Workshop on Writing Scenario Questions

Scenario Questions are one of the highest-value learning assets available. They can be used to introduce topics, helping to engage and motivate learners while also setting up cognitive hooks for new knowledge. Scenario questions can be used as formative assessment for learners, helping them contemplate and ensure they fully understand concepts. Scenario questions can provide powerful and realistic decision-making retrieval practice to support long-term remembering. They provide enticing nuggets for spaced learning, engaging learners and supporting remembering. They can also be used for LTEM Tier-5 assessments, providing critical evaluation information for learning professionals and credentialing bodies.

Scenario questions are powerful, but not easy to write. True, when you see a scenario question, it looks easy, but the subtleties are often hidden. In this workshop, noted research-to-practice leader Will Thalheimer will share his insights and specialized techniques for writing scenario questions. Before he earned his PhD, Will worked in the trenches developing scenario questions for computer-based simulations, he hired writers and trained them in writing these questions, and he learned what worked and what didn’t from a practical perspective. Through the years since, Will Thalheimer has continued learning more and more about the science behind scenarios, about the evaluation aspects, about how to write scenarios that align with learner cognition to get results. He’s also developed unique question-writing strategies, including the powerful SEDA model and techniques for turning multiple-choice questions into deeper artifacts for learning.

This extensive workshop introduces topics, concepts, and approaches; but also provides time for practice and feedback.



The SEDA framework is the most powerful model available to support the writing and design of scenario questions. SEDA was invented to support a context-based approach to scenario writing, to ensure that scenarios are aligned with real-world human cognition.


The Scenario-Question Workshop goes beyond simple nostrums and provides a deep understanding of the concepts and principles that inspire great scenario questions.


Where some question-writing workshops provide only recipes and rules, the Scenario-Question Workshop will combine depth and practical experience in writing scenario based questions.


Will Thalheimer, the workshop creator and facilitator, is one of the preeminent innovators in the workplace learning field, acclaimed for his research-based approach, his accessible presentations, his practical focus, his humor, and his blue shoes.

The Journey to Scenario Excellence

Becoming an expert Scenario Question Writer takes time! It’s a subtle art form. This workshop will give participants the basics, but the only way to really get good at writing scenario questions is to write a ton of them, get feedback, make improvements, repeat!

The workshop will get your team started—and Work-Learning Research can provide subsequent support in terms of coaching, question development, review, feedback, and educational sessions to your key stakeholders. We are primarily a consulting operation, not just a training operation—and we believe to our core that follow-up support must be an option. We will be there for you before and after the workshop if you’d like to engage us in additional ways.