Canada Association of Tourism Employees

Speculative Situations In Company eLearning

6 tips to make the most of speculative scenarios in corporate eLearning

Imagination is not generally associated with running a business. If you are not in the arts, the business is considered practical, maybe even conservative. But speculation comes into play, and not just in terms of appreciation. Speculative scenarios can be helpful online training tools. They can be in the form of branching scenarios or simpler simulations. They train the ability of learners in companies to apply theoretical learning in context, thereby broadening their thinking and teaching them to work under pressure and to react on their feet. In what other ways can these mental tasks build the business? And what are the essential elements that successful speculative scenarios in corporate eLearning should include?

How to add speculative scenarios to your eLearning design

1. Self-reflection and personal evaluation

One of the advantages of using speculative scenarios in corporate eLearning is that they give corporate learners the opportunity to reflect and discover something new about themselves. Speculative scenarios allow them to explore new situations and hypotheses. However, you need to give them ample opportunity to evaluate their behavior, actions, and perceptions. For example, the speculative scenario is a difficult customer who offers them a subtle bribe. This encourages them to evaluate how they would deal with a COI problem at work and why they might have this reaction. They are also able to explore unexpected or unfamiliar challenges to expand their experiential knowledge. Should you ever be confronted with similar problems in the real world, you already have the necessary practical know-how.

2. Interactivity and immersion

Simulations can be presented in a number of ways. You could be part of an RPG video game scenario where you are completely immersed in a digital world. With your chosen avatar you move through the game and react to situations that arise. You can play through the same scenario while wearing virtual reality glasses with haptic sensors. Or you could read the simulation in question format and answer with an essay. While either method is workable, the interaction aids in remembering. Choose a method that will appeal to as many of your learners’ senses as possible. If there is any way you can smell and taste them, then do this.

3. Hypothetical (but relevant) contexts

Also use realistic examples when developing speculative scenarios in corporate eLearning. The situation may be hypothetical, but it still needs to resonate with employees. A first-person fantasy adventure might be interesting, but it’s removed from your corporate scenario. If you really want to turn employees into elves or knights, at least relate it tangentially. You could – within the video game – move through a model of your sales area and wave magic wands to match a customer with the perfect product. A better scenario would be to collect files or update computers while watching a buzzer. Program activities and tasks that you would encounter on a normal work day. Have them simulate asking for a raise or negotiating with a client asking for a discount.

3. Learner-centered design

While you probably have all sorts of cool tricks that you want to try, you are not developing a custom eLearning course for your business. Use employee surveys and questionnaires to find out which skills they want to acquire or which gaps they need to close. Integrate the chosen lessons into your online training. For example, if they’re having trouble finding leads, simulate cold calling. Create speculative scenarios in which you practice persuading friends, neighbors or strangers to buy company products. It doesn’t even have to be a sale. Just teach them how to start “sales calls”. You can forward the lead to a sales team member at any time and have them close. Go to extremes by exposing them to hypothetical situations that are far-fetched. They will learn to work under pressure and the “little things” will not drag them out as they venture into the workplace.

4. Detailed eLearning feedback

Speculative scenarios in corporate eLearning can end in different ways. As such, it fits perfectly with a branching scenario or virtual simulation format. Allow learners in the company to repeat their simulation, taking a different direction each time, and exploring “alternate endings”. Give the company learner a debrief after each simulation. So they can see what went right / wrong and how to deal with it. This also gives you the opportunity to review how the speculative, theoretical online training courses are linked to real-world applications. For example, the activity can be submerged in the “worst-case scenario”.

However, it still revealed a critical void that the employee must work on in order to improve performance and customer satisfaction. Provide eLearning feedback during the same session while it is fresh. The exercise should be visually engaging, acoustically immersive, and emotionally engaging. Really bring them into the story for both pleasure and knowledge preservation.

5. A solid story

It is not enough to only offer situational formulations. Create a world with exciting, relatable characters. Company learners can choose whoever they identify with best. They can also choose profession-specific avatars that will provide them with tailored skills. These skills can be used in their speculative scenarios in corporate eLearning. Once you’ve selected a character and story arc, wear it throughout your online training. Each unit or module can have its own task. These speculative scenarios can blend into a coherent overall story. Corporate learners are likely to remember the narrative sequence, and it can serve as a call to recall the principles they are learning.


Speculative scenarios and branched simulations are great ways to teach various business skills. It’s a versatile option, and it’s fun too. It is also a rich source of data for analysis. Make sure you use this imaginative game the right way. Use interactive tools for full engagement and create a complete online training experience. Use realistic contexts that are in some way related to the job. Let your corporate learners guide you in the skills they want to acquire. Present your simulations in story formats and end each activity with eLearning feedback and a debriefing. It corrects mistakes and anchors knowledge deeper in the minds of corporate learners.

Are you looking for even more ways to make your eLearning course stand out from the crowd and are you wondering if AR / VR might be what it needs? Download our free eBook Step Into The Screen: The Role of AR / VR Technology in the Future of eLearning to discover the benefits of using augmented and virtual reality technologies in eLearning on how to use AR / VR in Integrated eLearning courses and some of the best practices for creating online training courses using AR technology.


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