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SPIP: Scenario-based Learning


In Scenario-Based Learning, students are typically posed a realistic story or set of circumstances / triggers, usually based on an ill-structured or complex situation (or context) they are required to address/solve. 

In the process students must actively learn and integrate knowledge, skills and attitudes, and analytical and critical thinking skills to make decisions or solve issues at various points.  They are encouraged to explore assumptions and alternatives, or even future factors, to arrive at different solutions / conclusions / speculations, just as they would do on the job, except that this learning is set in a safe but real-world context. Numerous feedback opportunities to students are provided, based on the decisions they make at each stage in the process.

Book Resources


Why does Higher Ed need scenarios? What approach used in businesses and organisations can be useful in Higher Ed? Find out how learning using scenarios can prepare students to respond to future forces that are uncertain and disruptive, with agility and effectiveness.

What is an effective methodology to develop nurses with the ability to respond to complex situations such as cross-infections?  Find out more about the effects of a scenario-based simulation approach on students’ learning, compared against other approaches such as study groups.

How does scenario-based learning look like when it is used online?  Would scenario-based learning + online learning be an appropriate approach for STEM education?

How are scenarios used in business and social studies education?  Find out from Merwe (2008) on how scenario-based strategy is used as a method for developing human resources professionals and the essential process elements of the process and competencies needed for facilitation and execution.  


How do other institutions incorporate Scenario-based Learning in their curriculum that effective integrates the development of domain and transferable employability and learning skills? Find out how Stanford’s four-module pdeagogical process that integrates enterpreneurial content with Engineering knowlege and skills using Scenario-based Learning.

Key Features

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What are the benefits of scenario-based learning?  What skills do students develop as a result of this approach, either by deliberate design or incidental learning?

UCL Engineering. (1 Aug 2014). What Do Students Think of Scenario Based Learning at UCL?
      [Video file]. Retrieved from


How do we design for effective scenario-based learning for both online and F2F lessons? Is there an approach or a model we may adopt for our scenarios to achieve the outcomes of getting our learners to analyse the situation, evaluate options and consequences, make appropriate decisions and recommendations?

Sabramowicz, A. (2016, Feb 14). Effective Scenario-based e-Learning for
          Instructional Designers [Video file] [YouTube].