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How I use animated scenarios to provide realistic interactive training

“Why do I have to take this training?”

Sound familiar? The worst thing you can do when providing training is to thrust the learner straight into the content without any explanation as to why.

When designing and developing interactive 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 will pay attention and learn something.

For example, I developed a short interactive training piece 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. Determining the correct amount of change in your head is becoming a lost art with the use computerized cash registers.

So for me, the stage setter is clear. Present a scenario in which an employee must make change for a customer. Show them making a mistake while figuring the amount in their head. Show the customer’s not-so-pleasant reaction to their mistake. 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!

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 provides a realistic looking animated scenario which holds the learner’s attention, but is very easy to create without having to hire and film a bunch of real actors.

I then took the animated videos 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 totally interactive by requiring the learner to determine the correct amount of change and then actually dragging each coin or bill onto the purchaser’s hand, just like they would in the store, and then check their answer. I provided several opportunities for the learner to practice this way.

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

You can view the entire eLearning module here.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Adam February 2, 2017, 1:16 pm


    This is great, how long did it take you to make?

  • February 2, 2017, 1:31 pm

    Glad you liked it! This took about a week to build. I had to write the script for the animated story, come up with the script for the content presentation and examples, get the audio recorded, build the animation in GoAnimate, build the interactions in Storyline, and then put it all together in Storyline. Well worth the time spent. Thanks again!

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