January 18, 2012

What I learned from the Scenario-based Learning book by Dr. Ray Jimenez

I just finished reading this amazing book today and I’m glad I did!

I love the way Dr. Jimenez narrates the book in the form of a story which is full of events, observations and experiences. It’s like he is teaching how to create scenario-based learning courses in a scenario-based book! :)

Everything he talks about in the book has a small little story associated with it. I also like the cool titles he uses for the chapters, which go as Bucket List, Awake at Night, True Chatter, etc. At the end of each chapter, the author directs you to view a course and answer a few questions which allow the readers to think and respond. The language he uses is casual and conversational and at no point you feel that you are reading a ‘boring’ book with a lot of do’s and don’ts and barely any examples. It’s as if you are in a conversation with the author which makes it a perfect example of how you should author content for your courses.

What’s the book all about?

The book is all about how you can create Scenario-based Learning courses and in a very subtle way the author lets you know why you need to follow that path. I particularly liked the example where he talks about his team putting together a course – their feeling that something is missing – and how they add a person to their team and that changes the entire equation… and the story continues. Nops! I’m not spilling the beans here! Go ahead and read the book to unveil this interesting plot…. ;)

My takeaways from the book:

  • Instead of simply presenting a pile of information, embed learning in order to engage the learner to think and react.
  • Have a continuing conversation with your learners.
  • Do not interpret the story for the learners; let them decipher the meaning out of it.
  • Do not state the objectives at the very beginning. Let it be a natural part of the story. This sounds something similar to one of my previous blogs.
  • Listen to the chatter around you and use it to make your scenarios look and sound real.
  • Add emotional bursts to your stories to engage your learners.
  • Add a good set-up for the story. Don’t shy away from adding the so called ‘fluff’ or ‘superfluous’ stuff.
  • Let the feedback be in the natural flow of the story.
  • Allow the learner to experience real-life discoveries by making mistakes, pondering options, agonizing about uncertainties, taking risks, and discovering the consequences of one’s actions.
  • And much more…

My verdict!

If you want to create effective scenario-based courses, this book is a must read! It might just change your perspective of how you author content…

My message for Dr. Jimenez!

I’m eagerly waiting to attend one of your workshops on creating Scenario-based Learning courses! :)

Posted by poojajaisingh11:12 PM
  • Tim

    No link to book on www? Perhaps you can add one!

    • http://twitter.com/poojajaisingh Dr. Pooja Jaisingh

      Thanks Tim… I just added the link :)

  • Stan Skrabut

    I have to agree with you, this is a great book. The challenge is executing the ideas presented.

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