I always enjoy reading Cathy Moore's blog posts as they're really practical, accessible and insightful, and this one is no exception. The focus here is on scenarios. Whether mini or branching, scenarios are a great way of helping people to learn from their mistakes. But which type of scenarios should you use?
Mini scenarios use just one question: they present you with a realistic challenge, you make your choice, you see the realistic consequence and that's it. I used these in a course I designed recently where a branching scenario would have been overkill as the real-life situations I was simulating involved just one decision point. They're useful for situations where the real-world decision is self-contained or you want to help people to practise the same task with different variables. Mini scenarios can also be strung together to make what feels like a story where one decision doesn't determine how the next one is made.
Branching scenarios are by definition more complex and contain multiple decision points where the consequence of one decision affects the next decision. They're therefore most effective for situations in which decisions made at one point limit or expand options available at another point and where it's important to recognise and recover from mistakes.
Cathy gives some interesting examples of both types of scenarios. The mini scenario example is particularly interesting as it shows how effective this approach can be. As ever, the key is in knowing as much as possible about the real-world challenges and decisions that are being faced in order to choose the right approach.
You want people to practice making decisions in a situation that has grey areas — that’s perfect territory for a scenario. But what type of scenario do you need?