The concept of using branching scenarios in elearning is sometimes confusing for some. We know that it involves different scenarios that participants have to choose from. Each option will lead them to a different situation that is the effect of their choice.
Branching scenarios can be a great way to practice what learners have been taught. It gives them an idea how their choices can affect the outcome. Of course, while it is a great tool to use, that does not mean it is easy to do. When you are creating branching scenarios, it can be a bit confusing if you do not know the three core elements that will complete it.
When creating branching scenarios in elearning, here are the three things that you have to dwell on.
Challenge. Start with a challenge. Any story requires a problem so the character will be required to make difficult choices that will give color to the narrative. The same is true when you use branching scenarios in your online course. You have to start with a challenge. This will help set the tone for the activity. This should be something that will help the learners put into practice what they just learned. It should be clear and stated in a simple way so as not to confuse the learners. As much as possible, this should be a challenge that the learners could encounter in the future – or have already encountered in the past.
Choices. After the challenge comes the choices. There are challenges that do not have a wrong answer but it will lead the learners towards a different scenario. There are also challenges that only has one correct choice. You need to consider carefully the choices that you will provide the learners. It has to be realistic choices that they will face. Do not make the other “choices” obviously wrong so the learners will end up choosing the right one. Each choice has to be reasonable – even if it is the wrong one. You have to let them learn from their mistakes. If the choices are confusing, then the test would be more effective for the learners. Ideally, you want to give them 3 choices – but you can make it as many as the elearning course requires.
Consequences. There are two types of consequences – a positive and negative one. This is how the learners will recognize if their choice was the right one. As mentioned, there are instances when there are only positive consequences. But regardless if it is all positive or a combination of both positive and negative consequences, you have to make sure that the learners can go back to choose a different option. Just like the choices, this has to be believable and realistic. It has to be something that the learners have either gone through or can go through in the future.
Remember to make the branching scenarios in elearning relatable. This will make it easier for the learners to imagine how they can implement what they just learned in the real world. As mentioned, you have to let them make mistakes because that will educate them on the consequences of making a wrong choice. They will learn how to be more cautious when they implement the lesson in real life.
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