Off-the-shelf, or ready-made E-Learning courses are a great way to provide training to your employees quickly and cost-effectively.

These are courses that have been pre-designed, are typically SCORM compliant and are ready to be installed on your Learner Management System right away.  

In this article, we’ll discuss four reasons to consider using Off-The-Shelf E-Learning courses within your LMS platform as well as some disadvantages.

so, what are branching scenarios

A branching scenario is an interactive activity, or game – that presents learners with a specific challenge, based on a real-world scenario.


For example – let’s say we want to run call center agent training for an insurance company.

The scenario could be that of a client calling into the call center to buy life insurance – the goal of the game is to make the sale – and we will give the learner feedback based on three performance areas:

  • Professionalism – how well they presented themselves and the company to the client
  • Knowledge – how well they understood the range of products
  • Accuracy – did they make any mistakes capturing the customers details

On answering the call, the learner is given a few options to choose from on how to start the conversation.

One that is ideal – “good afternoon, thank you for calling super insurance, Chris speaking how may I assist you today” (which would give the learner 10 points towards their professionalism area)

One that is ok – “Thanks for calling super insurance, Chris hello” (this would give 5 points)

And one that is not acceptable – “Howzit” (no points – you get no points)

Each of these options can lead to vastly different outcomes.

  • When selecting – the ideal greeting, the customer has a cheerful demeanor.
  • When selecting the Ok option, the customer seems irritated.
  • When selecting the unacceptable option – the customer shouts at the learner and hangs up – game over.

Each decision in a branching scenario, leads to another set of choices – and consequences (good or bad).


Now remember – this is not a test so you’re not going to be associating a pass mark with this activity – its designed for replayability – you want to give your learners the freedom to explore – to see what would happen if they made the wrong selection or if they can make a course correct after making a mistake.

lets make a branching scenario

So, what do you need to make a branch chain scenario?

First, as always, is a good plan. You’ll need to create the overall layout of your scenario essentially a spider map showing how each scene leads into the next. This is a brainstorming session with you, the subject matter expert and some good old pen and paper.


Next, you’ll need to create your storyboard (or script) for each scene. What will the customer say in each scene. What is the exact wording of your response buttons, etc.

Once this is done, you are ready for media creation. There are a few options available.

You could use images and text – or image text and voiceover.

You could film the scenes using a camcorder or smartphone (a large budget means you can use actors – a not so big budget means you can use Gary from accounting)  

Or you could create animated scenes using a rapid animation tool.


Lastly – you’ll need to put it all together in your favorite E-Learning authoring tool (Articulate, Lectora or Adobe Captivate will all handle this project like a champion.


So, you see branching scenarios can definitely improve engagement and retention – while creating a risk-free environment to practice and learn from mistakes.


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