Toolkit: Scenario design

Design training scenarios
that your learners love

The most in-depth & practical guide
for L&D professionals

Create challenging activities
that respect learners and improve their lives.


Learn from short videos
and interactive text


Practice with the fictional client
in branching scenarios

Person with checklist

Make confident decisions
with the interactive worksheets


Immediately apply each step to your job


Use the toolkit to navigate every project

Plan for strong activities

  • The 3 crucial steps to take before you decide you need a scenario
  • How to decide between a mini and branching scenario
  • The common scenario structure you'll want to avoid
  • The 7 questions you need to ask your SME about the job task
  • How to manage stakeholders who want to add too much information

Choose the best format

  • How to design scenarios for any format, including live sessions
  • Why starting with the activity, not a presentation, makes learning stick
  • Why you'll want to think twice about creating a course, and what you can propose instead
  • Why stock photos can work against you, and what to consider instead

Write challenging questions

  • The 5 ingredients of a thought-provoking scenario
  • When to use "you" and when to avoid it
  • Five ways to make options more challenging
  • Six ways to give feedback without sounding preachy
  • How to identify which information to provide, and when
  • One simple trick that will move you from "showing" to "telling"
  • How to write realistic dialog

Plot a branching scenario

  • The best way to plot a branching scenario and keep the story under control
  • How to create an easy-to-read plot in Twine
  • Why you need redemption paths
  • When to provide help, and when to step back
  • How to write debrief questions that help people transfer their learning to the job

Dig deep into design
and do your best work


More than 100 mini-challenges
to build your design muscles


See your recommended tasks
and track them in the toolkit


Download and customize worksheets


Earn your badge by doing
real-world work

Learn from 38 years of experience

I'm Cathy Moore. Since 1983, I've helped people solve performance problems in the corporate, educational, and government worlds. I created the action mapping design process that's used by organizations around the world.

Starting in 2003, I focused on writing scenarios for Fortune 500 and government clients. In 2009, I began sharing my scenario design tips in my blog.

Those ideas became a four-week course that ran from 2013-20. The hundreds of participants included designers from the International Committee of the Red Cross, Ikea, Thomson Reuters, YUM! Brands, and Habitat for Humanity.

Now this toolkit goes into more depth than the live course ever could. It will help you write strong scenarios, and you'll also practice persuading stakeholders to listen to your ideas.

It's not another course!

The toolkit is a how-to guide with lots of practice. You'll refer to it again and again.
See for yourself. Click the thumbnails below to see the full page. You'll need to zoom in.

Choose the format
Interactive worksheet
Write a strong stem
Are images always a good idea?

Toolkit or course:
What's the difference?

You could use this toolkit, or you could sign up for a live course.
Which will be more useful?


Start now
You set the pace
Apply it immediately
Dig deep into design
Practice with branching scenarios
Use it often as a reference
Mix of interactive formats
Certificate based on work

Course or webinar

Wait until the next session
Presenter sets the pace
Can't work while attending
Not enough time to dig deep
Unlikely to have scenarios
One-time experience
Mostly presentation
Certificate based on attendance

Write a branching scenario, step by step

Help design a branching scenario for the fictional client, from the analysis to the final script.

Wide variety of practice

Use the more than 100 mini-challenges to practice choosing ideas, writing strong questions, and deciding which media to use for a wide variety of scenarios.

Interactive decision tools

Answer questions about every aspect of your activity and get custom feedback — it's like talking it through with Cathy.

What they're saying

about the live scenario course and action mapping

I'm in a "happy place" now. Your action-mapping approach, advice, and insight will help me create learning experiences for the right reasons (to benefit the learner!) and articulate those reasons to others. You've helped me find value in my work again. I can't thank you enough!
Senior instructional designer, US

I was lucky enough to be able to do your scenario-based learning course last year. I've just completed a SBL project. 72,000 people have completed the training so far and we've received unsolicited feedback from around 500 users, who had so many positive comments to make! I'm really overwhelmed by how useful everyone has found the training.
Learning designer, Australia

Just wanted to let you know that I finally got feedback on the prototype I sent to the client and it's very positive. They've really got on board with the idea, all thanks to your course!
Instructional designer, UK

I cannot recommend this workshop highly enough. So practical, so filled with insight — you will be able to immediately implement what you learn, regardless of the format or size of your project.
Lead learning experience designer, US

Your work and framework is so amazing! The value I provide as a consultant has improved by applying your methodology.
Independent ID, Canada

Design for any format

Want to use scenarios in live discussions? Provide them as spaced practice?

The toolkit helps you choose the best format for your goal and audience.

No software required

The toolkit helps you design a prototype activity. It isn't a development tool.

You'll develop your design outside the toolkit, using any tool and any format.

Use it for every project

Your payment gives you one year of access.

After the first year, we'll give you free access at the same level for the lifetime of the product, as our gift to you.

Get instant access
to the Scenario Design Toolkit


  • >40 videos
  • Branching scenarios for practice
  • >100 mini-challenges
  • Interactive decision tools
  • Customizable downloads
  • Job tasks with tracking
  • Lifetime access**

Team of 3*

  • >40 videos
  • Branching scenarios for practice
  • >100 mini-challenges
  • Interactive decision tools
  • Customizable downloads
  • Job tasks with tracking
  • Lifetime access**
  • Add team members
  • See team members' progress

* Add more people for $915 each:
Buy a team plan, then log in and go to "Team leaders > Manage your team." More info.
** Your payment applies to one year of access. After that, we'll give you free access as our gift, for the lifetime of the product.
All prices are in US dollars. This is not a subscription. Your card will be charged only once.
Purchasing, cancellation, and refund policy

1% for the planet: We proudly allocate 1% of our total revenue towards initiatives dedicated to removing carbon from our atmosphere, ensuring your purchases have a positive impact on the environment. Learn more


Create a team
of 3 or more

1. Identify a team leader. They'll have access to the toolkit and see team members' progress through the tasks.

2. Buy one team license. The team leader will log in and enter the email addresses of team members. The leader can also buy additional seats.

For more, see How does team access work?

Build these skills

This toolkit helps you build the action mapping competencies shown here.

o = Addressed at a high level

X = Discussed more in depth with examples, practice, or worksheets

   = Might be new or challenging for conventionally trained instructional designers

Still have questions?

Still need answers? Contact us.

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