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How to use scenarios in your elearning

It’s very easy to create an elearning that is just filled with information that your learner should know, but a better way to enhance learner engagement and retention is to present them with real life scenarios in which they would use that information. Scenario based elearning simulates putting the learner in realistic situations and encourages them to recall and apply the skills and information they just learned. Practice is one of the best methods to have your audience retain the content they would need to know in the real world.

However, it’s not always easy to write effective or realistic scenarios. Here are some things to keep in mind when creating them.

Know your audience

This applies to elearning in general, but understanding your learners, their needs, and the expected outcomes is important to creating scenarios that will challenge them and make the most of their skills. This is so that you don’t create elearning that is either too shallow or too complex to maintain their interest.

Keep it real

A scenario is a story with characters and a plot, with opportunities for your learner to affect the outcome. Do the characters sound and act like real people, and is the story like a real situation your learners might actually encounter? If these things are off, it will break your audience’s engagement and suspension of disbelief, or suggest that the creators are out of touch with the content. This also applies to the tone and style of the elearning. It is generally better to use a friendly, informal tone and conversational style to present the scenarios themselves, so that the learner feels comfortable being part of the scenario.

Motivate your learner

Any interaction in your scenarios should be a call to action from your learner to apply the skills or knowledge they have just acquired. It should give them the feeling that they are already equipped to deal with the situation. However, the scenario should also be challenging enough to encourage your learner to think through the problem and what the solution should be. Ideally, the problem in your scenario should contain clues relevant to what was taught in the elearning, for your learners to identify and draw conclusions from.


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