Getting on the Same Page using Scenario-Based Learning: An Alignment of Education and Industry Goals for Technician Education


Yarnall, L., Snow, E., Lopez-Prado, B., Dornsife, C., & Haertel, G. (2011). Getting on the same page using Scenario-Based Learning: An alignment of education and industry goals for technician education. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.


Aligning curricula with industry skills standards is a key element of educating technicians for high technology fields. Such alignments help industry partners collaborate effectively with community college educators, creating a common language and a set of shared goals. The products of alignment sessions provide guidance and focus to instructors who train technicians according to the needs of the industries that will hire their graduates.

The current report examines the alignment of a set of scenario-based learning materials with two sets of relevant industry standards. This review deepens knowledge about the range and types of knowledge and skills that scenario-based materials have the potential to address. In this case, the materials relate to the specific field of bioinformatics.

The bioinformatics SBL materials include four distinct tasks. Task 1 introduces students to the range of bioinformatics databases. Task 2 engages students in searching, downloading, and manipulating data. Task 3 gives students an initial experience analyzing data using spreadsheet software and interpreting data for a general audience. Task 4 combines all the phases of searching and data reporting in bioinformatics. As a set, the bioinformatics tasks effectively cover the range of technical problem solving skills, social teamwork skills, and social-technical communication skills that SBL tasks give students the opportunity to learn.

Key findings are presented.

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