Generating Scenario-Based Training Outputs Through eLearning

Becca Decker - Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Kristen Backstrom - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
In the constantly changing world of training, the demands on virtual content delivery are relentless. Trainees want relatable topics and engaging ways to interact with the content, empowering them to immediately use the information within their job scopes. As instructional designers, it can be challenging to replicate the hands-on experience and deliverable outputs one might receive from traditional instructor-led training. Recently, the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence (NSDD) developed a high-level Training Management Plan (TMP) course that provides trainees with foundational knowledge, process, and guidance needed to develop, deploy, and sustain effective training programs. This course builds on the structure provided by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and incorporates the Systematic Approach to Training (SAT) methodology. One of the key learning objectives of the course is producing a working draft of a TMP so trainees can later refine the content for implementation within their organization. When faced with creating eLearning for the course, the eLearning developers encountered two (2) main challenges in the design efforts: formatting activities that would result in a printable TMP draft for the trainees to use, and recreating the context and facilitation experience that would normally be provided by the instructor. The eLearning developers recognized that there is no built-in component for fillable documents in the NSDD eLearning authoring tool, Articulate Storyline 360. To address the first challenge, a combination of data input boxes and JavaScript triggers were incorporated to collect information from trainees and then populate it into a TMP draft document available to print at the culmination of the course. The utilization of data input fields and variables allowed trainees to continue building on completed sections of their TMP draft as they progressed throughout the course. In addressing the second challenge, eLearning developers aimed to achieve higher-level thinking from trainees by incorporating a scenario-based learning concept with guided activities. This strategy provided trainees a way to connect training objectives to their personal experiences. With the combination of a deliverable product and incorporation of scenario-based learning strategies, NSDD now has an eLearning course that can be used in a blended environment.