Using Animated Scenarios for Realistic Interactive Training

“Why do I have to take this training?” “What does this have to do with my job?”  “I don’t have time for this!”

Sound familiar? Learners can become frustrated with training if they don’t understand the purpose. The worst thing you can do as a trainer is to thrust the learner straight into the content without any explanation as to why.

Setting the Stage

When designing and developing interactive animated training scenarios for eLearning it’s not only important to create engaging interactions for effective learning, but it’s equally important to create an effective introduction to the training. I call this creating a “stage setter.” A stage setter is a short set up to the training by way of a realistic scenario so the learner can relate to the training that’s about to happen. The more the learner can relate to the situation and follow-on training, the more likely they are to pay attention and learn something.

Watch this short interactive training piece I developed on how to determine the correct amount of change to give someone after they make a purchase. This training explains the process of determining change without the use of a computerized cash register, which is the common method of determining change for a customer in today’s retail industry. The audience for this training would be any retail employee who needs to understand the basic task of determining change for a purchase. The rise of computerized cash registers has made determining the correct amount of change in your head a lost art

Watch the training module here:

 

So for me, the stage setter is clear:

  1. Present a scenario in which an employee must make change for a customer.
  2. Show them making a mistake while figuring the amount in their head.
  3. Show the customer’s not-so-pleasant reaction to their mistake.
  4. Show the employee becoming extremely embarrassed and upset. Not a pleasant outcome, but a perfect way to set the stage for training this task. Because as a learner, I definitely don’t want to be in that situation so teach me how to succeed!

Creating the Scenario

I used two technologies for this training. I developed the stage setter scenario, the actual training content, and summary scenario using GoAnimate because it affords great flexibility with scenario development using a wide array of characters and animations. This provided a realistic looking animated scenario which holds the learner’s attention, but was very easy to create without having to hire and film real actors.

I then downloaded the MP4 video file from GoAnimate and placed them in Articulate Storyline pages to house the actual training. After viewing the stage setter and training content videos on consecutive Storyline pages, I developed several interactive pages in which the learner must determine the correct amount of change to provide after a purchase. This is completely interactive, by requiring the learner to determine the correct amount of change,dragging each coin or bill onto the purchaser’s hand, just like they would in the store, and then checking their answer. I provided several opportunities for the learner to practice this way.

In the end, I presented another animated scenario with the cashier providing the correct amount of change and the outcome was a very different and happy customer and cashier.

Questions for Mike about his course development or video expertise? Learn more about his company, SchwindTec, or email him directly at mike@schwindtec.com.

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