Interview with Trina Sarkar-Mohapatra, GP Strategies by Dani Greening


Every year, we see different learning trends come and go. From virtual reality, to e-learning, to on-the-job training; they’ve all had their time in the spotlight. This year, our Learning Design Manager Trina Sarkar-Mohapatra believes that scenario-based learning is ready to take centre stage. But what is scenario-based learning, and can it really pave the way as a key learning tool? I sat down with Trina to find out more.


What key trends do you see as being vital to learning solutions in the coming year?

Broadly, the interests from organisations are so far around micro learning, blended learning, content curation and story based learning. More and more organisations are moving into the digital medium, and they want to see a direct link of learning into the workplace once the said learning is completed. Therefore, in the digital medium, using interactive scenarios to build learning is an engaging and effective way to practice and measure higher-order thinking skills, and this is definitely one to watch.


Text: Guide and influence SMEs


So can you walk me through the various aspects of scenario-based learning?

Scenario-based learning is a form of immersive learning. It presents a realistic situation and asks learners to solve the issues or make decisions surrounding that scenario, and arrive at a solution. It simulates real life situations into the learning. Users can make decisions comfortably knowing that they can change their answers until they arrive at the correct results, which will enable learners to remember it for the next time they need to use it in their work.

Text: Simulate real-life scenarios


How does this link with our blending learning delivery?

If the blended format being used is a combination of workshops and digital learning, then the case studies that are discussed in workshops/face-to-face environments can be used to carry the learning forward into the digital sphere, and vice versa. For example: In the digital medium you can use a scenario to get learners to think about the outcome of their decisions and then discuss their responses in the workshops, therefore making better use of face-to-face interactions.

Text: Design impactful challenges


Is there a model that you use to talk through when advising clients?

Consulting with clients is about understanding their business needs, therefore a singular model cannot be used, as one solution does not fit all. You can throw in ideas and suggest ways of embedding stories into the learning. However, these stories need to be authentic, as well as being one that the learner can relate to.

What are the key themes about scenario-based learning?

SBL is a good tool for improving problem solving, decision-making and consulting skills and effectively simulates real life circumstances.

Text: Create the relevant characters


How does Scenario-Based Learning improve engagement and understanding?

Scenario-based learning is effective when the scenarios simulate real life situations. The learner can then relate to the story, and an automatic engagement occurs. Once they connect with the characters, they feel naturally empowered to participate in the activity. It helps them understand the concepts better, and their involvement in the learning helps aid their retention rate.

Text: Provide effective feedback


So, is the biggest part making the learner the controller?

Yes, it is. Giving learners the control over their decisions subsequently makes the learning more impactful. Finally, just to add, Scenario-based learning needs to be used in the right areas for it to be fit for purpose. It needs a clear structure and thought process before we say ‘yes’ to this trend of storytelling. Using scenarios requires effort and can be time consuming, but if you get it right, then it is a really powerful tool and can bring in great results and make great stories.

If you are interested in using scenario-based learning, then contact us to find out how GP Strategies can support you.