I'm looking for feedback on designing scenario-based e-Learning - please!!

I've created this scenario in Articulate Storyline 2, using the content from an article - "How to Deal With a Co-worker You Don't Like - But Everyone Else is Obsessed With".

I tried to follow the step-by-step process in Ben Pitman's "A Guide to Designing Scenario-based e-Learning" - which is an extensive guide and one well worth taking a look at.  When I say tried, I already knew how I wanted to structure the scenario, so after reading through the guide, I just kept coming back to the guide to check that I was on the right track.

One of the steps in Ben's process is to seek feedback to improve any scenario you create, even if you're experienced at this - so I'm seeking feedback from this awesome community.

As Ben says, writing scenarios is complex if you want to do it properly, but it gets easier after you've done the first one.  This one fell into place much more quickly than I imagined it would - but I'm sure there are things I could do to improve it.  

I haven't spent much time on the instructional design, but wanted to get some feedback  before I do much more work on this - so it could completely change - although the scenario navigation will stay the same (unless the feedback I get is really bad - in which case I'll be responding to the feedback and changing it!!)

Here is the link to the page with the demo in my Project Playground.

Any feedback will be gratefully accepted.


9 Replies
Dianne  Hope

Hey Michael - I've just checked this (yes, I'm constantly updating the design!) and the button to move on from the first screen appears after you've clicked on each of the three characters - so if you're wanting to move on without finding out about each of the characters, you're not able to.  I thought this was appropriate at the time, but I could reconsider the design if you don't think it works...

Bill Wilson

Hi Dianne, nice work. I really like the way this looks and how you've constructed the scenario. Here are a few specific things that I think could use a little work.

  1. The target areas for the "next screen" arrows are very small. Even though I could use them well enough, I felt like too much precision was needed.
  2. In a few places, there was text that I had to click, but that wasn't always obvious. I found myself waiting at least once for some kind of visual cue indicating what I had to do next.
  3. At one point, I was asked to type in some text. When that text was displayed back to me (on a sheet of paper), it was way too small to read... which was probably for the best, because I succumbed to temptation and typed a bunch of 4-letter words to see if you were going to filter me. :)
  4. When the conversation finally happened, it looked like Pam was further from me than Atsumi. This doesn't make sense given that Atsumi is facing my direction... she'd have to be speaking back over her shoulder to Pam, which hardly seems like a good way to have this kind of conversation. (Or, I have to assume that Atsumi is physically much larger than Pam, but I don't think I got that impression from any previous screen.)
  5. When I completed the scenario and went back to the beginning to try again, I couldn't progress, even after clicking all 3 characters; I was never presented with a means to get to the next screen. I tried reloading, starting fresh, etc. I did manage to get it started again one time, but I don't remember what I did differently.

Thanks for sharing... this was very interesting to see!


Dianne  Hope

Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback  Bill.

I've address all of your technical issues with viewing the scenario (I think!)  

I set up a True/False variable for the Let's Get Started button to display when each of the three characters has been clicked - but you're right, when revisiting this randomly didn't work.  I've now changed the slide property setting to "resume saved state" - tested a few times, and it now shows the Let's start button when you revisit.

I'm still thinking about some of the things you suggested - I've used "buttons" for most the elements the learner needs to click on - and I know that sometimes I just used text which if you hover over it the state changes which is an indication that the text is clickable - I really didn't want to use buttons for everything, or add any more directions to the screen.

I've also added another slide based on feedback from Liz Armstrong - she suggested going down the worst case scenario route and explore what happens if Atsumi doesn't do anything about the situation with Pam.  I'm not sure what to add in here yet - so I've put it back on the learner to think about this - any suggestions would be welcome!!

I haven't received any negative feedback on the construction of the scenario - which was actually easier than I thought it would be once I got into the design.

Here's the direct link to the scenario - revamped based on feedback:


Dave Ferguson

It's great that you're not only working out loud, but updating as you go. Not everyone's open enough to solicit feedback like this. These are offered only as my reaction and certainly not as "hey, you should fix this!"

Some comments on the navigation:

  • I didn't feel like the changes in the next-arrow's direction meant anything to me -- e.g., I wondered why the arrow sometimes appears at the left edge of the stage instead of the right.
  • While the learner-choice options are clear because they're in boxes ( speak to HR / get to know Pam / etc.), the dig-deeper options ( find out more from HR) are less so. It took me a while to see they're in a larger font, which might just mean I'm slow on the uptake. Perhaps a different font? Some additional marker to show it's a choice and not just text?
  • Some screens (like Atsumi's recitation of Pam's faults) have a series of statements whose appearance is controlled by clicking down-point triangles. Other screens, like (I think) Madison's summaries, also have multiple statements, but those seem controlled by elapsed time (no need to click). To me these have a similar function (delivering closely-related points), and just for myself I'd rather not have to do the clicking.

In Atsumi's "why do you have to be the center of attention?" slide: 

Since most people would recognize this as a bad choice, what about combining it with the following slide that has the actual options [try again / get help / give up]?  In other words, the outburst (or its capsule, like "Tell it like it is to Pam") is a fourth option. You could then have a reaction from Pam or from some onlooker as the feedback for the outburst. Or the feedback could be the blowup scene in a thought bubble with Atsumi admitting it's be fun to unload, but not too productive. This lets your learner choose to go down the blowup path just to see how things turn out.

On the "How did Atsumi do?" slide:

Would it help to save a click by dropping either "let's ask HR" or "find out what Atsumi did right?" What I mean is use just one of those -- if we see Madison the HR manager and a box with "find out what Atsumi did right," it's pretty clear that Madison's going to tell us.

Thinking about the do-nothing scenario:

Since Pam says elsewhere that she thinks Atsumi doesn't want to talk with her, maybe this thread could highlight some problem that arose because neither would talk to the other. A very rough sketch:

Atsumi avoids Pam because she's irritating. Atsumi's work falls short because Atsumi doesn't have everything she needs but hasn't taken action to solve that.

Unknown to Atsumi, Pam has a similar problem: she wants or needs X information from Atsumi, but thinks she's gotten a big "leave me alone" message (and may also be unaware of how her personality comes across, though that may be too much for a simple scenario). It may be that we just see Pam saying, "She's so cranky, I'll just stay out of her way."

The "Atsumi, have you got a minute to talk" turns into a three-sided conversation, because the same request went to Pam.

-- Offhand I think this'd be better from a supervisor than from HR, but that's easy for me to say since I'm not the one building the scenario.   ;-)


Dianne  Hope

Hey Dave - wow! thanks for taking the time to give such comprehensive feedback.

This all makes sense - and if I was building this for a client and/or had an SME involved, I would definitely have taken more time to make sure the content was spot on.

Because your feedback is so amazing, I will definitely find the time to revisit this scenario and update it with some/all of your suggestions.