Those of you who have read some of my blogs will know that I am a great believer in scenarios or stories to aid learning.  People from the beginning of time have communicated with stories.  So, is it surprising to see them used in eLearning?  Stories will help you captivate your learner’s attention.

Here’s a story I used recently as the opening to a Modlette on making effective debt collection calls.

“Amanda’s boss has just informed her that part of her new job is to make phone calls to companies that are behind in their payments.

 That night Amanda could not sleep.  She lay awake, nervously worrying about having to ask people for money.

 She’d never done it before.  In fact, she remembered being scared to ask her little brother to repay money she’d loaned him.

 The good news is, she found a way to construct her collection calls so that they became a conversation rather than a demand.  This Modlette will tell you how she achieved this.”

I’ve used a scenario that most people can identify with.  The eLearning becomes more personal when its presented in the form of a short scenario that learners can image themselves in.  Let’s look at ideas you can use to create your own scenarios for your Modlettes eLearning.

Use Characters Learners Relate to: Characters are an important part of any story because they are the actors in your story and the learner’s representative in your story.  Using a character with a name, Amanda, makes your story feel more human and personal.  Think about your audience, and try to use characters they can identify with.  You may even use images of the character to further personalise the scenario.

 Identify the Worst-case Situations: One of the ways you can really capture your learners is by sharing something terrible that could happen if they haven’t learnt the do’s and don’ts of their job.  Imagine Amanda’s fear because she had no training for the job she was expected to do.  Think about the consequences of not being conscious of safety practices and their correct use.  Identify some of the worst-case situations that are related to the tasks covered in the training and write your stories about those.

Keep Your Scenarios Realistic: Don’t sacrifice realism with your scenarios.  Keep them realistic; apply the same conditions and context that would apply to the situation in real life.  It may be necessary to add certain details to make your stories more authentic and appealing.

Talk to People Who Do the Job: These people are a valuable tool you can use to write your scenarios.  They can give you insights into the most realistic worst-case scenarios related to tasks covered in the training.  They will know your audience and what types of characters to use in your training.  They can also fact-check your scenario and let you know if its plausible.


Adding simple stories to your Modlettes eLearning can add a level of interest and intrigue to your content.  They don’t all have to be worst-case, for instance you can tell a story about how Joe was successful and overcame his fear of confrontation to deal with some of his staff.