“Less content, more context” is becoming the mantra of designers who are creating situations learners can instantly relate to. When it comes to making teaching engaging, relatable, and memorable, the secret of success is to keep it real!

5 advantages of using real life scenarios in teaching:

  1. Keeps learners at the center.
    Learner centric teaching is the key. In the past, information was “pushed” at learners, but now the key is to allow learners to “pull” the information as required. Real life scenarios are an excellent vehicle, since content can be aligned within a scenario so learners can access it as needed. For example, a chapter of a real-life scenario using characters of various roles has been presented. Icons then appear for different role groups, and learners select the one they identify with to access information that directly relates to them.
  2. Knowledge retention amplified.
    Learning is made memorable by embedding “affective context”, a learning model that promotes knowledge retention by adding emotion and relative importance. And you guessed it, meaningful scenarios are one of the best ways to do just that. This model acknowledges that learning is not simply a process of information transfer and content that lacks context is not as easily retained.
  3. Engaged, excited learners.
    Be honest now, how many times do you zone out in a conversation or meeting when the discussion doesn’t relate to you? It’s the same for your learners; they are engaged when content directly relates to them. Make content important by creating experiential situations through using a blend of affective elements including contextual framing, anecdotal narrative, personal impacts, and self-reflection. These elements help connect learners with the material, which in turn ensures it is remembered.
  4. Immediate application of knowledge.
    Real life scenarios allow you to put your learners in the picture. Creating immersive, relatable scenarios enables learners to apply skills and knowledge easily and directly in their daily roles and tasks. Because at the end of the day, training is all about performance improvement, right?
  5. Gives learners the power.
    The king of scenarios is the multi-branching scenario (MBS) that provides learners with decision points leading to unique outcomes. Multi-branching scenario really gives learners a taste of reality by allowing them to control a situation much like they would on the job. Each decision point usually offers a best, neutral and worst course of action. If learners choose an unfavorable option, they have the chance to rectify the situation as they would in the real world. Multi-branching scenario is a powerful learning medium.