Learning by Design: How to Create Interactive Branched Case Scenarios for e-Learning
Concurrent Session 2 & 3 (combined)
There are many ways to design scenarios for online delivery, from classic text-based cases to meticulously designed interactive branched case scenarios for immersive learning that increases retention, comprehension, and engagement. This synchronous online workshop will introduce an emerging design trend in branched case scenarios for learners at all levels.
At the end of this session, participants will be able to:
- Define three key components of branched case scenario design, including how to create layers for feedback options, and how to compose feedback for each choice.
- Practice developing a one branched scenario in a small group using the 3C model (Challenge, Choice, Consequence) with a provided template.
- List at least two technology tools that can be used to develop branched case scenarios.
Case-based learning (CBL) has been employed in various subject areas in education for over one hundred years. This inquiry-based teaching and learning method is used to prepare learners for practicing skill-based tasks with decision-forcing case scenarios in teaching settings. CBL helps learners develop skills in analytical thinking and reflective judgment by reading and discussing complex, real-life scenarios. At the same time, it enhances a learner’s awareness of the various contextual factors, which affect problem solving in complicated cases. The impact of this teaching can produce practice-based knowledge, which is transferable to real-life situations. However, traditionally designed CBL scenarios are becoming outdated for our new generation of learners (Millennials, Gen Y and Gen Z) due to the fact they may prefer technology-enhanced learning opportunities with digital devices. Now is the time, especially in the age of COVID-19, to take our CBL learning to the next level by creating branched case scenarios that use interactive learning elements to present learners with a problem and offer multiple avenues for exploration.
There are many ways to design scenarios for online delivery, from classic text-based cases to meticulously designed interactive branched case scenarios for immersive learning that increases retention, comprehension, and engagement. These sophisticated branched case scenarios allow learners to become fully involved in an interactive digital learning environment since they can be tackled in multiple ways, challenging learners to choose options to resolve the problem. Based on the learner’s decision, a new challenge is presented, and based on the learner’s reaction to this challenge, further challenges are posed. Branching is a way to increase motivation for learning and helps learners practice scenarios in a more engaged manner answering all the subsequent questions that are dependent on the response to the prior question given by the learner. In this way, leaners contribute to their own learning as well as improve their retention.
This synchronous online workshop will introduce an emerging design trend in branched case scenarios for learners from K12 to higher education. Using a step-by-step approach, the workshop will illustrate how to design cases using investigative real-life scenario branching logic. The presenter will provide information on three key components of branched case scenario design, including how to create layers for feedback options, and to compose feedback for each choice. The workshop will provide information on multiple technology tools (e.g., PowerPoint, Twine, SmartBuilder, Articulate Storyline, Rise) that may assist in creating good online branched learning scenarios. Utilizing four different breakout rooms in the Zoom meeting platform, workshop participants will build an authentic experience by designing one branched scenario in a small group using the 3C model (Challenge, Choice, Consequence) created by Tom Kuhlmann (a template will be provided). Finally, participants will leave this workshop with multiple tools and resources that may be immediately usable at their own institution.
Workshop Agenda, Topics/Activities (90 Minutes)
Step 1 (5 minutes): Opening
Introduction (agenda review)
Step 2 (5 minutes): Warm Up
A sample branched case scenario
Step 3 (15 minutes): Overview: Cased Based Learning vs. Interactive Branched Case Scenarios
- Three key components of branched case scenario design (Case, Options, and Feedback)
- Visual Structure of Branched Scenarios and 3C Model (Challenge, Choice, Consequence)
- Creating layers for feedback options, and composing feedback for each choice
Step 4 (15 minutes): Technology Tools for Creating Branched Learning Scenarios
- Articulate Storyline/Rise
Step 5 (25 minutes): Breakout Rooms for Small Group Activity
Designing Branched Case Scenarios (4 Breakout Rooms with an assigned facilitator)
- With guidance from the facilitator, each group will create a one branched scenario using the 3C model (Challenge, Choice, Consequence). A template will be provided.
Step 6 (20 minutes): Whole Group Discussion
- Groups will review what they have created, what they have learned, and challenges to overcome (reflections on their experiences).
- Deeper conversation about how participants can apply their new knowledge and skills to their own teaching environments.
- Review of resources and various templates for branching cases.
Step 7 (5 minutes): Wrap-up/ Key Takeaways
- Reflective Summary & Closing Remarks
Kuhlmann, T (2009). Build Branched E-Learning Scenarios in Three Simple Steps. Available at: