Scenarios are one of my favorite ways to immerse learners and give them a safe space to practice applying a new process, or to explore the nuances of performing their jobs.
You’ll see two types of scenarios: linear or branched. I use linear scenarios when I need to help learners explore a series of sequential steps or practice applying a simple process. But when I really want my learners to practice decision-making and fine-tune their performance, I lean on branching scenarios.
Creating scenarios, particularly branching scenarios, used to require a lot of time. But now, whether I need a linear or a branched scenario, creating one is quicker and easier than ever with the new scenario block in Rise 360.
Using the scenario block, I was able to create the following interactive branching scenario in just a few minutes’ time! In this scenario, I give restaurant servers an engrossing way to practice upselling their customers to more expensive menu items. Check it out!
Want to see how easy it is to create a branched scenario like mine with the scenario block? Keep reading. I’ll give you a quick walk-through of the process I followed. Spoiler alert: it’s super-simple—and fun!
Overview of the Process
Creating a branched scenario boils down to just four steps:
- Add a scenario block to your lesson.
- Add a scene or scenes to your scenario block (I’ll explain more about those below).
- Customize your scenes with Content Library 360 characters and background images.
- Add content text and branching.
Let’s do a quick walk-through of each step.
Add a Scenario Block to Your Lesson
Scenario block is an interactive block type, so you’ll find it under the interactive blocks menu. Here’s how to navigate to it.
- Select All Blocks from the blocks shortcut bar. Or, click the insert block icon (+) that appears when you mouse-over a boundary between blocks.
- Scroll down and choose the interactive category in the block library, and select Scenario.
This animated .GIF should point you in the right direction:
Add a Scene or Scenes to Your Scenario Block
Scenarios are made up of scenes that are, in turn, made up of content. If you’re planning to build a linear scenario, you might find you only need one scene for your project. But if you want to build a branching scenario, you’ll want to add more scenes to your project so you can change characters and backgrounds and branch to other content based on the learner’s choices. For example, in my project, I used three scenes to align with the three skills I needed my learners to practice.
To add a scene, just mouse-over your scenario block and click the Edit button that appears. Here’s an animated .GIF to demonstrate how to add a scene to your scenario block:
Customize Your Scene(s)
Now you’re ready to customize your scenes with Content Library 360 characters and a background image.
To customize your scene, click either Edit Background or Edit Character. I found the perfect backdrop for my scene right in Content Library 360, but you can upload an image of your own if you’d like. I also found the perfect character for my scene, Ammon, right in Content Library 360.
Here are two more animated .GIFs of these steps.
Add Content, Text, and Branching
With your scenario block inserted and your scenes customized with the perfect characters and background, you’re ready to add content, pop in text, and add some branching.
1. Start by clicking the Add Content button. From there, you can choose between dialogues and informative text content. Whichever option you choose, you can still offer learners multiple paths to take through the scenario. In my example I used a mix of both types; dialogues to simulate a conversation and informative text content to reinforce feedback.
To add dialogue to a scene, just choose dialogue from the content type drop-down menu in the upper right of the title bar. Here’s a .GIF showing you where to find that drop-down menu:
2. Now you can type or copy in text content for your dialogues or informative text. You can also type or copy in text for answer options and feedback.
3. With all of your content in place, you’re ready to add branching by using the Go to menu to specify where you’d like the learner to go next.
By default, learners are taken to the next piece of content in the scene. To change that, just link to a different piece of content or to another scene. This gives you loads of flexibility, so you can do things like loop learners through a scene until they select the correct answer option, as I did. Or, you could gradually lead them down a path until they reach the end of the scenario. The choice is yours and the creative options are endless.
Pro Tip: I like to preview my scenario from the beginning just to make sure everything is flowing the way I want it to. Here’s how you can do that, right in the scenario block:
And when my scenario block is perfect, I like to save it as a block template so I can quickly reuse it in my current course or in future courses. I feel like I’m doing my future self a big favor and saving even more design time!
I’m convinced that creating branched scenarios just doesn’t get much faster or easier than with scenario block.
Ready to learn more about scenario block? Don’t miss Tom Kuhlmann’s awesome, step-by-step video tutorial on working with scenario blocks in Rise 360.
Want to see more scenario blocks in action? Check out my full course example, 3 Techniques for Successful Upselling.
And if you haven’t already, jump on over to Rise 360 and take a few minutes to play around and explore all the exciting new possibilities with scenario block. Then swing back by and let me know: what will you create with the new scenario block? Share your ideas in the comments, below.
Want to try something you learned here, but don’t have Articulate 360? Start a free 60-day trial, and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning.