EdApp by SafetyCulture

Scenario-based learning: Definition, benefits, examples


July 9, 2024


Bea Maureen Cayone


Scenario based learning

In today’s digital age, traditional learning forms are slowly losing momentum. Companies seek modern and innovative solutions to train their employees. From virtual classrooms to game-based learning, technology has been the driving force in designing new approaches to employee training.

This article offers a comprehensive guide to scenario-based learning, its benefits, examples, and strategies to help you implement an effective training program.

What is scenario-based learning?

Scenario-based learning (SBL) is a powerful strategy for engaging learners through interactive methods. It’s the best choice for breaking down complex topics during training, as it stirs curiosity by using real-world examples to connect with learners.

Scenario based learning - Definition

What are the benefits of scenario-based learning?

Unlike traditional learning methods, where information is passively distributed via observation, scenario-based learning uses an active approach. By occupying learners in stories, they can self-reflect and think critically.

Here are the top five benefits of scenario-based training:

  • Gives real-world context - Putting things into context makes it easier for learners to grasp new information as they’ll understand its relevance to the real world. Ultimately, this creates a more meaningful learning experience.
  • Eases the learning curve - Allowing members to participate in mock settings is a great way for them to apply the skills they’ve picked up. This softens the learning curve in the long run.
  • Saves money - Rather than hiring instructors to cover every training stage, which is often costly, SBL relies on technology to do the heavy lifting. This is a win-win situation for the company and its employees, as it helps reduce costs.
  • Offers a safe space - Learning simulations comprise a low-stakes environment, where employees can try again if they fail at a certain level without facing hard consequences. This assurance removes pressure or the need for perfection on their end.
  • Boosts employee confidence - By gaining first-hand experience in their role, employees can test out different strategies for solving certain problems, giving them the confidence to perform the actual task when the time comes.

5 Examples of scenario-based learning

There are many ways to design scenario training. From stories to simulations and gamified content, this section offers a rundown of the top five examples of scenario learning you can use in your program implementation:

1. Story-based scenarios

For complex topics that need breaking down, try turning them into a story to appeal to learners. One option is to create fictional characters engaged in a conversation that’s relevant to the topic. Keep your script grounded in reality, so it’s easy for the team to relate to the characters.

Scenario based learning - Story based scenarios

2. Decision-making scenarios

Rather than tell employees what to do, decision-making scenarios give them a chance to think for themselves. What’s the best course of action to solve a problem? How will this benefit the entire team? Questions like these will run through their minds, prompting active participation in the program.

Scenario based learning - Decision-making scenarios

3. Simulation scenarios

Simulation recreates real-world scenarios in a controlled environment to remove the fear of committing mistakes. Since no real risks are involved, learners can run a trial and error as needed until they arrive at the correct answer.

Scenario based learning - Simulation scenarios

4. Game-based scenarios

Need help with short attention spans? Try gamification to make employee training feel like a game, not work. Online training solutions and eLearning platforms like SC Training (formerly EdApp) have mastered this SBL example, offering tools like leaderboards, badges, and custom achievements to keep your team engaged throughout the course.

Scenario based learning - Game based scenarios

5. Branching scenarios

Like taking learners through a maze, branching scenarios use routes to break down learning content. Each stage depends on the previous actions taken by the user, which sharpens their decision-making skills in the process. These can either take the form of text, PowerPoint, or interactive videos.

Scenario based learning - Branching scenarios

How to use a scenario-based strategy for employee training

As scenario-based strategies open up your training to limitless possibilities, it can feel overwhelming to begin crafting your program. Allow this section to be your guidepost in drilling down your blueprint for employee training:

1. Set clear learning objectives

Before planning your scenarios, define clear learning objectives first. What are the skills and competencies you’re looking for among employees? Make sure your scenarios align with them.

2. Use real-world scenarios

Don’t keep things abstract. Use realistic scenarios to replicate your work setting, so it’s easier for your team to apply practical skills.

3. Build opportunities for decision-making

Allow your program to empower employees by presenting scenarios that require critical thinking. This will not only foster adaptability but also attention to detail.

4. Create different stages of complexity

As it’s essential to cater to varying competencies, equip your instructional design examples with different levels to give everyone, whether beginners or experts, a chance to hone their skills through the assessment process.

5. Offer feedback and evaluation

To maximize the effectiveness of scenario-based training, offer timely feedback on your team’s performance. You can opt for checklists or survey templates to simplify your assessment.

Create scenario-based training with SC Training

The great thing about scenario-based learning is that it works online and offline. With an outpour of learning management systems on the market, one platform stands out for its impressive suite of features.

Put training in the hands of every employee with SC Training’s mobile-first, all-in-one learning platform. This scenario-based training software is equipped with an editable course library, which houses over 1,000 microlearning courses to choose from.

The template library offers various ways to contextualize scenario training. Through speech bubbles, the chat template encourages your team to select the most appropriate answer to a set of questions.

Scenario based learning - SC Training Chat Template

Its AI-powered creator tool lets you generate a course in minutes, not months, so you don’t have to start designing from scratch. This reduces time spent on research, which you can use for other immediate tasks.

Above all, its gamification system is perfect for your scenario-based training, as it engages learners with bite-sized materials for better knowledge retention. From jeopardy to letter jumble and multiple-choice, training will never feel boring with this platform.

Scenario based learning - SC Training Gamification

Effectively upskill your employees with scenario-based learning strategies. Sign up for SC Training today.


Bea Maureen Cayone

Bea Maureen Cayone is a content writer for SC Training (formerly EdApp), an eLearning platform that delivers advanced solutions for companies to seamlessly train their teams. Beyond the workplace, she enjoys catching up on her never-ending reading list, playing the piano, and spending time with her dogs.

Privacy|Terms & Conditions|Security| © SC Training 2024