Pedagogical scenario

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A pedagogical scenario or learning scenario is an instantiation of an instructional design model for a given subject and a given kind of situation. It basically defines what learners and other actors like the teacher should/can do with a given set of resources and tools. A more formal scenario can be called a learning design.

See also the category example cases. The distinction between an (abstract) scenario and a concrete example cases is not always easy in the literature, given that published example cases try to generalize...

See also: Educational design language and educational modeling language.

Typical ingredients and typologies

Here is a small list of typical ingredients one can find in a scenario

Note: some courseware integrates learning activities, e.g. hypermodels or e-learning environments based on IMS Learning Design

Schulmeister (2005:487-488) suggest to define scenarios according to 3 dimensions:

  1. presence - virtual
  2. information - cooperation
  3. instruction - learning

The definition of what a pedagogical scenario is can differ a lot in various schools of thought based on different Learning theories, pedagogical theories etc. There are very contrasting instructional design models and ideas on pedagogic strategy.

Related design methodology

Design theories

Modern pedagogical theory (whether behaviorist, cognitivist, constructivist etc. ) insists on the importance of scenarios, i.e. story-boards that define learning activities.

Certain kinds of learning objects include pedagogical designs, e.g. IMS Learning Design, LAMS modules, Emergent Learning Objects.

Currently (20009) the most well known formal scenario specification and execution language is IMS Learning Design. It implements the following basic learning design model:

ROLE -> performs -> ACTIVITIES -> within -> an ENVRIONMENT

Scenario design software



this is really not complete, sorry

Scenario databases

  • Forum New Leaning (FNL, a Swiss competence network for teaching & learning with new technologies). Nice database of "learning objects" (i.e. scenarios that a teacher can use in classes) with many examples (most are in German). No longer maintained.
  • PerfecTIC Excellent canadian (french/english) scenario database. Each scenario is available as printable PDF.
  • ProfWeb Excellent french/english Canadian Teacher Resource (not just scenarios).
  • La main à la pate French site for teaching science in primary school (lots of interesting teacher-tested activities/scenarios).


See also more formal approaches: E.g. CSCL script, Learning design, Educational design language and educational modeling language. These articles include much more references.

  • Schulmeister, R. (2005). Kriterien didaktischer Qualität im E-Learning zur Sicherung der Akzeptanz und Nachhaltigkeit. In D. Euler & S. Seufert (Hrsg.), E-Learning in Hochschulen und Bildungszentren, München: Oldenbourg, p. 487.
  • 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.