Surgical Insertion of Micro-Scenarios that Beautify and Fire Up Your eLearning

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The points of insertion of micro-scenarios in your eLearning program will boost learning effectiveness. The insertion points are important since it is best to use micro-scenarios sparingly and at the appropriate areas. When properly done, you can save on time and improve the quality of your programs.

Micro-scenarios – small, tiny, instant, rapid, quick and engaging learning – can add GLOW to your eLearning courses.

Using these types of scenarios to replace the page-turning type of learning will make you bankrupt. Why? Because scenarios can be costly if not used properly. Micro-scenarios are like diamonds on a ring. The shank of the ring is made of gold or silver, while the diamonds are strategically used to create the highlight or as a sparkling feature. The use of micro-scenarios utilizes the same concept.

Because they are high-packed interactions, micro-scenarios should be injected – yes injected or surgically embedded – in the right places and well-timed to make them work successfully. If micro-scenarios are used extensively – possibly wastefully – they become like wrongly applied Botox injections. Therefore, it is advisable to inject micro-scenarios in the right places and at the right times.

Scenarios are best used in must-learn areas. Please see related blog.

So, let’s be smart and inject micro-scenarios where they create the most impact in your eLearning projects.

These are the ten (10) areas.

1. Apply. When asking learners to apply ideas – instead of doing a memorization test, ask them to respond to a micro-scenario of a real-life event.

2. Response. Ask learners to pause and reflect on an idea – instead of just telling them, create a story interaction and scenario to elicit response.

3. Lesson starters. Start your lesson with a micro-scenario and story interaction – put learners on interaction mood at the very start. Get them hooked and engrossed so they can appreciate the topic.

4. In webinars. Allow learners to respond to a micro-scenario and story interaction as an activity in a webinar. This enhances the learners’ focus and attention in the webinar instead of multi-tasking. (See related blog “No-Lecture Webinar”)

5. Coaching. During coaching sessions, encourage participants to respond to a micro-scenario and story interaction based on their answers, to gauge their questions and learning needs.

6. Software. In software training, instead of just capturing the motions of the screen to show how the software works, use a micro-scenario and ask learners to respond to a real-life case. Then ask them to apply the solution in the software. See related blog.

7. Risky topics. In topics of a “risky nature” where sensitivity is a “must” in the design – like sexual harassment, disciplinary action or ethics – use a micro-scenario and story interaction to put learners in simulated situations that are real and yet less threatening.

8. Reminders. Use micro-scenarios and really small ones like 1-2 minutes as reminders. When you send out an email to remind or promote your courses, add a micro-scenario to provide learners with a teaser or a glimpse of the type of exciting learnings that can be derived from the program.

9. Complex. Use micro-scenarios in complex content to help learners find context or relate the complex ideas with real-life meaning.

10. Harm. When learning requires some physical risks or potential harm, it is good to use micro-scenarios to expose the learners to the content without having to go through the risk of physical harm like in oil rigs, drilling operations, handling hazardous materials and others.


Micro-scenarios work pretty much like diamonds in a ring – it gives the necessary glitter to your eLearning program. However, it should always be “injected” at the right place and at the right time for it to be totally effective, relevant and valuable to your learners.

Related blogs

Engaging Technical eLearning – Tips on Design and Delivery

“How to Ask for a Raise” Scenario Plus 10 Reasons Why Scenarios Work

Creating Micro-Scenarios – X-Men Plays Hockey

Ray Jimenez, PhD
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