AWS Training and Certification Blog

10 examples of scenario-based learning from AWS Training and Certification

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Are you just getting started with your cloud learning journey? Are you looking for opportunities to learn the fundamentals of Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the context of authentic examples, realistic projects, and simulated challenges?

In their Scenario-Based Learning report, Massey University writes, “Scenario-based learning is based on the principles of situated learning theory (Lave & Wenger, 1991), which argues that learning best takes place in the context in which it is going to be used, and situated cognition, the idea that knowledge is best acquired and more fully understood when situated within its context (Kindley, 2002).”

By drawing upon the situational and human-centered characteristics of scenario-based learning, AWS Training and Certification can help you accelerate growth of your AWS Cloud knowledge and skills. Our digital learning center, AWS Skill Builder, offers myriad digital trainings grounded in real-world scenarios of how individuals and organizations are using AWS to resolve their business challenges.

This blog highlights 10 examples of scenario-based digital trainings that span simple analogies and character-driven conversations, to authentic projects, simulated virtual worlds, and gamified team challenges. We hope you will explore each of these courses to advance your AWS Cloud knowledge.

Example 1: AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials

screenshot of AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials course

AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials is one of our most popular digital courses and uses a coffee shop ordering analogy to help you make sense of basic and complex AWS Cloud concepts. By making reference to a common ordering experience, it helps activate your prior knowledge as a foundation for your new knowledge.

Is this course for you?

This free, 6-hour course is for individuals who seek an overall understanding of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud, independent of their specific roles.

Example 2: AWS Technical Essentials

screenshot of AWS Technical Essentials digital course

In AWS Technical Essentials, your goal is to build an employee directory application with create, read, update, delete (CRUD) functionalities. In the process of building this simple application, you get an opportunity to learn AWS services in a more concrete, project-based experience. This aligns with David Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction, which states that learning is improved when learners are engaged in solving real-world problems or scenario-based challenges.

Is this course for you?

This free 4-hour course is a great option for developers and technical roles who are not yet familiar with the AWS Cloud.

Example 3: AWS Cloud Quest

screenshot of AWS Cloud Quest training

AWS Cloud Quest is a fun and interactive role-based learning game. Your goal is to help residents resolve challenges in their virtual city. The gameplay uses scenario-based challenges, guided demonstrations, and lab-based simulations to develop your competence in using the AWS Cloud.

Is this course for you?

AWS Cloud Quest: Cloud Practitioner is available for free in AWS Skill Builder. All other roles—Serverless Developer, Solutions Architect, Machine Learning Specialist, and Security—are included in the AWS Skill Builder Individual subscription and Team subscription.

Example 4: AWS Jam or AWS Jam Journey

screenshot of AWS Jam Journey training

During an AWS Jam event, you collaborate with a team to solve a series of scenario-based technical challenges in a gamified learning experience. With AWS Jam Journey, rather than joining a team, you are solving challenges individually at your own pace and schedule. For both options, your objective is to successfully solve AWS challenges using as few clues as possible.

Is this course for you?

AWS Jam team events are available with a Skill Builder Team subscription. Jam event challenges cover different technologies and use cases such as security, DevOps, data analytics, machine learning, internet of things, migrations, and more. AWS Jam Journey: Security is available on-demand in AWS Skill Builder with an Individual or Team subscription. Additional AWS Jam Journey courses are coming soon.

Example 5: Exam Prep Courses

screenshot of AWS Certification exam preparation resources

Each AWS Certification exam preparation course includes video-based instruction, hands-on labs, and access to an Official Practice Exam. The practice questions are written in a mini-scenario format with unique feedback and resource recommendations for each selected response. Christy Tucker from Syniad Learning explains that mini-scenarios with targeted feedback is an effective mechanism to write more relevant and valuable assessment questions.

Is this course for you?

These six-hour exam preparation courses are available in AWS Skill Builder with an Individual or Team subscription. Courses are currently available for the following three AWS certification exams: AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, and AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate.

Example 6: Managing AWS IoT Devices: Fleet Indexing

screenshot of Managing AWS IoT Devices: Fleet Indexing course

The Managing AWS IoT Devices: Fleet Indexing training helps you understand the process of managing large fleets of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the context of a factory manufacturing thousands of smart refrigerators. This example, referenced throughout the course, helps make IoT concepts more relevant because it shows how another company has successfully implemented IoT solutions to solve similar business challenges.

Is this course for you?

This free 30-minute course is for IoT device engineers, fleet managers, and cloud architects.

Example 7: Build Modern Apps with Purpose-Built Databases

screenshot of Build Modern Apps with Purpose-Built Databases course

Build Modern Apps with Purpose-Built Databases is a six-part digital training series is anchored with a single-threaded narrative. The course narrator asks you to imagine that you are part of a development team tasked with deploying a restaurant ratings application in the AWS Cloud. Your assignment is to select and deploy the right types of databases to address the fictitious application’s primary storage, in-memory cache, fraud detection, content management, and user management data requirements.

Is this course for you?

This free 3-hour training is intended for data platform engineers, database developers, and solutions architects.

Example 8: Building AWS Solutions: Scale-Out Computing on AWS

screenshot of Building AWS Solutions: Scale-Out Computing on AWS

In Building AWS Solutions: Scale-Out Computing on AWS, Martha, a Sr. Engineer, shares her struggles in running the company’s new 3D simulation software on her local machine. This situation helps you contextualize the purpose and see the value of the solution. The Scale-Out Computing on AWS solution provides a multi-user environment for running large-scale simulations and computationally intensive workloads in the cloud.

Is this course for you?

This free 45-minute course is for solutions architects, developers, and engineers who want to understand the architecture of the solution and how to deploy it.

Example 9: AWS Managed Services (AMS) Advanced: Patch Orchestrator Deep Dive

screenshot of AWS Patch Orchestrator Deep Dive course

This AWS Managed Services (AMS) Advanced: Patch Orchestrator Deep Dive digital training simulates an application developer experiencing a cybercriminal malware attack. The story is designed to immediately grab your attention by showing the consequence of not properly patching a server’s operating system. Seeing the “why,” or the consequence of failing to consistently perform patches, reinforces the importance of the “how” of scheduling patching and compliance related tasks.

Is this course for you?

This free 60-minute course is intended for AMS customers with roles in architecture, security, and operations.

Example 10: Introduction to AWS Cloud Game Development

screenshot of AWS Game Development course

In Introduction to AWS Cloud Game Development, you get to observe leaders of a fictitious game studio discuss different AWS solutions to modernize their game development infrastructure and IT workloads. This character-driven series of conversations surrounds the technical concepts, reference architecture diagrams, and configuration options within a realistic customer use case.  The goal of the use case is to help you start caring, feel more emotionally engaged, and recognize the relevancy of these AWS game development solutions to your own context.

Is this course for you?

This free 60-minute course is intended for game studio executives, IT leaders, and creative business decision makers.


As you can see from these examples, when it comes to building your cloud fluency via scenario-based learning, AWS Training and Certification has you covered! Through the use of character-driven examples, game-based challenges, and mini-scenario questions, we can help you transform abstract and complex concepts into more concrete, relevant, and meaningful AWS knowledge and skills. Similar to cloud computing, scenario-based learning, at its core, is about transformation.

To access 500+ free AWS digital trainings, visit AWS Skill Builder. To learn more about AWS Skill Builder Individual or Team subscriptions, watch this 2-minute video.