Development Article

Educational Technology Research and Development

, Volume 60, Issue 5, pp 883-901

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Using scenarios to design complex technology-enhanced learning environments

  • Ton de JongAffiliated withUniversity of Twente Email author 
  • , Armin WeinbergerAffiliated withSaarland University
  • , Isabelle GiraultAffiliated withUniversity Joseph Fourier Grenoble
  • , Anders KlugeAffiliated withUniversity of Oslo
  • , Ard W. LazonderAffiliated withUniversity of Twente
  • , Margus PedasteAffiliated withUniversity of Tartu
  • , Sten LudvigsenAffiliated withUniversity of Oslo
  • , Muriel NeyAffiliated withUniversity Joseph Fourier Grenoble
  • , Barbara WassonAffiliated withUniversity of Bergen
    • , Astrid WichmannAffiliated withRuhr University Bochum
    • , Caspar GeraedtsAffiliated withDe Praktijk
    • , Adam GiemzaAffiliated withUniversity of Duisburg-Essen
    • , Tasos HovardasAffiliated withUniversity of Cyprus
    • , Rachel JulienAffiliated withUniversity Joseph Fourier Grenoble
    • , Wouter R. van JoolingenAffiliated withUniversity of Twente
    • , Anne LejeuneAffiliated withUniversity Joseph Fourier Grenoble
    • , Constantinos C. ManoliAffiliated withUniversity of Cyprus
    • , Yuri MattemanAffiliated withDe Praktijk
    • , Tago SarapuuAffiliated withUniversity of Tartu
    • , Alex VerkadeAffiliated withDe Praktijk
    • , Vibeke VoldAffiliated withUniversity of Bergen
    • , Zacharias C. ZachariaAffiliated withUniversity of Cyprus


Science Created by You (SCY) learning environments are computer-based environments in which students learn about science topics in the context of addressing a socio-scientific problem. Along their way to a solution for this problem students produce many types of intermediate products or learning objects. SCY learning environments center the entire learning process around creating, sharing, discussing, and re-using these learning objects. This instructional approach requires dedicated instructional designs, which are supplied in the form of what are called pedagogical scenarios. A SCY pedagogical scenario presents the learning process as an organized assembly of elementary learning processes, each associated with a specific learning object and a tool for creating this learning object. Designing a SCY learning environment is basically a two-step procedure: the first step is to select one of the available scenarios, and the second step is to define the domain content. The SCY technical infrastructure then handles the instantiation of the scenario as a SCY computer-based learning environment. In this article we describe the SCY pedagogical design scenarios and report on our experiences in designing four different SCY learning environments.


Instructional design Open learning environments Learning by design Inquiry learning Collaborative learning