Scenario Based Learning and the 4Cs

, , | Colin Dawson

Have you heard the one about . . .?

We all appreciate a good yarn and the anticipation it brings. Preferably clean but always with some humour.

When someone says the opening line, nobody throws their hands up and says I don’t want to hear it.

In the training field we call them scenarios and they are powerful.

The four Cs of scenarios are

Characters

Content

Challenge

Consequences

Characters

In scenarios the characters should be like your learners or someone they identify with.

Even if the main character doesn’t have a name and the scenario is second person (What do you do next?), the role of that character should mirror that of your learners.  Give your main character a goal similar to your learning objective.

The other people this character deals with should be realistic and typical

Content

The context is the background for the situation.  The context isn’t just shared with words when you add a photo back-ground for a scenario-based learning, you show learners the context rather than telling them.

Your learners’ workplace should match this context.  It’s easier to transfer learning to a similar situation than one that’s radically different.

Challenge

Your characters will face challenges in the scenario, the points where learners have to make a decision or take an action.  Think about the frequent obstacles:

Faculty technology, impatient Customers, or conflict situations.

You might also include challenges that happen less often but are critical if they do happen.

Consequences

What will happen in each option?  Feedback should be part of the scenario, not just some technical facts.  A Customer gets angry, a patient refuses to take your advice.

Show learners the consequences of their mistakes rather than just telling them.

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