Scenario-Based eLearning Module

As an educator at the school, district, or department level, you strive to help all students reach their full learning potential...


Playing an Active Role

During this module, you’ll play an active role in helping students to achieve success with the prescribed curriculum. You'll meet students like Jade who struggles with curriculum outcomes despite her intelligence and many strengths and interests. As you collaborate with her homeroom teacher, the resource teacher will suggest articles and videos to support you with making evidence-informed decisions.  Along the way, you'll:

  1. Develop a more precise understanding of the key characteristics of learning disabilities.
  2. Add new interventions to your briefcase.
  3. Create personalized resources that will assist you with applying your new knowledge and skills to support students in the classroom .


Making Decisions

You and your virtual colleagues will then use this knowledge to guide the selection of interventions to support your struggling learners. And, as is the case in the real world of your classroom, there is no omniscient narrator poised to sagely tell you how best to help your students. You and your virtual colleagues will experience the outcomes of your choices and then draw your own conclusions. No worries though. In scenario-based learning, mistakes are seen as learning opportunities. As Neils Bohr said, “An expert is someone who has made all of the mistakes that can be made in a limited domain" (as cited in Clark, 2013, p. 9). If, upon reflection, you and your colleagues determine that you have chosen a less-than-optimal path, you can correct your mistake by selecting a different course of action to help put your struggling students back on the path to success.

Module Topics

Trying the Demo

The module is now available. Preview an excerpt by:

  1. Trying out the interactive demo for the third of the module's six scenes.
  2. Checking out the photo gallery.

Experience how this eLearning module will help you and your colleagues to support the students in your school, district, and province who are capable of learning--and whose "differently wired" (Armstrong, 2012) brains equip them with strengths that can be leveraged to overcome obstacles to learning and to learn in different ways.


Click the Contact button if you would like more information or to schedule a meeting to view the entire module.

Subject Matter Expert Involved in the Project

PERFORMEX is working with a highly qualified subject matter expert (SME) to ensure that the module content reflects the most up-to-date research on learning disabilities.  

SME Qualifications

  • Masters in Foundations of Education (specializing in Exceptional Learners)
  • Graduate Certificate in Applied Behaviour Analysis
  • Over a decade in leadership roles, assisting educators with selecting appropriate strategies to support students with diverse learning needs.

Building the Case for Training on LDs

Need help building a case for the funds to independently participate in this module or to purchase "job experience in a box" (Clark, 2013, p. 6) for a group of educators? Click the button below to learn more about the cost to individuals, families, and society of not providing training to educators on learning disabilities....

10% of Net Profits Go to Schools  

By participating in the professional learning opportunity provided by this module, you will be supporting students in two ways:

  1. You will be building on your current knowledge of LDs and adding new interventions to your briefcase--both of which will help you to provide better support to your students.
  2. 10% of net profits will be donated to schools to purchase additional resources such as assistive technology to support students with learning disabilities. For example, these funds could be used to purchase tablets and apps like those discussed in Jade's scenario in the module.

Traditional Training vs Scenario-Based eLearning (SBeL)

As an educator at the school, district, or department level, you know that the measure of success for training is the extent to which learning positively impacts the achievement and well-being of students in the classroom. As Allen (2007) states, you know that "success isn't achieved by simply knowing things or 'doing well' during the course of instruction; it's what happens afterward that counts" (Chapter 11, Success-based design, para. 1).



Traditional tell-and-test training views your job as that of test taker-- rather than teacher. The only expectations are that you passively receive information and remember it long enough to keep test scores high--thereby providing the training program with the illusion of success. According to Clark and Mayer (2016), however, "The goal of effective instruction is not only to present information but also to encourage the learner to engage in appropriate cognitive processing during learning" (p. 35). Nevertheless, in traditional training formats, there are few or no instructional activities to assist you with the deep processing of information for long-term retention and application. In fact, research on the forgetting curve reveals that you will remember only about 10% of the content from a "sit-and-git" type training session a week later (Kohn, 2014a).

When you carve out time from a hectic schedule to engage in professional learning, your goal isn't to do well on a test. The bottom line is that students do not benefit from what you knew during the course of the training session--but by what you do with that learning when you return to the classroom...



In contrast, the focus of SBeL is the immersion of participants in learning environments that maximize deep learning and the transfer of knowledge and skills to where they count--the classroom. SBeL modules like Supporting Students With Learning Disabilities for Success employ context, challenge, activity, and feedback to support learners with the process of:

engagement→ retention→ retrieval 

To learn more about how SBeL will help you to help your students, continue reading below...

Learn About How SBeL Increases Deep Learning & Transfer...


Context - Constructing & Applying Knowledge/Skills

SBeL immerses you in a realistic story to increase real learning--and the transfer of that learning to the real world. For students to benefit from your training, the key is for you to be able to recall and apply knowledge and skills in the classroom when you need them.


To begin with, stories are engaging--and engagement is the first step in the on-the-job retrieval process:

engagement→ retention→ retrieval

During Supporting Students With Learning Disabilities for Success, a student named Jade who is bursting with personality and enthusiasm will draw you into her story. You'll care about the problems faced by Jade who has so much to offer her school, home, and community. Moreover, as Clark (2009) points out, "The scenario creates a 'moment of need' for the knowledge and skills to resolve it" (Does SBL Work? para. 4). Emotional involvement in these students' stories will increase retention and move you to action.

Prior Knowledge

Stories also support deep learning by activating relevant prior knowledge. When you are situated in familiar contexts, past knowledge and experience are brought to mind to help you make sense of the situation. Learning occurs when you actively integrate new knowledge from the training environment into existing cognitive structures activated from long-term memory into working memory in a way that it can be readily accessed when needed on the job.

Retrieval Hooks

In contrast to traditional training's slide by slide "information dump," the realistic contexts of SBeL mirror the situations in which you find yourself in the workplace--and as a result support transfer. Clark and Mayer (2016) explain

It is not sufficient to simply add new knowledge to long-term memory....For successful transfer, e-lessons must incorporate the context of the job in the examples and practice exercises so the new knowledge stored in long-term memory contains good retrieval hooks" (pp. 42-43)

During SBeL, you learn about and practice new knowledge and skills in realistic settings. Thanks to this in-context learning, you are then better able to retrieve the necessary knowledge and skills when similar situations are encountered on the job.


Challenge - Engaging in "Effortful Processing"

Effortful Processing

SBeL challenges you to solve meaningful problems, and in so doing, engages you in "effortful processing" (Kohn, 2014b, People May Resist, para. 1).  Think about a memorable experience when you learned something new....If it's memorable, you likely had to work at it. Kohn (2014b) asserts, " Researchers from neuroscience, psychology, education, and even kinesiology have... reached the surprising conclusion that infusing training with strategic difficulties and challenges dramatically improves the learner’s long-term retention" (para. 5).


How do instructional designers ensure that the challenge isn't too difficult? After all, if a challenge is too difficult, all you will remember is frustration and failure. Instructional designers build scaffolds into SBeL to provide guidance for you and your colleagues with varying levels of background knowledge and experience. For example, in Supporting Students With Learning Disabilities for Success, the resource teacher, Rhonda, acts as a coach. While you are in the process of making decisions during the scenarios, she is available when you need her to recommend additional resources and to pose questions to prompt reflection. After you have experienced the outcomes of your decisions and have had a chance to draw your own conclusions, Rhonda also meets with you for a debrief, ensuring that you understand the reasons behind the outcomes of your decisions.


Activity - Processing Deeply for Transfer

SBeL presents you with authentic problems, challenging you to not only learn new knowledge and skills--but to also practice using your new learning. You make decisions in situations that mirror those encountered on the job. As Moore (2015) points out, "Our jobs require far more than knowledge. We have to skillfully apply that knowledge to complex situations. We have to use it to make good decisions" (p. 21).

Here are the types of activities you will engage in during the Supporting Students With Learning Disabilities for Success module. In the context of authentic student scenarios, you will:

  • Synthesize information about the characteristics of LDs from a variety of sources.
  • Analyze the pros and cons for suggested interventions.
  • Select what you believe to be the most appropriate course of action.
  • Experience and evaluate the outcomes of your choices.
  • Recover from mistakes.
  • Create personalized learning resources that will help you with transferring your learning to the classroom.

Feedback - Experiencing Outcomes

Experiencing the outcomes of decisions--rather than being told--makes the learning more memorable. In SBeL, just as in real life, you experience the results of your choices and then draw your own conclusions. This effortful processing increases retention. In fact, as Spero (2012) explains, increasing expertise through SBeL has the major advantage of time compression:

One of the key limitations to learning from our real life experiences is that the consequences do not always unfold right away, so it hampers our ability to connect the consequence to the action. Simulations allow the designer to accelerate time so that the learner can make a decision, implement it, and experience its consequences all within the same exercise. (p. 6)

Experience How SBeL Increases Deep Learning & Transfer...

Now that you've read about how SBeL immerses participants in learning environments that maximize deep learning and the transfer of knowledge and skills, why not experience SBeL for yourself. Go ahead and click the Try Demo button below. Experience how Supporting Students With Learning Disabilities for Success will help you and your colleagues to support the students in your school, district, and province who are capable of learning--and whose "differently wired" (Armstrong, 2012) brains equip them with strengths that can be leveraged to overcome obstacles to learning and to learn in different ways.

Allen, M. W. (2007). Designing successful e-learning: Forget what you know about instructional design and do something interesting [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.ca
Armstrong, T. (2012, October). First, discover their strengths. Educational Leadership. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-
Clark, R. C. (2009, January 20). Accelerating expertise with scenario-based learning. TD Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.td.org/Publications/Magazines/TD/TD-Archive/2009/01/Accelerating-Expertise-with-Scenario-Based-Learning
Clark, R.C. (2013). Scenario-based e-learning: Evidence-based guidelines for online workforce learning. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
Clark, R.C., & Mayer, R.E. (2016). e-Learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidlelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning (4th ed.). John Wiley & Sons.
Kohn, A. (2014a, March 13). Brain science: The forgetting curve–the dirty secret of corporate training. Learning Solutions Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/1379/brain-science-the-forgetting-curvethe-dirty-secret-of-corporate-training
Kohn, A. (2014b, September 17). Brain science: Should learning be easy? How effortful processing improves retention. Learning Solutions Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/1379/brain-science-the-forgetting-curvethe-dirty-secret-of-corporate-training 
Moore, C. (2015). Map it: The hands-on guide to strategic training design [Book draft]. Retrieved from Cathy Moore's course website, Scenario design: In depth and hands on.
Spero, K. (2012, October). Scenario-based eLearning. TD At Work, 29(1210), 1-16.