Why Do You Need Scenarios and Case Studies in Your Online Courses?

Why Do You Need Scenarios and Case Studies in Your Online Courses?

Why Do You Need Scenarios and Case Studies in Your Online Courses?

How can you engage your people actively in the learning process? What does it take to see that your staff connects well with the learning content? Well, you need to use problem-based learning elements — scenarios and case studies. Studies conducted by researchers at Stanford University reveal that includingthese elements have produced dramatic improvements in training efficiencies. Researchers at San Francisco State University have found out that they go a long way in improving retention and learner engagement levels. Scenarios and case studies are very useful to deliver compliance and product sales training of high efficacy.

What makes scenarios and case studies highly effective tools of instruction?

Enhance critical thinking abilities of learners

Well-crafted scenarios and case studies help impart reasoning and problem-solving skills to learners. They enable learners to analyze an issue and find ways to resolve it. Consider the two following scenarios.

A financial services firm presents a case study of an organization that has been slapped with a huge penalty for not adhering to CSRC norms. Its learners analyze the case study and identify what went wrong with the organization and ensure that their company doesn’t face a similar predicament.

A drug maker presents a scenario to its sales staffers, in which a physician expresses reservations about using one of its products. The learners are asked to come up with an explanation to address the concerns of the doctor. This provokes their critical thinking skills and helps them come up with the right solution. 

Evaluate learners’ ability to apply the learning 

I’m sure you’d agree with me that training programs which don’t facilitate effective transfer of knowledge and skills to the workplace are useless. Scenarios and case studies help companies assess the ability of their people to apply the learning to their jobs, thereby enabling firms to measure the efficacy of their training.

One of our clients in the manufacturing sector uses scenarios to determine whether their people are able to apply their knowledge of regulatory standards in their work. They have come up with different scenarios to assess their people’s understanding of the provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). For instance, learners are presented a scenario in which a foreign official is invited to dinner. The learners need to identify whether this action amounts to bribery, and if so, explain why.

Another client, a multinational pharmaceutical company, too uses scenarios. The client has developed various scenarios in which common objections raised by doctors are presented. The medical reps of the organization need to handle these objections, and the explanation offered by the reps forms the basis of their evaluation.

Ensure effective learner engagement 

Many companies convert their classroom training materials on regulatory affairs and products, in the form of PowerPoint presentations, into online courses. Most of these presentations are bland and ‘bombard’ the learners with bullet points. Therefore, it is essential to present the content in these presentations in an engaging manner. Scenarios and case studies can be used to make the training interesting and hold the attention of the learner.

For instance, one of our customers uses an avatar to take learners through a case study on oil rig operation. The avatar describes how a foreman, who did not follow the prescribed safety procedures, sustained severe burns. Animated characters were used to explain the case study, and this helped inject life into the training program.

Similarly, animated characters can be used to present scenarios related to product sales training. For instance, you can use animated characters to depict the conversations between the rep and the buyer.

The conversations between the rep and the buyer

The conversations between the rep and the buyer


Scenarios and case studies are very useful to deliver good compliance and product sales training. They help enhance the critical thinking and problem-solving skills of learners. These problem-based learning elements can also be used to assess the ability of staff members to apply their learning to their jobs and make training programs engaging. Hope you liked this post. Do share your views.

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