Scenario-Based Workplace Training as Storytelling

  • Hedy Lim


Storytelling evokes a sense of adventure, inviting the learner to imagine a time and place other than the present. Workplace training is explicitly practical, focusing on how to do our jobs appropriately or serving organizational goals (Jia et al., Exp Syst Appl 38: 3372–3382, 2010, p. 3371). Scenarios provide an intersection between story and traditional workplace training, encouraging learners to imagine possible actions and outcomes and to reflect on relevant past experiences, thus considering how content might apply to those situations. The purpose of this chapter will be to draw a connection between the centrality of story in the human experience and the reality of scenario-based workplace instruction.

The process of developing workplace training in our story is simple and straightforward; subject matter experts provide information; and employees are required to demonstrate retention by passing cognitive tests. What then would be the goal of introducing imaginary stories to serious professionals with seemingly more important well-defined tasks? Clark and Mayer (e-Learning and the science of instruction, Pfeiffer, San Francisco, 2011) understood workplace training development as intentionally working to help people change, requiring an understanding of how learners process and adopt new information while acknowledging of the role and nature of a positive learning environment (p. 33). The workplace learning experience must be built for adults with complex learning modalities and depends on an understanding that learning is change. The learning context draws its symbolic meaning from the experience of work itself (Michalski, Manag Learn 45(2), 2014, p. 146). Workplace instruction must draw direct links to work to retain its contextual nature. Story infuses the training with this meaning. Constructivist concepts can be applied in very practical ways in the design and development of workplace training, particularly through analysis of learning needs and authenticity of training contexts.


Workplace learning Workplace instructional design Scenario-based instruction stories Compliance training CBL Scenarios 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Barton HealthSouth Lake TahoeUSA

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