As I read online, I bookmark resources I find interesting and useful. I share these links periodically here on my blog. This post includes links on game design, branching scenario tools and templates, ChatGPT prompts for ID, AI tools, learning science, engagement, and the “magic email” for freelancers and consultants.
Games design and scenarios
Kayleen Holt shares 6 questions to consider when designing elearning games that incorporate interactive stories.
When designing eLearning games using interactive stories, ask yourself the following six questions:
- What’s the point? Be clear about the learning goal.
- Does it matter? Make sure the story is realistic, relevant, and tied to the learning goal.
- Is it fun? Slapping a leaderboard onto a course doesn’t make it a game. Games need to be fun. Test the fun factor by getting input from learners.
- Does it make sense? Take time to get the script right in the beginning, and check it with every change to make sure all the branching paths still make sense.
- Is it immersive? Don’t pull your learner out of the story. Show, don’t tell. Use high-quality visual design and audio (if narrated). And don’t preach.
- Does it exclude anyone? Include diverse characters and avoid stereotypes. Use inclusive language, and design with accessibility in mind.
This is an old discussion on reddit about a game design mechanic that helps go beyond yes and no choices by adding complications. I think this could be adapted for branching scenarios. Some of these have 6 options, which is too many for a branching scenario, but a smaller version of the model could work. Maybe Yes, Yes but, No with 3 choices: Yes you succeed, Yes you succeed but with a complication, or No, you don’t succeed and have a negative consequence. h/t Miranda Verswijvelen for a comment that led me to look this up.
-reddit user ScallyCap12 explaining options in a model for more interesting success/failure mechanics in RPGs (role playing games)
- No, and…
- No, but…
- Yes but…
- Yes and…
Branching scenario tools and templates
Branching scenario tool for simulations, interactive videos, and more. This has a clear emphasis on both including a range of multimedia plus tracking interaction data. However, the way they track data is by hosting it themselves, which affects the pricing model. The pricing is $4/user/month–which seems really high to me, considering that’s more than some full-blown LMSs that can host hundreds of courses. They have a minimum of 50 users, which means the minimum cost is $200/month. Even if the tool is great, I think that’s would be a hard sell for most organizations.
Free branching scenario template by Nicole Legault in the Articulate community, including feedback layers, scoring, and a progress meter.
Branching scenario prototype in 90 minutes
Ready to level up your branching scenario skills?
Join me with Learning Rebels as we take a hands-on approach with this upcoming Learn Something New (LSN) session, “Crafting Captivating Branching Scenarios in Just 90 minutes!”
In just 90 minutes, you’ll dive headfirst into the interesting world of branching scenarios and emerge with a basic, but functional prototype that will excite you, your SMEs, and your stakeholders.
This post has example prompts for creating mini-scenarios. This doesn’t actually follow Cathy Moore’s “Map It” approach, regardless of the claims in the article and the mention in the post. (The prompt creates dialogue for the scenario, so it ends up creating a conversation about what action to take rather than a decision to actually take an action. They also include instructional feedback rather than just intrinsic feedback, which isn’t part of Cathy’s typical approach.) But, even though it’s not quite Cathy Moore’s mini-scenario approach, it is a pretty good prompt for a scenario, and you could genuinely use this with some tweaking and verification.
20 sample prompts for scripting animated videos. 5 of these are specifically in their L&D category; some of the HR and other prompts are also relevant to training. The most useful part of this article may be the Sample Script Makeover at the end though, showing the process of using ChatGPT for a first draft but also explaining how to revise and improve the script. That’s how many of us will be using these tools: as a first draft that we need to revise.
AI tools to check out
A curated list of AI tools for productivity and work from The Neuron. The tools are sorted into categories, with brief reviews of each tool.
Generate multiple choice questions based on your text quickly. Enter text of at least 1000 words and get questions. I think the questions will probably need some editing and definitely need review, but I can see the value of this for a first draft quiz.
Scribe AI creates SOPs, technical documentation, process documents based on a screencast video of you doing the process. This took looks really interesting for training purposes (but I haven’t tested it yet).
An AI image generating tool for vector art and illustrations. This looks like it would be useful for creating icon or illustration variations on a theme while keeping a consistent color scheme. I also wonder if you could use it to create variations on vector character images for scenarios.
I haven’t taken time to play with this yet, but AI chatbots like this feel like a very promising avenue for personalized learning. Many of the simulated conversations that we currently build as branching scenarios could be practiced with chatbots like this. Language learning is another relevant area. This is currently in beta, but looks worth exploring.
Learning science and glossary
A list of 10 papers on the science of learning with summaries of insights from each.
Glossary of learning and development terms and acronyms
Jahan Kay clarifies the differences between interactivity and engagement, especially cognitive and emotional engagement. The article notes some types of interaction that may support cognitive engagement: scenario-based learning, simulations, discussions, and social interaction.
But the real value of interactivity doesn’t lie in the number of physical interactions. It’s about the depth of cognitive engagement these interactions can ignite.-Jahan Kay
The “magic email” is a template for getting prospective clients to respond to you even if they’ve been ghosting you for weeks (or even months). The intro of the article talks about sending it in September, but it really works at any time of year. I’ve used this, or variations of it, with several clients, and it’s amazing how quick people respond and how high of a success rate this has.
- Wednesday, September 20, 8:30 AM ET. Streamlining Branching Scenario Planning and Design. TechLearn 2023 Conference in New Orleans. Get a $100 conference discount with Discount Code TSP1.
- Friday, September 22, 1:00 PM ET. Using ChatGPT for Building Scenarios. Part of the TLDC AI Labs: Elevating Instructional Design virtual conference.