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The Basics of Branching Logic

This article explores a type of scenario-based learning called ‘branching logic’:

Branching logic is basically a “choose your own adventure” approach to training employees. It places employees in real-world scenarios specifically tailored to a company’s unique processes and procedures. This experiential training enables employees to experience common situations that may occur on a sales call, customer interaction, or interactions with other employees. At regular intervals during the training, the employee must make a decision. Based on their decision, correct or incorrect, the next scenario is dependent on that specific decision. If the employee chooses incorrectly, they realize jeopardy, or a less-than-perfect situation that they must remedy in order to get back on the correct path. No two employees experience the same learning path, but still successfully meet the learning objectives.

I would label the above as a single player version of the scenario. The real challenge is to come up with a scenario that takes input from from a group of learners. Group decision making scenarios are the way to go. Here, each learner can see the decisions made by other learners at every essential node of the scenario. The scenarios themselves can be either a “error-chain” type of rendition or the “multi-plot” story based rendition. I’m currently working on a project that uses these methods, something Jay Cross wrote about some months ago.

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