When it comes to training, scenarios are a powerful tool and a great way to simulate real-life situations that learners may encounter at work. When done correctly, they can turn dull and forgettable courses into engaging, memorable, and compelling learning experiences. Not all scenarios are created equal, however! So, let's dive into some best practices for using scenarios that will take your training sessions to the next level.
1. Get Aligned
First, you want to ensure that the scenarios align with what you want your learners to achieve. So, start by figuring out your learning objectives, then create scenarios allowing learners to practice applying the knowledge and skills needed to meet those objectives. By aligning your scenarios with learning objectives, training becomes a practical and purposeful adventure, leading them to success.
2. Keeping It Real
Next, make the scenarios relevant to your learners' lives back on the job. Think about the context and tailor the scenarios to your audience’s needs. Stories and case studies should mirror real-life situations, challenges, and goals. This approach will keep your learners hooked, help them see the value of the training, and make it easier for them to apply what they've learned.
3. Lights, Camera, Realism
It's also essential to make the scenarios as realistic as possible. You want your learners to be able to visualize themselves in the situation, which will make the training more memorable. For example, if the training concerns customer service, create scenarios that simulate common customer interactions. Realistic scenarios allow learners to practice applying knowledge and skills in a safe environment, preparing them for real-life situations.
4. Reflect, Reinforce, Guide
Scenarios can reinforce learning and provide learners with immediate feedback. After presenting a scenario, ask your learners to reflect on what they would do. Then, provide feedback on their response. Let them know what they did well and where they could improve. This real-time guidance allows them to learn from their mistakes and solidify their newfound knowledge and skills.
5. Short and Sweet
Keep your scenarios concise and to the point. You want your learners to stay focused and engaged throughout the training. So, avoid overwhelming them with unnecessarily lengthy or complicated scenarios. Instead, create scenarios that are short, sweet, and easy to complete within a reasonable amount of time. This approach will keep learners engaged and make applying what they’ve learned easier.
6. Mix It Up
Lastly, mix things up by using a variety of scenarios. This helps keep learners engaged and provides different perspectives on a topic. For example, if the training is about conflict resolution, use scenarios that simulate different conflicts, such as conflicts with customers, colleagues, and managers. This approach allows learners to practice applying their knowledge and skills in various situations, making them better prepared to tackle any challenge that comes their way.
In a nutshell, scenarios are an excellent tool for training when used correctly. The most effective scenarios are designed to align with learning objectives, are relatable, use realism, offer feedback for growth, are concise, and varied throughout the training.
By following these six pro tips, you can create engaging training experiences, improve learning outcomes, and prepare employees for real-life situations back on the job.