Branching scenarios: What, why, how?

Man outdoors making the decision between two walking paths.

Branching scenarios elevate your learning for better engagement and retention.

It’s time to put learners in control and change your learning for the better. Branching scenarios let learners make their own choices, immersing them into the content. Let us explain more…

What are branching scenarios?

Branching scenarios add interaction to your learning to make it more engaging. They’re a way of giving learners choices to put them in control. Learning this way engages with learners much more than ‘standard’ learning. Additionally, the choices your learners make are a deciding point for what comes next – just like real-life.

Presenting challenges through branching scenarios is a type of behavioural learning. Your learners understand the consequences of their actions which should trigger behaviour change.

Branching scenarios are applicable to many different sectors. Whether that be for customer services, emergency services, corporate training and countless others. St John Ambulance used Near-Life™ to create an interactive, branching scenario to give the public the skills and confidence to deal with an emergency. You can try it for yourself here.

Why use branching scenarios?

Branching scenarios prove for better learning for three main reasons:

  • Safer learning environments
  • Higher engagement
  • Better knowledge retention

What do we mean by safer learning environments?

Branching scenarios provide a safe space for learners to practice their skills in an environment where mistakes can be made. In other words, the risks involved in real-life scenarios are completely eliminated.

Learners will be able to understand the impact of their choices without the added pressure of real-life. More importantly, they’ll have the opportunity to continue practicing and learning. Therefore, they’ll learn to make the right choices and more importantly, understand why.

Boosting engagement

Usually, learners are faced with a lot of text and the occasional image which can be quite mundane. Branching scenarios are the opposite; they’re a way to really immerse your learners into the content.

As learners are prompted to make choices throughout the learning they have to engage. Just like playing a game, these scenarios make learners an active participant. This promotes the drive to not only reach the end but to make the correct choices.

Improving knowledge retention

As all of the choices lead to consequences good or bad, they drive behavioural change.

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
Henry Ford

Being able to see the effect of your actions helps to memorise and learn correct behaviours, skills, rules and procedures. Unlike real-life, scenarios can be replayed to practice and build upon knowledge each time.

How do you get started?

It’s important to carefully plan out your content. Firstly, consider the objectives you want to achieve then create your content. Secondly, you should ensure you don’t over complicate the learning, consider using microlearning to support your strategy. Lastly, make sure your content can provide useful data to contribute to future learning. Insights from your scenarios can help to provide individual support and to understand how well your learning strategy is working.

A better way to learn

To sum up, branching scenarios provide a more immersive way to drive behaviour change. Above all, learners can practice and fail in a safe environment where both engagement and knowledge retention will improve.

To see the benefits of branching scenarios you can easily create your own with Near-Life™ CREATOR. Get started today with a 30-day free trial.

Need to find out more? Get in touch with our team.

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