Scenario design: In-depth and hands-on



How to design scenarios for training

Scenario design workshopsThis live, online course will help you create thought-provoking scenarios that clients and learners love. No more information dumps!

This is a hands-on course. You’ll immediately dig into the fun, hard work of designing subtle decision-making scenarios for all types of performance improvement.

You’ll learn to create mini-scenarios and branching scenarios for self-paced elearning, face-to-face training, virtual sessions, and any other format you can think of.

Your scenarios will not only engage learners but deeply challenge them and help them transfer their learning to the job.

You’ll be challenged, too — this is an intensive course with several hours of homework in which you’ll apply what you’re learning to one of your projects. Our online sessions are very lively, with lots of discussion happening in the chat. You’ll also receive a draft of my upcoming book on training design.

This class showed me how to design scenarios

Is this for you?

If you design training for adults in the business world, this course is for you. If you work in education, the course probably won’t apply to you (why not?).

You’ll need a project to work on and access to a subject matter expert (SME) for that project. Before the course starts, you’ll see a calendar that will help you schedule meetings with your SME.

Before you sign up for the course, please commit to doing the work. This is a hands-on experience. Please also check this quick overview of the approach to training design that it teaches. You might also look at this equally quick overview of my approach to scenario design. The course helps you apply these approaches to your job.

What you’ll do

“Scenario design: In depth and hands on” will help you do the following:

Plan for strong activities

  • Identify a change in business performance that your project will help create
  • Analyze the performance problem and identify where scenarios can help
  • Win the happy participation of subject matter experts (SMEs)
  • Analyze the on-the-job decisions so you can write challenging, realistic scenarios
  • Identify which type of scenario will work best

Write challenging decision points for all types of scenarios

  • Include the complexities of the real world
  • Write subtle options that make people think
  • Create feedback that helps learners build mental models that they’ll transfer to the job
  • Identify which information to include and how to include it
  • Use scaffolding and other guidance to give learners the right amount of challenge
  • Structure your project so learners are immediately engaged and challenged
  • Create a prototype to test on learners and win approval from stakeholders

Create a branching scenario

  • Identify the best idea for a branching scenario
  • Plot the scenario and test it on your audience
  • Write challenging debrief questions to help people transfer their learning to the job

Choose formats and evaluate the project

  • Consider ways to provide scenarios on demand rather than in formal training
  • Choose the most effective media for your needs and budget
  • Evaluate and improve your project using changes in your performance goal and interviews with learners

Design, not tools: We’ll focus on instructional design, not on development tools. Participants who plan to design a branching scenario will probably want to use flowcharting or scenario-writing software like LucidChart or Twine, but we won’t look at how to use development tools. This course will help bring you to the script or storyboard stage.

Includes a PDF of my bookFormat: Sessions are highly interactive, so come prepared to share your ideas, questions, and opinions. We’ll have lots of online discussion using the text chat, and we’ll use audio for in-depth discussion with individual participants, such as when someone volunteers an activity idea for design by the group.

The online sessions aren’t traditional presentations with questions saved for the end. Instead, I ask for your ideas and opinions throughout the session, and you can ask questions at any time, which means there’s a lively chat window.

The course includes a fictional project for you to practice on before you apply what you’ve learned to your own project. Your self-paced learning materials will include branching scenarios that will help you practice important conversations with your client, video walkthroughs of some design steps, and examples of activities to inspire you.

The materials include a 200-page PDF version of my upcoming book, Map it: The hands-on guide to strategic training design. It’s an in-depth guide to using action mapping to analyze and solve a performance problem. Like my workshops, the book helps you apply each step of the process to a real-life project on your job.

Discussion forum: Participants and graduates will have access to a private LinkedIn group for in-depth discussion about all aspects of scenario design.

You’ll have homework!

This is a hands-on course. You need to choose a real-life project so you can apply what you’re learning. Please don’t join the course if you don’t plan to do the work.

You’ll have about 4 hours of pre-work before the first session and about 2 hours of work before each remaining session, for a total of about 10 hours of on-the-job application in addition to your 6 hours in class. Ideally, you’ll work with your subject matter expert for at least some of that homework time.

When you register, you’ll receive a link to details about your on-the-job work so you can schedule time with your project stakeholders. We’ll discuss your homework at each session, and I’ll be available over email for questions and feedback. You’ll also be able to share ideas with your classmates in comments on the private course site or in our LinkedIn group.


Do you want to:

  • Challenge people to think deeply?
  • Help people change what they do?
  • Show how your training helps your organization reach its goals?
  • Dig deep into the most difficult and fun type of training design?
  • Apply action mapping to your work?

Spaces are limited.
US $795 per person. Sign up 3 or more people from the same organization in the same transaction to get a 10% discount.
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JUNE 2016






June 8, 15, 22, 29

9-10:30 AM London
6-7:30 PM Sydney
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June 9, 16, 23, 30

1-2:30 PM New York
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Nov. 8, 15, 22, 29

2-3:30 PM London
See the time in your zone.

Nov. 9, 16, 23, 30

1-2:30 PM New York
See the time in your zone.

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How to register

It’s a two-step process:

  1. Pay with a credit card: Click the “Register” button above to pay with a credit card. You’ll receive an email receipt.
  2. Choose your login name and password: After the payment goes through, the person who paid will get an important email that has a link. You’ll use that link to choose your login for the course site. If someone else has paid for your registration, they should forward the link to you. You won’t have access to the course site until you use that link and choose your user name and password.

Once you’ve chosen your user name and password, you’ll have immediate access to the course materials and can start your prework right away. Everything you need is on the course home page; you don’t have to wait for emails.

In the UK? Registration through is no longer possible. Please use the registration buttons above to sign up directly.

Europe, Australia, or Americas?

The course is the same for every group. The sessions are just scheduled to be convenient for people in certain time zones. You can sign up for any session, regardless of where you live.

Can’t make these dates?

Sign up to be notified when the next course is scheduled.


Time required: The course meets online for four 90-minute sessions, for a total of 6 hours of instruction. Your pre-work and homework will add about 10 hours more.

Testimonials for scenario design webinar seriesEquipment required: You’ll need a fast internet connection. For audio you’ll be able to dial in (you can use Skype) or use a headset and the webinar VOIP connection. We’ll use WebEx for the classroom sessions. You don’t have to pay WebEx anything.

Course recordings are hosted on Vimeo, a video platform used by many businesses. It’s very rarely blocked by employers. If necessary, please ask for the site to be unblocked for your course.

Caffeine required? The chat window is very lively. The online sessions aren’t presentations; they’re more like discussions. I’ll ask you questions throughout the session, and you’ll share your responses in the chat window. For example, I’ll display a weak scenario question and ask, “What’s wrong with this?” and everyone will reply in the chat. You can ask questions at any time.

Recording: The sessions will be recorded for participants to review for up to a year after the class ends. Sorry, the recordings won’t be available to non-participants.

Discussion forum: The forum is a private discussion group on LinkedIn. You need to be a LinkedIn member (it’s free) to participate in the forum. Discussion also takes place on the private course site, in comments to each page, which doesn’t require LinkedIn.


Your facilitator will be me, Cathy Moore. You can learn more about me here.

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