Storytelling in Simulation and Scenario-based Training

How to Harness the Power of Storytelling in Simulation and Scenario-based Learning


Despite technology advancing at an ever-increasing rate and disrupting the status quo, the way our brains are hard-wired to learn remains virtually unchanged.

We can harness the power of the digital age and return to the time-tested methods of learning that best suit our Stone Age brains. That might seem like an oxymoron at first, but this ebook, Stone Age Brains with Space Age Tools,  will reveal the science and the simple tools and techniques to do so.

Discover how easily you can design training that lights up learning pathways in the brain and deeply embeds information into the memory centers, for retrieval later when it’s needed.

Most of the time, when you are presented with new information, you will remember it much better if you can integrate it into your pre-existing scaffold – your knowledge of the world and how it works. Doing that is going to be more effective than just rote learning.” ~ Prof. David Bilkey, neuroscientist at New Zealand’s University of Otago.

In a world of continuous distractions, Stone Age Brains with Space Age Tools, reveals the neuroscientific secrets you need to engage learners and create training that is truly unforgettable!



Read it online or download it below.



“Learning is the soul of our species,” writes educator Alex Beard in his book Natural Born Learners. But the way we learn has changed dramatically throughout human history. Once upon a time, we learned by hearing stories and explanations from our elders, and absorbed all we needed to know for life by doing, seeing, mimicking, and changing our behavior or method when we failed.

Read the Introduction ... or download the ebook below. 


Chapter 1: Meet your brain

How we learn, retain, and recall information

Have you ever thought of how memories become embedded in our gray matter, and how we retrieve them? We might compare our memory bank to a of film library, where we’re able to pull out reels and re-examine them years later. But instead, it’s a series of overlapping systems operating in parallel. As soon as you start talking about memory, you’re not talking about one system – you’re talking about many.

Read Chapter 1 ...


Chapter 2: We're still wired for story

Narrative as a tool for learning

Storytelling is one of our oldest forms of learning. Stories were once our books, news bulletins, and reference guides, and their power is still reflected today in indigenous oral traditions. Though they may be dismissed as ‘myths and legends’ in today’s Western, science-based culture, we shouldn’t underestimate stories as containers of knowledge. From Australian Aboriginal songlines to Homer’s poetry to New Zealand Māori genealogy songs, stories are embedded with valuable information about culture, survival, history, and environment, and we are still wired to understand, remember, and respond.

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Chapter 3: Finding the flow

How modern technology affects our brains and attention spans – and what to do about it

Effective eLearning depends on screens, but being online means studying in an environment with many potential distractions. We find it difficult to resist the siren song of notifications pinging from our cell phones, tablets, laptops, and computers – in fact, many of us have all four, which can mean parrying hundreds of notifications a day. It’s hard to switch off, both literally and figuratively, because apps and devices have been specifically designed to tap into the reward centers of our brains, leaving us on the verge of being addicted to our devices.

Read Chapter 3 ...


Chapter 4: Success through failure

Productive failure helps us solve complex, novel problems


Scenario-based learning is built on the principles of situated learning theory, which argues that learning takes place best in the context in which it will be used; and situated cognition, the idea that knowledge is best acquired and more fully understood when situated within its context. It holds that learning by immersion is a very powerful learning technique, and combining it with a story (context, situation, or social framework) is even better.

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Chapter 5: Simulation and scenario-based training

The ultimate education

Technology can help us learn better when it uses techniques such as simulation, which mimics real-world immersion; and story, one of the oldest ways we learn.

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We live in an era of rapidly advancing technology, yet the way we learn remains essentially unchanged from our Stone Age past.


We learn best when new information is related to the context in which we live, work and think — through storytelling.

Well-designed simulation and scenario-based eLearning immerses us in a life-like story and allows us to learn by doing. It mimics the real world, and we learn through seeing the consequences of our actions play out. It is the bridge from theory to practice.

Read to the end... or download the ebook below.


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