A linear narrative structure is becoming less popular in literature, cinematography, and eLearning. Nowadays learners are eager to make choices and face the consequences of their decisions. It’s no wonder that eLearning designers are starting to take a closer interest in eLearning simulations with branching scenarios.
iSpring TalkMaster is a simple yet powerful tool which allows everyone to build a realistic conversation simulation based on a branching scenario and assess core interaction skills. It can be efficiently used for different objectives. In this post, let’s take a glance at what creating a scenario-based training with TalkMaster might look like.
Step 1. Arranging your scenario in a tree structure
A convenient form of data representation, the tree structure enables you to visualize the whole training conversation you are developing. Each element of your scenario can be easily manipulated, thanks to the drag-and-drop editor.
Make a draft of your script or work right in TalkMaster
It is essential to set explicit goals for a learner and define the desired outcomes. At the end of this training, the learner should be able to deal with a customer complaining about poor customer service, for instance. Identify the most important points the trainee has to bear in mind while talking to a customer and making decisions. For example, you are a bank representative. A person is having a phone conversation with you about a mistaken transaction on his credit card. What is it important to ask first? How will you comfort the customer? Will you ask him to come to the local office? What kinds of questions would a professional ask?
Create one scene after another – “grow” your tree
Branches of your tree should lead to different results. While writing a dialogue script, pay attention to providing a versatile plot development. The whole situation should feel “real” to a trainee. For learners, to learn what not to say is sometimes even more important, because this may be the key factor in their future successful communication with a customer.
Just drag and drop the scenes, arrange them systematically, and link them to each other. You can also easily adjust the scale.
Configure the player. You may want to customize the color scheme and use the colors of your corporate logo. TalkMaster automatically marks the starting scene, scenes where replies haven’t been linked to corresponding questions, and the scored scenes. Three colorful Scene Markers and different scene colors (which you can change) can help you ensure that everything happens at the right time and in the right place.
Create scenes for feedback
A learner should get a precise piece of information on how he’s been doing, a clear explanation of his mistakes, and practical advice on how to improve immediately. Be polite and encourage trainees, motivate them by showing how the knowledge they are acquiring can become an essential tool for success.
In some cases, evaluation is a must. The scoring system in TalkMaster gives you an opportunity to choose what number of points to set for a specific decision made by the participant, to require any passing score you wish, and also to use the data on your learners’ results in a creative way when constructing a new scenario. Learn some more advanced tips for creating scenario-based training courses.
Keep the process of studying challenging for learners. Give them alternatives, make them think and truly pick up skills in a safe environment.
Step 2. Designing a contextual setting
The main purpose at this stage is to make everything look as familiar as possible. It is superb if the learners feel as if they might see the same scenario right behind the door.
Select a background from the built-in library
There is also an opportunity to add one of your own or replace the chosen background with a new one at any time.
Add a character
A whole range of different pictures you can choose from for your particular purpose is available with just one click. The chosen character will be automatically added to all the scenes of your scenario.
Adjust the character’s emotions for each scene
You are free to choose between the five most common emotional states: Happy, Normal, Puzzled, Unhappy and Angry. Make sure you’ve selected the relevant facial expressions for each particular point of your scenario. Let the character be truly dynamic.
Step 3. Adding a voice-over to your scenario
If you feel your simulation lacks something, try adding sound.
Record your voice or upload the voice-over you’ve chosen
Not only does it help to increase the feeling of authenticity, but also trains learners’ active listening skills.
You might also want to have professional actors’ voices recorded. In that case, you’ll find it easy to send them your script.
Use the Audio editor to adjust all the elements of the narration
On the toolbar, there are buttons for adding effects, background noise removal and adjusting the length of the narration. Don’t forget to preview what you have done so far to make sure everything works the way you want it to.
One of the great assets to your project is the fact that you can use your scenario on any device: Windows PC, iPad, Android, etc. It can also be effortlessly published to your LMS, website or to iSpring Cloud.
Check out some engaging scenarios created with iSpring TalkMaster:
- A scenario-based conversation simulation for bank hotline employees dealing with distressed customers
- A scenario-based conversation simulation for salespeople working in an automotive dealership
Communication skills are vital for solving numerous issues. Fruitful interaction with a customer can build on the success achieved in a virtual learning experience. Interactive scenario-based training substantially boosts self-reliance and increases work incentives. It is a course design that allows an employee to learn job responsibilities or accelerate expertise through accomplishing a communication task in virtual reality. It is sort of a role-playing game, but designed in a way that gives you an opportunity to immerse yourself in the situation, make decisions and gain knowledge in a more guided environment. Interactive eLearning simulations help learners apply the information they’ve learned to real-life situations and get to grips with anticipated problems they may encounter on a daily basis, or very unusual ones, which they could otherwise learn over quite a long period of time. Besides, this is probably the best means to keep students actively involved.
Kate is an eLearning content developer and a freelance writer. She’s joined the eLearning community to share her knowledge and passion for education, both traditional and online, and receive useful feedback from the industry experts. You can contact her via LinkedIn.