Learning scenario

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Draft 1

Editor: Viviane Guéraud, Université Stendhal, Laboratoire d’Informatique de Grenoble (LIG)

Contributors: Anne Lejeune, Université Pierre Mendès France, Laboratoire d’Informatique de Grenoble (LIG) ; Jean-Philippe Pernin, Université Stendhal, Laboratoire d’Informatique de Grenoble


A learning scenario is an a priori description of a learning situation, independently of the underlying pedagogical approach. It describes its organization with the goal of ensuring the appropriation of a precise set of knowledge, competences or skills. It may specify roles, activities and required resources, tools and services.

Comments on the history

The expression "learning scenario" appeared progressively in the TEL context when learning design approaches began to focus more on the learning activities rather than on the learning resources.

From a learning design perspective, a learning scenario refers to the formal description of a "unit of learning" as defined by Koper (2003). Within the LD specification which is proposed as a standard Educational Modeling Language (EML), a learning scenario corresponds to the method ([1]). Whereas the “method” concept is an abstract term without learning connotation, many researchers in learning design commonly use the learning scenario notion instead of it.

Related terms


Pedagogical scenario, Educational scenario, Instructional scenario

Other related terms

Abstract learning scenario, Adaptive learning scenario, Assistance scenario, Collaboration script, Computable learning scenario, Contextualized learning scenario, Formal learning scenario, Generic learning scenario, Informal learning scenario,

Translation issues

French : scénario d’apprentissage, scénario pédagogique

Disciplinary issues

According to the designer's point of view, “learning scenario” can address either the description of the learning tasks or the assistance tasks or both of them. For example, [Paquette, 2003] distinguishes learning scenario from assistance scenario, while for [Koper, 2005] the learning activities and the staff activities can be described in the same learning scenario. Learning scenarios may be based on different pedagogical strategies (e.g. collaborative learning, inquiry learning, problem based learning, etc.) [Wichmann et al., 2010]. Considering collaborative learning, a learning scenario is usually called a collaboration script (Dillenbourg 2002).

Learning scenarios (LS) can be classified according to different criteria (Lejeune & Pernin, 2004): granularity of the targeted learning situation, constraint level associated to the learning situations, personalization level, formalization level, abstraction level.

Key references

[2] Koper, R. (2003). Combining re-usable learning resources and services to pedagogical purposeful units of learning. In A. Littlejohn (Ed.),Reusing Online Resources: A Sustainable Approach to eLearning (pp. 46-59). London: Kogan Page.

[3] Dillenbourg, P. (2002). Over-scripting CSCL: The risks of blending collaborative learning with instructional design. In P. A. Kirschner (Ed.), Three worlds of CSCL. Can we support CSCL (pp. 61-91). Heerlen: Open Universiteit Nederland.

[4] Koper. R., Tattersall C. (2005). Learning Design : A Handbook on Modelling and Delivering Networked Education and Training, Springer Verlag.

[5] Lejeune A., Pernin J-P. (2004). A taxonomy for scenario-based engineering, Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age (CELDA 2004) Proceedings, Lisboa, Portugal, 2004, p.249-256

[6] Paquette G. (2003). Instructional engineering in networked environments, John Wiley and Sons, 262 p.

[7] Rawlings A., Van Rosmalen P., Koper E.J.R., Rodríguez-Artacho M.R., Lefrere P. (2002). Survey of Educational Modelling Languages (EMLs), Publication CEN/ISSS WS/Learning Technologies.).

[8] Wichmann, A., Engler, J., & Hoppe, U. (2010). Sharing educational scenario designs in practitioner communities. In K. Gomez, L. Lyons, & J. Radinsky (Eds.), Learning in the Disciplines. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2010), Vol 2 (pp. 750-757). International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.