Branching scenarios are often one of my ‘go to’ activities in my elearning courses.
What is a branching scenario?
A branching scenario places the learner in a situation where they are presented with a challenge and ‘need to make choice of what to do’. It guides the learner towards achieving the learning outcomes by learning what to do through consequences and feedback. If the learner makes a good choice a desired consequence will occur, if they make a poor choice a negative consequence will occur.
Branching scenarios focus on interactive learning rather than passively absorbing information.
Here’s a short video of a basic branching scenario structure:
Tom Kulmhann suggests one way to build branching scenarios is to use a three Cs approach, Challenge, Choice and Consequence – http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/build-branched-e-learning-scenarios-in-three-simple-steps/. This is a great simple way to start building branching scenarios.
Branching scenarios can be easy to assemble and can even be done with tools such as Powerpoint. All that is required is that you can click on different options that will take you to a new slide with consequences and feedback on your choice.
However, this does not mean that branching scenarios are easy to create! The real skill for creating a branching scenario is in the thinking behind how to translate the learning outcomes into behaviour choices with realistic consequences and feedback. To make a successful branching scenario there needs to be a balance of challenge, where the learner has to actively engage and think about what choice to make, and it is not too easy to select the correct answer. The choices and consequences need to also be realistic so the learner can imagine themselves in the situation in real life making similar choices.
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What are your thoughts?