Branching Scenarios in E-Learning (Challenge)

Branching Scenarios


This e-learning challenge was first posted on the E-Learning Heroes blog on February 14, 2014. (Challenge Link)



This challenge is to create a branching scenario interaction based on the following infographic from

Branching Scenarios

Branching scenarios are a kind of exercise where the learner follows a particular path based on decisions they make to challenges that they are presented with. They’re sort of like those ‘choose your own adventure’ books you might have read as a kid. Every decision leads to another challenge, eventually leading to some sort of conclusion. Tom Kuhlmann from the “Rapid E-Learning” blog on offered the following helpful guide to understanding the structure of branching scenarios:

Branching Scenarios

When creating any branching scenario that involves more than one or two challenges, it’s important to create an outline to provide you with guidance in fine-tuning the navigation (see below for more detail). Thankfully this challenge is based on an existing infographic that nicely laid everything out for me, saving me a bit of time.

To start this project, I began by taking each of the challenges (represented by the blue circles) from the infographic above and created a separate slide for each of them. I followed each of the decision arrows from the infographic to identify the choices for each challenge, and then inserted those choices on each challenge slide in my Articulate project. Each choice was covered with a rectangular hotspot in Articulate. Each hotspot was then assigned a trigger that would activate the next challenge slide based on the user’s response. The conclusion to each branching scenario was a description of a particular type of leader as well as some real-world examples of that particular type of leader (all of which was included in the infographic).

You can see an overview of what the final branching scenario from my Articulate project looks like below:

Branching Scenarios

Depending on the size, branching scenarios can range from very simple to very complex, so make sure to take the necessary time to map them out well before diving in to the development portion of the project. It’s very easy to get lost in the weeds when working with complex branching scenarios, so having a clear overview (like the infographic I used) is critical to maintaining the accuracy of the project, as well as your own personal sanity.

Branching scenarios are an excellent alternative and complement to ordinary ‘question-answer’ interactions because they inherently contain that “This is about me!” factor that works so well at grabbing the user’s attention. Branching scenarios like this are an excellent way to tailor the e- learning experience for users to aid in moving them through the course and keeping them engaged. The also can provide a very rich learning opportunity by allowing the learner to play out a variety of scenarios in order to compare the outcomes.

How can you use branching scenarios in your e-learning training? Feel free to add your thoughts and ideas to the comments below. Happy building!