The making of the ‘Four responsibilities’ scenario

As described by Clive Shepherd

First have a go

Before you read how it was made, you might want to have a go at the scenario

What were you trying to achieve with this scenario?

The scenario challenges the user to apply their professional expertise as they undertake four meetings that take place on one day in the life of a typical learning professional. As each meeting progresses, they are asked to make decisions on how they would respond to the various situations that arise.

At the end of the scenario they are presented with a scorecard which assesses their decisions against 20 aspects of being a learning professional.

The scenario fits into the suite of resources that we developed to support the Four Responsibilities initiative. Our intention was that the scenario would cause the user to reflect on their own professional practice and to reconsider how they act. It could also be considered as a practice exercise for those who are familiar with the four responsibilities and want to see how they can put them into practice in typical situations.

How did you set about designing the product?

We had a number of discussions to determine the parameters within which we would design this product. Fort of all, we wanted something that was challenging and thought-provoking. We wanted the user to be able to recognise the situations as ones that they might encounter in their own jobs. From a technical perspective we wanted to make sure the product would work effortlessly on mobile devices, so it needed a responsive design.

We did talk a lot about the media we should use and seriously considered an interactive video approach. In the end we backed away from this because (1) it would have been more expensive than our budget would allow and (2) it would have been really hard to get it work to work seamlessly on iOS devices.

Who worked with you?

Eugénie, Barry and myself did the top-level design. I then wrote the script and Barry carried out the technical development. Eugénie took responsibility for the graphics. She found four actors who we hired for a photo shoot carried out by Asatuurs Keim. We shot them against a white background and then Photoshop’d them into the settings you see in the scenario.

As a nice bonus we now have four comprehensive libraries of characters that we can use in future projects.

What tools did you use?

We did the scripting work in Dropbox Paper, which we were using at the time for collaborative work on documents. Barry then developed the scenario in HTML without the aid of any specific tool. How happy are you with the end result? I’m very happy from a technical perspective because the scenario works perfectly on mobile devices, which is not that easy to achieve with current development tools. Custom coding also allowed us to add some nice features like a feedback mode, which allows the user to get feedback on their choices as they go, and a scoring system which provides the user with feedback against 20 criteria.

Grabs from the scenario

Applying the six characteristics


Concept

The idea is intended to be a simple one. You give us 10 minutes of your time and we’ll provide you with detailed feedback on your level of professionalism.


Structure

The product is structured as a day in the life of a typical learning professional. You get to meet and interact with four different characters. The decisions that you make will be taken into account in the detailed feedback you get at the end, but also in the responses that the characters make to do decisions as you go along.

At the beginning there is a short preamble, but otherwise you get really quickly into the action. The idea is that, having seen your scores at the end, you either go back and repeat the scenario in order to better your score, or you move on to explore some of the other resources in the product line.


Media

The product employs a simple mix of text and still images, which makes it easy to use anywhere and on any device. Video might have been nice but, like I said before, it wasn’t going to be easy to make this work as we would have liked on iOS devices.


The words

We tried to use plain English and a friendly, conversational style. I think we pulled that off. It was also really important that the dialogue of the four characters sounded authentic.


Storytelling

Well, the whole scenario is one big story, one in which you play the role as protagonist. We tried to introduce enough tension into the storylines to make sure you wanted to stick with it to the end.


Challenges

The challenge to the user is to demonstrate how they measure up as a learning professional. I think that’s a pretty irresistible challenge. To follow through on this, we had to make sure that the decisions were sufficiently difficult to get the use’s full attention. I hope we achieved that.

What now?

If you still haven’t done so, have a go at the scenario

View the scenario script


Clive Shepherd

Clive Shepherd is a Director and Co-Founder of Skills Journey