Process makes perfect. Every organization needs some tried and true methods that they can rely on in the trenches. I want to share a method BLP often uses when working subject matter experts (SMEs) to create scenarios that drive many of our e-learning courses. After I review the process, I’ll share a finished example to help illustrate the end result of the process.
The 4-Step Process
We create “scenario worksheets” that we use with SMEs. We explain to our SMEs (who often initially resist the idea that we need stories to drive their content) that scenarios do several things: 1) Immediately engage the learner; 2) Give a contextual way to share content (i.e. a job context that mirrors’ learners own job contexts); 3) Set up a story that can be used to create interactivity by inspiring the learner to “solve” the character’s problems or challenges. 4) Keep the learner engaged throughout the learning.
Here are typical steps we use in creating scenarios and the questions we pose to SMEs, regardless of topic. We often create “scenario worksheets” that SMEs either fill in or respond to via interview based on this 4-step process. Note that the 4-steps are not completely linear. You may start with step 1, answer a few of the questions, move to Step 2, and find that new details related to the characters emerge as you go: