The demand for scenario based-learning (SBL) is growing rapidly. SBL is now the most requested type of eLearning among our customers. This is part of the trend to use eLearning more and more for skill training and not just for knowledge transfer.
In this article, we dive into the theory that explains why SBL can be effective, and we give some guidance on how to develop effective SBL.
What is SBL? An overview
SBL is a great way to present more interactive and compelling skill-based training. In our designs, we use video and an attractive storyline. Learners gather information throughout an SBL and create solutions based upon their preexisting knowledge and the information they find. Until recently it was not possible to create this type of SBL without expensive custom development, but this changed with the latest generation of authoring tools that make it very easy to create and edit even the most intricate SBL designs.
In our opinion, the learning goal for an organization is to increase both the employees’ and the company’s productivity—an investment that has to pay off. In order to go from learning to a higher productivity the learner has to learn and apply his new knowledge and skills. So how do we get that to happen?
Learning begins with motivation
For starters, the learner has to be motivated to even begin studying the course at hand. How do people get motivated? What is motivation?
Motivation, in short, is what makes a human being act to achieve a goal. There are two types of motivation: intrinsic, in which motivation emerges from the desire to learn, to master a task, or to prove oneself, and extrinsic, in which motivation emerges from the rewards gained when completing a task in the right way. At first, most learners will be extrinsically motivated. They take the training because it is mandatory, especially when the course is of the “compliance training” type. We find however, that SBL makes it possible to address the intrinsic motivation of a learner. How?
In his flow theory, Csikszentmihalyi (see References) states that intrinsic motivation occurs when there is a balance between a learner’s present skills and the challenges he or she faces. A learner possessing low problem solving skills will only be able to solve problems with a low challenge. Solving problems will increase the learner’s skills…
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