Streamlining Branching Scenario Planning and Design

Watch my presentation on Streamlining Branching Scenario Planning and Design for tips on getting stories from SMEs, using branching structures, and more.

This week, I was originally scheduled to be at the Learning Solutions Conference in Orlando. The eLearning Guild wisely canceled that conference due to the pandemic. I’m sad to miss seeing so many folks, but it was absolutely the right choice for the Guild to cancel and keep everyone safe. I’m also disappointed that I won’t be giving my scheduled session on Streamlining Branching Scenario Planning and Design.

Streamlining Branching Scenario Planning and Design

Watch the presentation

I gave an online version of my planned LSCon session a few weeks ago for the Online Network of Independent Learning Professionals. Fortunately, this was recorded. If you’re missing being at LSCon this week, like me, watch the recording.

What you’ll learn

In this session, you’ll learn how to streamline your processes for branching scenarios, from initial planning through writing and creating a functional prototype. You’ll start from the beginning, by analyzing the problem you’re trying to solve and identifying your objectives. You’ll learn what questions to ask SMEs and other sources to get stories and examples to incorporate in your branching scenario. I’ll share tips for planning the flow of your scenario, including comparing different branching structures of varied complexity. You’ll see how the free, open-source tool Twine can streamline the process of planning, writing, and prototyping branching scenarios. You’ll learn the advantages of writing one complete path in the branching scenario from start to finish before fleshing out the alternative paths.

I’ll show how to give learners opportunities to correct their mistakes in ways that both deepen learning and simplify your design. By the end of this session, you’ll have a streamlined process for planning, designing, writing, and prototyping branching scenarios that can then be built in any authoring tool you want. This streamlined process will help you save time and make the complexity of branching scenarios more manageable.

In this presentation, you’ll learn

  • What questions and tactics elicit relevant stories and examples from SMEs
  • ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­How to use Twine for planning, writing, and prototyping branching scenarios
  • How giving learners opportunities to fix mistakes can streamline branching design
  • How to use different branching structures for scenarios
  • What to write first in a branching scenario

Read more about scenarios

Read more about using scenarios and storytelling for learning.

8 thoughts on “Streamlining Branching Scenario Planning and Design

  1. Such a great session/training video!!! Thank you!! I’ve just watched it through once and now going to re-watch it to take notes to capture all the incredible tips you’ve given us! I’ve recently realised how much there is to learn about creating good scenarios and how wrong I’ve been doing it all these years. I’m so glad I came across this post of yours to help me get started – thanks again!

    1. I’m so glad this was helpful! Try not to think of your previous approaches as “wrong” though. That isn’t necessarily true. My approach varies a bit others in the field, but that doesn’t make me wrong either. You might do things that are less efficient or less reliable for assessment. You can always improve, but it’s less “right or wrong” and more gradual improvement over time.

      Are there any particular parts of the process that you’re having trouble with, or that you’d like to learn more about?

      1. Very true, we are all learning here ? For me at the moment, my struggle is collecting the right information from the SME’s (and the learners). I’ve never really known how to extract the right info from them, especially when they’re being vague and just keep talking about the overall principals. I always feel I’m being slightly pushy by probing further and further, but think that’s my own hang up/insecurities which I need to work through.

        What you’ve suggested here is great thou with developing an overall objective/identifying mistakes/establishing consequences. This gives me a great template to work with. I can’t wait to use these steps and the questions you’ve suggested as well on my next project to help me probe further ?

        1. If you’re feeling insecure about taking up the SME’s time, focus on making your meetings really efficient. Send an agenda in advance, and have your questions ready so you make the most of your time with them. You can also preface your questions by recognizing their expertise and acknowledging their importance to the process. Reminding them that your goal is to help give the learners opportunities to practice, and that’s why you ask so many questions, can help them feel important and wanted (rather than feeling like your questions are intrusive).

          Working with SMEs this way is a different skill. You’ll probably feel more confident with time and practice.

          Good luck!

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