Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The Use of Graduated Scenarios to Facilitate the Learning of Complex and Difficult-to-describe Concepts

By Jennifer A. Moon


There are many complex concepts in higher education learning that are difficult to convey to learners in words. Some examples are reflective learning, critical thinking, clinical reasoning; processes of evaluation (e.g. in art and design subjects) and professional practice (eg teaching itself). These are important concepts that evade straight forward uses of language that might explain how to ‘do’ them and how then to ‘do them better’ or at a ‘deeper level’ and so on. \ud This paper explores a method that has been developed to facilitate the learning of such concepts - the graduated scenario technique. The paper describes the initial development of the method with respect to the concept of reflective learning. Graduated scenarios are based on two practices – firstly, the use of examples and demonstrations that show learners – in this case - how to write reflectively. Secondly they demonstrate the characteristics of deep reflection as opposed to superficial and descriptive reflection. This demonstration is made explicit at the end of the exercise, in a framework for,– in this case, reflective learning. The assumption is made that better quality learning emanates from deeper reflection (eg Hatton and Smith, 1995). \ud \ud The paper goes on to discuss the application of the graduated scenario technique to critical thinking. It then moves to a more generic approach, considering why such the technique appears to be helpful - and it provides examples of other areas of learning in which the it could be used.\u

Topics: edu
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1992). Knowing and Reasoning in College Students: | |Gender-related Matters in Student Intellectual Development,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.