Branching scenarios are a great way to engage your learners and boost the impact of your training programs. Here are three reasons why we love them.
At Gomo, we’re always looking for exciting ways to create engaging eLearning quickly and easily. That’s why we’ve created an extensive library of assets and templates that make creating rich, responsive learning a breeze.
Scenario-based questions have long been used to challenge learners to apply knowledge in a realistic context. They can be created easily with the multiple-choice question assets in Gomo: present a situation, then ask learners to decide on a course of action from a set of options. In the question feedback, you can tell them if their decision was the best option or not, and why.
But there is a way you can take scenario-based learning to a whole new level and create immersive learning experiences your learners will love – and, more importantly, really learn from.
Instead of asking learners to make one decision, you can take them on a journey where they make multiple decisions and see the consequences of their actions.
This type of learning experience is often called a branching scenario or branched scenario.
Branching scenarios: A quick primer
Before we go any further, let’s take a look at how a branching scenario works.
In contrast to a standard scenario question, branching scenarios send the learner down different ‘branches’ (or chains of screens) based on the answer they gave to a preceding question.
Rather than being sent down a generic path or denied progress until they make the right decision, learners follow a path through a scenario that is directly related to the decisions they have made. Most branching scenarios will feature a critical set of key decisions that learners will return to as they progress through the scenario.
Here’s an example of how a branching scenario might be structured:
Why we love branching scenarios
There are three major reasons why we think you should be using branching scenarios in your Gomo projects:
1. Branching scenarios get learners to ‘do stuff’
We know that engaging learning regularly requires learners to ‘do something’. Whether it’s revealing more information, dragging and dropping or exploring an image, regularly pacing interactions in your content is key to creating a great learning experience.
Branching scenarios have the benefit of being highly interactive, because they constantly challenge learners to make decisions.
2. Branching scenarios reinforce learning
Branching scenarios also challenge learners to apply their knowledge and explore their own perceptions of what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in a realistic situation. Asking learners to retrieve and apply knowledge is a classic way of reinforcing learning.
3. Branching scenarios promote behavior change
Far more successfully than other types of interaction, branching scenarios can directly demonstrate the potential consequences of poor decisions. Putting the learner in control lets them see the impact of their decisions.
Achieving long-lasting behavior change is now a major goal for many organizations. When learners understand the impact of their behaviors, they’re far more likely to make lasting changes.
The power of storytelling
The other major benefit a scenario-based approach has for your learning is that it harnesses our innate passion for stories. Wanting to know ‘what happens next’ is the thing that drives so many of us to binge-watch a Netflix season or stay up late reading a crime thriller.
When your branching scenario has a great story, you’ll find your learners will probably make ‘bad’ decisions just to see what happens next. And that’s a positive thing! Scenarios should be ‘safe spaces’ for learners to explore and reflect on the impact of bad decisions.
If you can create scenarios with strong characters and plotlines, your learners will be hooked. Hopefully we’ve convinced you to give branching scenarios a try in your next eLearning project!
Not sure how to create branching scenarios in Gomo?Read our how-to guide.