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Training Company Topics: How to Add Experienced-Based Learning to Training

Summary: It’s useful to add scenario-based learning modules to training initiatives to build the confidence of your employees, while providing them with skills and critical decision-making capabilities they need to improve customer experience. Here are recommendations from the experts at Allencomm, a top training company with over 40 years of experience.

Is your organization using scenario-based learning in training? Sometimes called ‘experience-based learning,’ these are training modules that make use of real-life scenarios to create content. It customizes training to include scenarios that employees might encounter on-the-job. In so doing, it’s used to create highly effective learning that gives employees the opportunity to develop the skills they’ll need to fill their role effectively.

How? In scenario-based learning, skills are put into context through storytelling, with opportunities to make decisions and consider potential outcomes. It’s often used in custom eLearning courses in web-based training for the visual element. Simply put, it allows for training that creates opportunities to show, rather than tell, employees how to solve real-life problems they are likely to encounter.

Training company developing scenario-based learning

What are the benefits of scenario-based training?

Training content based on real-life scenarios is automatically more engaging for employees because they can instantly see the relevance and benefit to their performance. Beyond that, when you include scenario-based training there are five vital points of increased ROI for your organization.

Scenario-based learning:

  1. Builds Competencies. By putting skills in context, you’re building a progressive training that automatically teaches the steps in a memorable way because it’s told through storytelling. As employees work through the steps and sections of the scenario, they get to make decisions and test outcomes.
  2. Reduces Risk. It’s much safer to make a mistake during a training exercise than it is to try a new process and make a rookie mistake on the job. With scenario-based learning, employees can try out and practice processes until they are comfortable and certain, which reduces the potential for mistakes later.
  3. Speeds Time to Proficiency. Employees learning through experience-based modules are essentially getting on the job training from day one. Use of digital, asynchronous learning allows for learners to work through modules quickly and efficiently, which speeds up time to competence. Increased proficiency from day one also increases productivity.
  4. Increases Confidence. Employees that use scenario-based training have a sense that they know better what to expect when they complete training and take on their new responsibilities. Moreover, practice time is reassuring and helps employees to know they’ve retained the information they’ve learned for use when they need it.
  5. Builds Capabilities. Practice scenarios build good decision-making and skills that transfer to problem-solving capabilities.

Ask a training company expert: How to add scenario-based learning 

At a loss for how to identify opportunities to add scenario-based learning to your onboarding, reskilling, or other training program? Take the following short self-diagnostic quiz to determine your needs.

  1. Start with a review of any needs analysis your team has conducted. Have you identified the desired outcomes of your training? What competencies and capabilities do your trainees need to acquire? These are important first steps to take to spot the best opportunities to create a scenario-based learning scenario.
  2. What are the specific processes that your employees need to learn to be successful? Does your team have a skills map in place to refer to? You can also gather insights from management, and team members already performing the roles successfully.
  3. Which hard skills are the most involved, process-wise? Any process with multiple steps, such as using an inventory ordering system and working with vendors; use of a new technology; installing or making use of a new product, such as a medical device; or following a complicated safety process in a manufacturing plant might all be good scenarios to include in a training to give employees a chance to repeat steps to facilitate learning retention.
  4. Are there skills needed that require good decision making or critical thinking? Scenarios that require employees to make judgement calls in potentially gray-space areas – using interpersonal skills in a customer or client facing situation, for example – are potentially the right scenarios to add to your training so that employees may practice making decisions and build confidence.

Once you’ve noted your answers to these questions, you should have a sense of which scenarios make the most sense to add to your training program.


Scenario-based learning modules are a top method to improve learning retention, gain employee engagement, and speed time to proficiency. Add them to custom eLearning courses and web-based training. Once your team knows which scenarios to add, it’s only a matter of developing the content and adding it to your LMS.

Often, it can be useful to bring in a training company and/or training consultant to help develop that content or provide the technology to add the right digital tools to create the training. Specifically, you’ll want instructional design and user experience skills, as well as the technology to add digital learning and integrate it with your platform.