Article 6

Scenario based e-learning in VET

Author: Catalina Constantin




In conformity with revised Bloom’s taxonomy the scenario-based method achieves with all cognitive learning process dimensions: remember, understand, apply, analyse, evaluate and create which make it a valuable method for VET learners.

The method introduces learners into a hypothetical situation – scenario where they must analyse and evaluate a situation and then take specific action/s. During the scenario they are driven into creative process being in situation to take decision and solve specific tasks. In some points or at the end of the exercise the learners will receive feed-backs which will make them to re-evaluate the process and discover the correct answers.

The method it’s seen also a preparatory exercise for real environment situations but taking advantage of safe environment where they can make mistakes and learn from its’.

The scenario presents some facts regarding an issue. For example, a mountain guide accompanied by 3 clients are confronted with an avalanche danger. After that, the learner (mountain guide) it’s put into the situation to solve the situation and escape from danger. For that, the learner it’s asked about 3 possible solutions from each he must choose. After he opted for 1 option will receive feed-back. If the option it’s wrong it will be explained why and the learner will must come-back and choose other option. When finally, the good answer will be provided, the learner will be congratulated and the scenario will offer also explanations for why it was a good answer.

Before start to create a training course the companies/training centers and instructional designers must be aware about the situations in which the simulation are the best educational methods. We present below some but which are not exhaustively:

  • Problem solving, through scenarios learners can be put into the situation to solve specific problems, in time framing and with the best results
  • Situations which must create leadership skills; the scenarios will help leaders to fail without risking capital
  • Time management; usually the scenarios are time limited, forcing the learners to take decisions in a rapid manner
  • Team-work; scenarios can be created for increasing the cooperation, task delegation, stimulate diplomacy, etc.

The steps that must be followed by an instructional designer which will develop a scenario are the following:

  • Establish the learning goals; those must correspond your learning plan for each module/unit you intend to develop; choose specific skills or knowledge you need to develop and which are suitable with scenario method
  • Create the story and visual elements; you must first create a narrative story which arouse the interest of the learners and keep them engaged; you must keep in mind the fact that your story must be applicable to real environment and put learners into different situations they must solve; it’s better to choose avatars which perfect match with the story characters; choose images or videos that better describe the situations narrated
  • Establish the grade of interactivity; you can choose to simply make the learner to interact with the content putting some questions in some points of the scenarios; another option it’s to use avatars: those will guide learners through the course; the learners can have the option to choose the avatar which is more stimulating for them; finally you must establish the level of interactivity thinking also on your budget: be aware: as much interactivity into your story as much money it will cost;
  • Think about scenario feed-backs; you must choose to send feedback for wrong options as well for good answers; the feedback must provide clear feed-back about the reason of failure and make learner think about which other option can be considered as correct one; always encourage learners to find the best answer without make them feel losers.

As a conclusion, scenarios must be part of the training course where the subject matter require problem-solving or decision-making learning strategies.

We invite you to contact our company if you need to develop e-learning courses and use scenario-based methods.

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