Start with learning outcomes

A really important place to start is your learning outcomes. What are the key skills, knowledge, or behavioral changes you want your learners to take away from the experience? How do we prove comprehension and knowledge transfer? These are important places to start before building a course.

Workshop scenarios and stories

When you are working with learners who face difficult situations and scenarios, a good place to start is to ask them about situations that have happened and workshop the best way to deal with those scenarios. You get then select the most suitable scenarios to create in, involving the teams and allowing them to input on the training you deliver.

Watch people work

If you don’t know the role and responsibilities intimately, a good way to get to know what is required is to watch those who do it, try and understand the issues that affect them, and how you can make the learning objectives relative to their worlds.

Decision making and branching

When you assess how learners can manage scenarios, you need to give them decisions to make and see how they respond. You can correct them immediately when they don’t make the decision you’d like them to - or you can let them see it play out for greater learning impact. Often there is more than one right answer, but there are better answers. If a learner picks a correct but not ideal answer, you can branch the scenario to show the outcome of that decision and give them opportunities to make better decisions further down the line.

Action mapping

A great way to plan a scenario is action mapping. Looking at the particular actions a learner must to do achieve the learning objective. Cathy Moore’s excellent blog has lots of detail on the way to design this. Map actions with scenes to demonstrate the environment, situation, and roles in the scenario. supports a wide range of actions to support this methodology - get to know what actions are available to you so you can design your course to meet your learning objectives.

Keep the learner’s attention

We want our courses to be short, engaging, and memorable. They should demonstrate a real learning impact. Focusing on limited and achievable objectives helps deliver better learning outcomes. Any links to external content, large amounts of text, or detail that is not directly relevant to the scenario at hand should be given to the learner before they start the scenario-based learning. Focus on small amounts of information that is relevant to the task at hand and make it easier for the learner to remember it.

Planning story-based learning in

You can use the storyboard editor to plan your course before you start shooting. This gets your objectives, ideas, and scripts into one place and helps you identify the key content you need to create the course.

From the scene palette, drag in a scene placeholder. You can describe what is going to happen in this scene, this could include the location, actors/team members involved, scripts, and camera positions. You can add the actions you want at this stage to link the scenes together and ensure you have all the branching and decisions and you need to be planned as early as possible.

The importance of good planning for production

An important point when designing scenario-based learning on a platform like is that you are likely to require actors to perform the scenario in a relevant environment. When you organize the shoot, you need to ensure you get everything the first time - no one wants to come back and do it again because you missed one of the branches. You may also need voice recordings from participants that are much easier to get when they are all together.

You also want short, clearly labeled takes for each scene. This will greatly improve post-production and managing your content. Call ‘scene 2 take 3.. action’ after starting to record each time so you know which take is which. Keep a note of which takes were the best. You can then make sure you upload those scenes first rather than trying to process all of them to find the ones that actually worked.