Process-oriented Analysis of Learning Environments (PALE)

What is PaLe

PaLe stands for “Process-oriented Analysis of Learning Environments”. It is a tool that helps to map out what is going on with learners in their interaction with the (learning) environment. PaLe uses the ‘reconstructions of experiences’ as a methodology to open up reality. This implies reconstructing precisely what the involved person concretely experiences, complete emersion in the other’s perspective and accurate representation of the way in which the other constructs the world. Hence, this approach is closely related to the phenomenographic method.


• PaLe is an instrument that can be used for professional development purposes in order to enhance the user’s ability to reflect. This instrument helps to become aware of how children and adults experience their interaction with the (learning) environment. The analyses therefore focus on a broad range of variables – in fact on everything that may affect the learners experience.
• PaLe contributes greatly to the creation of powerful learning situations. It is applicable in educational situations (lessons or activities) but also for the analysis of theater performances, educational guidance in museums, film shows, interactive games, instructional videos, PowerPoint presentations.

Structure and format

PaLe consists of two forms which constitute the basis for the two different stages of the procedure:
(a) registration of data and analysis
In a first phase, a chronological registration and analysis of the moment is made. Factual data on the approach, reconstruction of experiences, an involvement curve and critical incidents regarding well-being are mapped.
(b) Synthesis.
In a second phase, based on all the impressions and reflections mentioned in phase 1 one comes to a synthesis. This provides an in-depth view of what has taken place during the observed period and which factors influence this.