401 Leveraging Personas to Craft Authentic and Compelling Scenarios

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Wednesday, August 3

Scenario-based learning is a powerful method of learning experience design delivery, however it’s often difficult to know where to start. With a focus on ensuring we fit in all required learning content, it’s easy to find ourselves writing dry, predictable, or stilted scenarios that are noticeably unrealistic to the learners. This is where personas can help bring our narrative scenarios to life.

In this session you will learn about the various components of learner personas while dissecting several examples. You’ll learn how you can strategically use learner personas in the creation of branched narrative scenarios to create learning experiences that learners are receptive to and feel applies to them and their work. You’ll discover the elements of character personas and how you can use them to make scenarios come alive. We’ll discuss a number of character persona examples and how they play out in narrative design. You’ll come away with actionable steps for using learner and character personas to get started designing your own realistic learning scenarios.

Kristin Torrence

Learning Experience Designer


Kristin Torrence is a versatile learning experience designer who has designed learning solutions ranging from educational games, mobile applications, eLearning, instructor-led training, and virtual reality. She received a graduate degree in cognitive studies in education with a concentration in intelligent technologies from the Teacher's College of Columbia University. Kristin currently works as a learning experience designer for Talespin, a company that creates transformative XR (VR, AR, and MR) business solutions.

Rachael Mueller

Narrative Design Manager


Rachael Mueller is the narrative design manager at Talespin Reality Labs. She collaboratively guides the design of all interactive conversation training by drawing on her years of experience in the industry and graduate-level training in language, narrative, and human-computer interaction. Her past work in medical and therapeutic training has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and National Institutes of Mental Health. Training outcomes based on her work have also been published in peer reviewed journals. She is grateful to have had the chance to collaborate with experts from academic and nonprofit institutions like Harvard Medical School, the University of Michigan, the Institute for Family Health, and the Education Development Center. Rachael is excited to continue creating engaging interactive training that facilitates soft skill mastery, lasting behavioral change, and remarkable real world outcomes.

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