Scenario based learning, also known as ‘problem based learning’ is an interactive teaching method employed regularly in eLearning courses.
The purpose of scenario-based learning is to prompt the learner to work their way through a chronological storyline, based around a simple or complex problem. They are required to solve the problem from the information they have retained throughout the eLearning course. This means the results and underlining success of scenario-based learning ensures the learner has 100% understood the content to a high enough degree that they can apply their knowledge to the scenario in order to progress further through the course.
Many eLearning courses incorporate scenario-based activities because it helps to encourage user performance and improve understanding of the content.
Scenario-based learning can be used to assist learners, employers and businesses in a huge variety of teaching areas. It’s strength and success as a teaching tool is highly effective when used to simulate ‘real world practice’.
Scenario-based learning is successful because it presents the user with the opportunities to:
Retain and utilise the information they’ve just learnt
Apply that information to a situation that is appropriate to a real life situation
Make an advised decision to solve a problem
Think critically about content and apply instructed knowledge
Encourage and motivate course participation and interactivity
Practise skills, necessary after the course is complete
Understand the content to a higher degree
Provide evidence and information for both simple and complex problem solving and decision making
Challenge mental capacity and encourage achievement
According to Lave & Wenger, scenario-based learning is based on the principles of situated learning theory. This theory protests to the fact that the best, and most prolific learning takes place in the content of how and where it is going to be used. Therefore, applying a situational scenario appropriate to the workplace, interest, or relevant life situation of the learner, will ensure a successful learning outcome.
Clark, R., (2009). Accelerating expertise with scenario based learning. Learning Blueprint. Merrifield, VA: American Society for Teaching and Development.
Kindley, R. W. (2002). Scenario-based e-learning: a step beyond traditional e-learning. ASTD Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.astd.org