responses.
Read all of my posts on storytelling and scenarios.