Threshold Concepts: Undergraduate Teaching, Postgraduate Training and Professional Development
A short introduction and bibliography     


     

The Meyer and Land Threshold Concept

          

The idea of threshold concepts emerged from a UK national research project into the possible characteristics of strong teaching and learning environments in the disciplines for undergraduate education (Enhancing Teaching-Learning Environments in Undergraduate Courses). In pursuing this research in the field of economics, it became clear to Erik Meyer and Ray Land [1-9, 10-16], that certain concepts were held by economists to be central to the mastery of their subject. These concepts, Meyer and Land argued, could be described as ‘threshold’ ones because they have certain features in common.

          
           Glynis Cousin, An introduction to threshold concepts             

Over the past decade this concept has been embraced by many disciplines outside economics; indeed the above quote is from Glynis Cousin’s excellent short introduction to the concept written for earth scientists. The threshold concept has been seen as a valuable tool, not only in facilitating students’ understanding of their subject, but in aiding the rational development of curricula in rapidly expanding arenas where there is a strong tendency to overload the curriculum (Cousin, [7, 9]). This web page will describe, briefly, the characteristics of a threshold concept and list selected references to the work of those examining its value in a broad range of disciplines.

Features of a Threshold Concept

  • Transformative: Once understood, a threshold concept changes the way in which the student views the discipline.   arrow More ...

  • Troublesome: Threshold concepts are likely to be troublesome for the student. Perkins [1999, 2006] has suggested that knowledge can be troublesome e.g. when it is counter-intuitive, alien or seemingly incoherent.   arrow More ...

  • Irreversible: Given their transformative potential, threshold concepts are also likely to be irreversible, i.e. they are difficult to unlearn.   arrow More ...

  • Integrative: Threshold concepts, once learned, are likely to bring together different aspects of the subject that previously did not appear, to the student, to be related.   arrow More ...

  • Bounded: A threshold concept will probably delineate a particular conceptual space, serving a specific and limited purpose.   arrow More ...

  • Discursive: Meyer and Land [10] suggest that the crossing of a threshold will incorporate an enhanced and extended use of language.   arrow More ...

  • Reconstitutive: "Understanding a threshold concept may entail a shift in learner subjectivity, which is implied through the transformative and discursive aspects already noted. Such reconstitution is, perhaps, more likely to be recognised initially by others, and also to take place over time (Smith)".   arrow More ...

  • Liminality: Meyer and Land [13] have likened the crossing of the pedagogic threshold to a ‘rite of passage’ (drawing on the ethnographical studies of Gennep and Turner in which a transitional or liminal space has to be traversed; “in short, there is no simple passage in learning from ‘easy’ to ‘difficult’; mastery of a threshold concept often involves messy journeys back, forth and across conceptual terrain. (Cousin [7])”.   arrow More ...


Examples of the threshold concept must be transformative and involve a traverse through a liminal space. They are likely to be characterised by many of, but not necessarily all of, the other features listed above.
 

REFERENCES, BOOKS, BIBLIOGRAPHY, VIDEO AND PODCAST PRESENTATIONS

Click on the author name for a link to a list of the author’s papers on threshold concepts and, where available, a link to the author’s home page.

Overview of the Threshold Concept

1. Barradell, S. (2013) The identification of threshold concepts: a review of theoretical complexities and methodological challenges,
Higher Education, 65 (2), 265-276.

2. Cousin, G. (2010) Neither teacher-centred nor student-centred: threshold concepts and research partnerships,
Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, Issue 2: February 2010.
[http://www.aldinhe.ac.uk/ojs/index.php?journal=jldhe&page=article&op=viewFile&path[]=64&path[]=41   last accessed 14 May 2010]

3. Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning (2010)
Edited by Jan H. F. Meyer, Ray Land and Caroline Baillie
Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, 2010
[Educational Futures: Rethinking Theory and Practice, Peters, M.A. (Ed), Volume 42]
The majority of chapters in this book are developments of talks first presented at the Threshold Concepts Conference: from theory to practice,
Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 18th - 20th June 2008.

4. Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines (2008)
Edited by Ray Land, Jan H. F. Meyer and Jan Smith
Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, 2008
[Educational Futures: Rethinking Theory and Practice, Michael Peters (Ed.), volume 16]
ISBN 978-90-8790-267-4 (paperback), ISBN 978-90-8790-268-1 (hardback).
The majority of chapters in this book are developments of talks first presented at the Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines Symposium, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, 30 August-1 September 2006.

5. Lucas, U. and Mladenovic, R. (2007) The potential of threshold concepts: an emerging framework for educational research and practice,
London Review of Education, Vol. 5, No. 3, November 2007, pp. 237-248

6. Cousin, G. (2007) Exploring threshold concepts for linking teaching and research,
Paper presented to the International Colloquium: International Policies and Practices for Academic Enquiry, Winchester, April.
Available online at: http://portal-live.solent.ac.uk/university/rtconference/2007/resources/glynis_cousins.pdf (last accessed 3 March 2008).

7. Cousin, G. (2006) An introduction to threshold concepts,
Planet No 17, December 2006, pp 4-5.
[http://journals.heacademy.ac.uk/doi/pdf/10.11120/plan.2006.00170004   last accessed 25 June 2008]

8. Overcoming Barriers to Student Understanding: threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (2006)
Edited by Jan H. F. Meyer and Ray Land
Routledge - Taylor & Francis Group, London and New York, 2006
ISBN10:    0-415-37430-8,        ISBN13:    978-0-415-37430-9.

9. Cousin, G. (2008) Threshold Concepts: Old Wine in New Bottles or New Forms of Transactional Inquiry,
in: Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines, Land, R., Meyer, J.H.F. and Smith, J., (eds), Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp 261-272,   [book details].
A streamed video of Glynis Cousin’s presentation at the Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines Symposium, Glasgow, September, 2006 that led to this paper can be accessed at http://video.strath.ac.uk/06/140-06-04.wvx [last accessed 5/06/09].

See also
Other Threshold Concept Web Pages

Key Meyer and Land Papers

The papers cited in this section track the inception and development of the Threshold Concept framework by
Erik Meyer and Ray Land with seminal contributions by Peter Davies and Glynis Cousin.

10. Meyer, J.H.F. and Land, R. (2003) Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: linkages to ways of thinking and practising,
In: Rust, C. (ed.), Improving Student Learning - Theory and Practice Ten Years On. Oxford: Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development (OCSLD), pp 412-424.
[See also for an on-line version: Enhancing Teaching-Learning Environments in Undergraduate Courses, ETL Project, Occasional Report 4, May 2003   last accessed 25 June 2008]

11. Meyer, J.H.F. and Land, R. (2005) Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (2): epistemological considerations and a conceptual framework for teaching and learning,
Higher Education, 49 (3), 373-388.

12. Land, R., Cousin, G., Meyer, J.H.F. and Davies, P. (2005) Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (3): implications for course design and evaluation,
In: C. Rust (ed.), Improving Student Learning - diversity and inclusivity, Proceedings of the 12th Improving Student Learning Conference. Oxford: Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development (OCSLD), pp 53-64.
[http://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/ocsld/isl/isl2004/abstracts/conceptual_papers/ISL04-pp53-64-Land-et-al.pdf   last accessed 10 August 2009]

13. Meyer, J.H.F. and Land, R. (2006) Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: Issues of liminality,
In: Meyer, J.H.F. and Land, R. (eds.), Overcoming Barriers to Student Understanding: threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge, London and New York: Routledge, pp 19-32,   [book details].

14. Meyer, J.H.F., Land, R. and Davies, P. (2006) Implications of threshold concepts for course design and evaluation,
In: Meyer, J.H.F. and Land, R. (eds.), Overcoming Barriers to Student Understanding: threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge, London and NewYork: Routledge,    pp 195-206,   [book details].

15. Meyer, J.H.F., Land, R. and Davies, P. (2008) Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (4): Issues of variation and variability,
in: Land, R., Meyer, J.H.F. and Smith, J., (eds), Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp 59-74,   [book details].

16. Land, R. and Meyer, J. H. F. (2010) Threshold concepts and troublesome: Dynamics of Assessment,
in: Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning, Land, R., Meyer, J.H.F. and Baillie, C., (eds), Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp. 61-79,   [book details].

Books on the Threshold Concept

  Threshold Concepts in Practice (2015)
Edited by Ray Land, Jan H. F. Meyer and Michael T Flanagan
Publication date to be announced.
The majority of chapters in this book are developments of talks first presented at the Fifth International Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference: Threshold Concepts in Practice, Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom, 9-11 July, 2014.

  Clark, T. (2015) Ecocriticism on the Edge: The Anthropocene as a Threshold Concept,
Bloomsbury Academic (27 August 2015), Bloomsbury Publishing, London
ISBN-10: 1472505735, ISBN-13: 978-1472505736
http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/ecocriticism-on-the-edge-9781472506702/           (last accessed: 9 January 2015)

  Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies (2015)
Edited by Adler-Kassner, L. and Wardle, E.
University Press of Colarado (published by the Utah State University Press)
ISBN: 978-0-87421-989-0 (paperback),       ISBN: 978-0-87421-989-6 (ebook)
http://www.upcolorado.com/utah-state-university-press/item/2705-naming-what-we-know           (last accessed: 19 July 2015)

  Launius, C. and Hassel, H. (2015) Threshold Concepts in Women’s and Gender Studies: Ways of Seeing, Thinking, and Knowing,
Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, New York, USA, and Abingdon, UK, 2015
http://samples.sainsburysebooks.co.uk/9781317656449_sample_867920.pdf           (last accessed: 28 December 2014)

  Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning (2010)
Edited by Jan H. F. Meyer, Ray Land and Caroline Baillie
Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, 2010
[Educational Futures: Rethinking Theory and Practice, Peters, M.A. (Ed), Volume 42]
The majority of chapters in this book are developments of talks first presented at the Threshold Concepts Conference: from theory to practice,
Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 18th - 20th June 2008.

  Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines (2008)
Edited by Ray Land, Jan H. F. Meyer and Jan Smith
Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, 2008
[Educational Futures: Rethinking Theory and Practice, Michael Peters (Ed.), volume 16]
ISBN 978-90-8790-267-4 (paperback), ISBN 978-90-8790-268-1 (hardback).
The majority of chapters in this book are developments of talks first presented at the Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines Symposium, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, 30 August-1 September 2006.

  Overcoming Barriers to Student Understanding: threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (2006)
Edited by Jan H. F. Meyer and Ray Land
Routledge - Taylor & Francis Group, London and New York, 2006
ISBN10:    0-415-37430-8,        ISBN13:    978-0-415-37430-9.

Video and Podcast Presentations on the Threshold Concept

  Land, R. (2014) A Closer Look at Liminality: incorrigibles and threshold capital
Keynote Presentation, Fourth Bienniel Conference on Threshold Concepts: From personal practice to communities of practice, Trinity College, Dublin, 28-29 June 2012.
On-line video recording: http://www.nairtl.ie/index.php?pageID=627&PHPSESSID=3977846af865678a7fa99cd4598810be
Full Paper: Land, R. and Rattray, J. A Closer Look at Liminality: incorrigibles and threshold capital
in Threshold Concepts: From Personal Practice to Communities of Practice, Proceedings of the National Academy's Sixth Annual Conference and the Fourth Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference [e-publication], Editors: Catherine O'Mahony, Avril Buchanan, Mary O'Rourke and Bettie Higgs, January 2014, NAIRTL, Ireland, ISBN: 978-1-906642-59-4, pp 1-12.
http://www.nairtl.ie/documents/EPub_2012Proceedings.pdf#page=11      [last accessed 28 January 2014]

  Cousin, G. (2014) Threshold Concepts as an Analytical Tool for Researching Higher Education Pedagogy
Keynote Presentation, Fourth Bienniel Conference on Threshold Concepts: From personal practice to communities of practice, Trinity College, Dublin, 28-29 June 2012.
On-line video recording: http://www.nairtl.ie/index.php?pageID=627&PHPSESSID=3977846af865678a7fa99cd4598810be
Full Paper in Threshold Concepts: From Personal Practice to Communities of Practice, Proceedings of the National Academy's Sixth Annual Conference and the Fourth Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference [e-publication], Editors: Catherine O'Mahony, Avril Buchanan, Mary O'Rourke and Bettie Higgs, January 2014, NAIRTL, Ireland, ISBN: 978-1-906642-59-4, pp 22-25.
http://www.nairtl.ie/documents/EPub_2012Proceedings.pdf#page=32      [last accessed 28 January 2014]

  Higgs, B. (2014) Threshold Concepts: Navigating the Route
Keynote Presentation, Fourth Bienniel Conference on Threshold Concepts: From personal practice to communities of practice, Trinity College, Dublin, 28-29 June 2012.
On-line video recording: http://www.nairtl.ie/index.php?pageID=627&PHPSESSID=3977846af865678a7fa99cd4598810be
Full Paper in Threshold Concepts: From Personal Practice to Communities of Practice, Proceedings of the National Academy's Sixth Annual Conference and the Fourth Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference [e-publication], Editors: Catherine O'Mahony, Avril Buchanan, Mary O'Rourke and Bettie Higgs, January 2014, NAIRTL, Ireland, ISBN: 978-1-906642-59-4, pp 13-21.
http://www.nairtl.ie/documents/EPub_2012Proceedings.pdf#page=23      [last accessed 28 January 2014]

  Carmichael, P. (2014) From this Curriculum to That which is to Come: Threshold Concepts, Complexity and Change
Keynote Presentation, Fourth Bienniel Conference on Threshold Concepts: From personal practice to communities of practice, Trinity College, Dublin, 28-29 June 2012.
On-line video recording: http://www.nairtl.ie/index.php?pageID=627&PHPSESSID=3977846af865678a7fa99cd4598810be
Full Paper in Threshold Concepts: From Personal Practice to Communities of Practice, Proceedings of the National Academy's Sixth Annual Conference and the Fourth Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference [e-publication], Editors: Catherine O'Mahony, Avril Buchanan, Mary O'Rourke and Bettie Higgs, January 2014, NAIRTL, Ireland, ISBN: 978-1-906642-59-4, pp 26-29.
http://www.nairtl.ie/documents/EPub_2012Proceedings.pdf#page=36      [last accessed 28 January 2014]

  Cousin, G. (2011) Professor Christine Hockings interviews Professor Glynis Cousin,
http://open.jorum.ac.uk/xmlui/handle/123456789/15990

  Land, R. (2010) Threshold Concepts and Issues of Interdisciplinarity,
Featured Lecture given at the Third Biennial Threshold Concepts Symposium; Exploring transformative dimensions of threshold concepts: The University of New South Wales in collaboration with the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 1-2 July 2010
Video of the lecture: http://tv.unsw.edu.au/video/professor-ray-land-and-professor-erik-meyer    (last accessed 19 October 2010)

  Perkins, D. (2010) Threshold Experiences: Moving Concepts from Object to Instrument to Action,
Keynote Lecture given at the Third Biennial Threshold Concepts Symposium; Exploring transformative dimensions of threshold concepts: The University of New South Wales in collaboration with the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 1-2 July 2010
Video of the lecture: http://tv.unsw.edu.au/video/professor-david-perkins    (last accessed 19 October 2010)

  Meyer, J.H.F. and Flanagan, M.T. (2010) On epistemes,
Featured Lecture given at the Third Biennial Threshold Concepts Symposium; Exploring transformative dimensions of threshold concepts: The University of New South Wales in collaboration with the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 1-2 July 2010
Video of the lecture: http://tv.unsw.edu.au/video/professor-erik-meyer-and-dr-mick-flanagan    (last accessed 19 October 2010)

 Atherton, J. (2010): Introducing Threshold Concepts
http://vimeo.com/115832023   last accessed 13 May 2010.

 Cousin, G. (2009): Interview at the Central Queensland University
http://onlinemedia.cqu.edu.au/media_request.htm?file=cqu/staff/asdu/interviews/2009_g_cousin&formats=3   last accessed 18 October 2009.

  Brunetti, K., Hofer, A.R. and Townsend, L. (2009): Through the Looking Glass: Teaching Information Literacy with Threshold Concepts,
WILU (Workshop for Instruction in Library Use) Annual Conference 2009: "Reflections", Concordia University, Montreal, May 25-27, 2009.
Presentation: http://voicethread.com/#q.b527453.i0.k0   last accessed 21 July 2009

  Johnstone, K., Dym, C. and Jacobius, T. (2008) Process, foundation, or skills: Is there a pedagogical difference?,
Presentations and Discussions, (Moderator, Crawley, E.), Project-Centred Learning Symposium 2008, Cambridge-MIT Institute Partnership Programme.
  • Threshold concepts - Keith Johnstone, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Design Process - Clive Dym, Harvey Mudd College
  • Transferable skills - Tom Jacobius, Illinois Institute of Technology
Podcast: http://techtv.mit.edu/tags/741-threshold/videos?view=list   last accessed 7 December 2009

  Cousin, G. (2006): Threshold Concepts: Old Wine in New Bottles or New Forms of Transactional Inquiry?
Presentation at the Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines Symposium, Glasgow, September, 2006; http://video.strath.ac.uk/06/140-06-04.wvx   last accessed 18 October 2009

  Perkins, D. (2006): Beyond Understanding
Presentation at the Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines Symposium, Glasgow, September, 2006; http://video.strath.ac.uk/06/140-06-01.wvx    last accessed 18 October 2009

  Entwistle, N. (2006) Threshold Concepts and Transformative Ways of Thinking in Research into Higher Education,
Presentation at the Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines Symposium, Glasgow, September, 2006; http://video.strath.ac.uk/06/140-06-02.wvx    last accessed 18 October 2009

Selected Powerpoint Presentations on the Threshold Concept

  Tucker, V. M. (2013) The expert searcher and threshold concepts: Understanding threshold concept theory. ,
San Jose State University, School of Library and Information Science Colloquium Series:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2169C089B850A9B8           (last accessed: 16 February 2014)

  Land, R. (2010) Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: A Transformative Approach to Learning,
Keynote Address at the New Zealand Association of Bridging Educators 9th National Conference, 29 September to 1 October 2010, Wellington, New Zealand:
http://www.utdc.vuw.ac.nz/events/RayLand/201009RayLandSlides.ppt   [last accessed 23 July 2011]

  Land, R. and Meyer, J.H.F. (2010) Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge,
Keynote Presentation at issotl10 (International Society for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) Conference, Liverpool, UK, October 19-20, 2010:
http://issotl10.indiana.edu/pres/tc.ppt   [last accessed 23 July 2011]

  Brunetti, K., Hofer, A.R. and Townsend, L. (2009): Through the Looking Glass: Teaching Information Literacy with Threshold Concepts,
WILU (Workshop for Instruction in Library Use) Annual Conference 2009: “Reflections”, Concordia University, Montreal, May 25-27, 2009.
Presentation: http://voicethread.com/#q.b527453.i0.k0   last accessed 21 July 2009

  Buckley, C. and Maddern, J. (2009): Models of learning and teaching,
The tHE Programme, Bangor University and Aberystwyth University
Presentation: http://www.bangor.ac.uk/adu/the_scheme/documents/INDCBJM.ppt   last accessed 28 October 2009
This powerpoint presentation also contains very informative notes.



Specific Topics

Links to the subjects covered by this bibliography are listed below, alphabetically, and ordered into specific disciplines, e.g. economics, and teaching and learning topics, e.g. doctoral research, virtual worlds.
This list is not exhaustive. It initially reflected the interests of the
compiler but is slowly being extended. Please feel free to e.mail Mick Flanagan [m.flanagan@ucl.ac.uk] with any comments or relevant references.

Additionally, a list of these references ordered, alphabetically, by author may be accessed by clicking here. The author index contains links to the authors’ home pages where available.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
A
Academic Identity
Academic Professional Development (APD)
Academic Writing
Academic Speaking
Accountancy
Action Research
Actuarial Studies
Acting
Adult Education
Aerospace Engineering
Aging
Agriculture
Anatomy
Anthropology
APD (Academic Professional Development )
Archaeology
Architecture
Assessment
Art
Audience Response Technology (ART)
Author Index

B

Best Paper Awards
Between Course Transfer
Biochemistry
Bio-engineering
Biology
Books
Botany
Built Environment
Business Communication
Business Studies

C

Capabilities
Chemical Engineering
Characteristics of a Threshold Concept
Chemistry
Chinese
Civic Engagement
Civil Engineering
Clickers
Climate Change
Coaching (Sports)
Cognitive Load Theory
Communication
Community-Learning
Competencies
Complexity
Concept Mapping
Conferences
Construction Engineering
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Country List
CPD (Continuing Professional Development)
Creativity
Criticisms of the Threshold Concept
Critical Reflection
Cultural Studies
Curricula: Design and Development

D

Dance
Decoding the Disciplines
Dentistry
Design (Commercial and Industrial Design)
Digital Learning
Dissertations on the Threshold Concept
Distance Learning
Doctorateness
Dramatic Arts and Film

E

Early Childhood Education
Earth Sciences
Economics
e-Learning
Electrical Engineering
Electronic Engineering
Electronic Voting Systems (EVS)
Employability
Engineering
English
Enquiry-Based Learning
Environmental Studies
e-Portfolios
Estonian
Ethics
Ethnographic Background
EVS (Electronic Voting Systems)

F

Features of a Threshold Concept
Film
Finance
Food science
Foreign Students
Forensic Science
Foundation Courses

G

Gender Studies
Geography
Geology
Graduate Employability
Grammar

H

Health Care
Health and Safety
Health Promotion
History

I

Indigenous Studies
Information Literacy
Information Systems
Information Technology
Inquiry-Based Learning
Interdisciplinarity
International Students

J

Japanese Studies
Journalism
Just-In-Time Teaching

K


L

Land, R. and Meyer, E. - Key Papers
Languages
Large Lecture Classes
Laws
Learner Identity
Learning Disability
Library Studies
Lifelong learning
Liminality
Linguistics
Logistics

M

Management
Marketing
Materials science
Mathematics
Mechanical Engineering
Medicine
Metalearning
Mental Health
Mentoring
Metallurgy
Metaphor
Meyer, E. and Land, R. - Key Papers
Military Education
Mining
Multidisciplinarity
Multimedia
Museum Studies
Music

N

Nanoscience & Nanotechnology
Social Identity
National Student Survey
Networked Learning
Numeracy
Nursing

O

Occupational Therapy
On-line learning
Open Educational Resources (OER)
Orthotics
Overcrowded Curricula
Overseas Students
Overviews of the threshold concept

P

Patient Care
PBL (Problem-Based Learning)
Pedagogic Directions
Personal Response Systems (PRS)
Pharmacology
Pharmacy
Philosophy
Peer Assisted Learning
Physics
Physiotherapy
Plagiarism
Podcasting
Poetry
Policing
Politics
Portfolios (e-Portfolios)
Postgraduate Education
Practice Education
Primary Education
Problem-Based Learning (PBL)
Prosthetics
Professional Identity [non-academic]
PRS (Personal Response Systems)
Public Health
Psychology
Psychiatry
Psychotherapy

Q

Qualitative Research
Quantitative Literacy

R

Radiography
Reading
Reflection
Reflexivity
Refugee Camps: education within refugee camps
Religious Studies
Research Education
Reviews of Threshold Concept Books
Reviews of Threshold Concept Conferences
Reviews of Journal Special Editions on Threshold Concepts
Rhetoric

S

Safety Engineering
Science Teaching
School Education
Screencasting
Second Life
Secondary Education
Serious Games
Service-learning
Sign Language
Skills
Social Care
Social Justice
Social Media
Social Science Studies
Social Work
Sociology
Spanish
Spatial Science
Speaking
Sports Coaching
Statistics
Student Diversity
Student Identity
Surveying
Sustainability
Systems Engineering

T

Tacit Knowledge
Teacher Education
Teaching Awards
Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)
Theology
Theoretical Perspectives
Theses on the Threshold Concept
Tourism
Transdisciplinarity
Transformation
Troublesome Knowledge
Turkish

U

Uncertainty
Urban Planning

V

Variation Theory
Veterinary Medicine
Video Making
Virtual Conferencing
Virtual Laboratories
Virtual Worlds, e.g. Second Life
Vocational Education
Visual Impairment

W

Web 2
Widening Participation
Women’s Studies
Writing

X

Y

Youth Work Education

Z



Ethnographic Background

  Gennep, A. van (1960), The Rites of Passage,
London, Routledge and Keagan Paul.

  Turner, V. (1969), The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure,
London, Routledge and Keagan Paul or New York, Aldine de Gruter,   ISBN:   0-202-01190-9.




Journal Special Issues

  Emergent learning and threshold concepts in tertiary education,
Waikato Journal of Education (Te Hautaka Mātauranga o Waikato), Special Edition: Emergent learning and threshold concepts in tertiary education 19 (2), 2014.
Special Edition Editors: Ann Harlow, Mira Peter and Anne McKim.
http://www.wje.org.nz/index.php/WJE/article/view/95http://www.wje.org.nz/index.php/WJE/issue/view/15           (last accessed: 12 January 2015)

  Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education, 9th issue, Spring 2013
http://teachingandlearningtogether.blogs.brynmawr.edu/archived-issues/ninth-issue-sprin-2013

  Threshold Concepts in Educational Development,
The Journal of Faculty Development, Special Issue: Threshold Concepts in Educational Development, 26, (3), 2012.
Special Issue Editors: Catherine King and Peter Felten
http://store.newforums.com/Threshold-Concepts-in-Educational-Development-JFD263.htm

  Planet No 17, December 2006.
Special edition of Planet arising from the HEA GEES Subject Centre’s residential conference, entitled What on Earth ...? Student Learning in Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, held at the Quality Inn, Plymouth at the end of June 2006. [http://journals.heacademy.ac.uk/toc/plan//17   last accessed 12 January 2015]




Theses and Dissertations

This section lists theses and dissertations that either feature the threshold concept framework as a central theme or contain serious discussion of the threshold concept framework.

  Chen, D-L. (2015) Developing Critical Thinking through Problem-Based Learning: an Action Research for a Class of Media Literacy ,
Doctor of Education Thesis, School of Education, Durham University, April 2015
http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/11204/           (last accessed: 21 July 2015)

  Karlsson, D. (2015) Interactive Student-Guide - Developing a Concept for Interactive Learning,
Master of Science in Engineering Technology - Industrial Design Engineering, Department of Business, Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
http://pure.ltu.se/portal/files/103162596/LTU-EX-2015-103142291.pdf           (last accessed: 12 July 2015)

  Kivirinta, S. (2015) Reducing Persisting Cognitive Dissonance and Drop-out Rates in Computer Science 1 Using Visual Debugger Aid,
Master’s Thesis, Aalto University, School of Science, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Espoo, Finland, December 16th, 2014
https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/bitstream/handle/123456789/15194/master_Kivirinta_Sampo_2015.pdf?sequence=1           (last accessed: 24 February 2015)

  Martindale, L. (2015) Threshold concepts in research and evidence-based practice: Investigating troublesome learning for undergraduate nursing students,
Doctor of Philosophy Thesis, School of Education, Durham University
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  Price, M. (2015) Narrative capital and youth practitioner professional identities,
Doctorate in Education (EdD) Thesis, School of Education, University of Brighton, 2015
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  Sweeney, M. A. (2015) Reinventing Reading: Identifying and Describing Threshold Concepts for College Readers,
PhD thesis, University of Nevada, Reno, USA
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  Webb, A. S. (2015) Threshold Concepts in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: A Phenomenological Study of Educational Leaders in a Canadian Research-Intensive University Context ,
Doctor of Philosophy Thesis, The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Curriculum Studies), The University of British Columbia (Vancouver), March 2015
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  Enström, E. (2014) On Difficult Topics in Theoretical Computer Science Education,
Doctoral Thesis in Computer Science, KTH School of Computer Science and Communication, Stockholm, Sweden, 2014
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  Mühling, A. M. (2014) Investigating Knowledge Structures in Computer Science Education,
Doctor of Natural Sciences (Dr. rer. Nat.) Dissertation, Technical University of Munich, 2014
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  Oskarsson, B. (2014) Towards Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Logistics,
PhD Thesis, Linköping Studies in Science and Technology, Thesis No. 1685, LiU-TEK-LIC 2014:117
Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping
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  Osmond, J. (2014) Identifying Threshold Concepts in Design,
PhD Thesis, Coventry University, May 2014

  Whittaker, S. (2014) Practice or theory? A phenomenographic study of teachers perceptions of teaching auditing in higher education,
PhD Thesis, University of the West of England, 2014
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  Carstensen, A-K. (2013) Connect - Modelling Learning to Facilitate Linking Models and the Real World through Lab-work in Electric Circuit Courses for Engineering Students ,
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology, Dissertation No. 1529, Studies in Science and Technology Education, No. 67, Linköping University, Sweden, 2013
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  Edwards, R. M. (2013) Opening the door on student learning: using artefacts to explore pharmacy students’ learning practices,
Doctor of Education Thesis, School of Education, University of Stirling, May 2013
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  García-Rosell, J-C. (2013) A multi-stakeholder perspective on sustainable marketing: promoting sustainability through action and research,
Doctoral Dissertation, University of Lapland Faculty of Social Sciences, Acta Electronica Universitatis Lapponiensis 111
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  Keefer, J. (2013) Navigating Liminality: The Experience of Troublesome Periods and Distance During Doctoral Study,
Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Lancaster, UK, March 2013.

  Kiilo, T. (2013) Promoting teachers’ efficacy through social constructivist language learning: challenges of accommodating structure and agency: The case of Russian-speaking teachers in Estonia,
Doctor of Philosophy Dissertation, Institute of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Tartu, Estonia, University of Tartu Press, Dissertationes Sociologicae Universitatis Tartuensis 8, November 2013.
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  Koole, M. L. (2013) Identity Positioning of Doctoral Students in Networked Learning Environments,
Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University, UK, February, 2013.
http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/64294/           (last accessed: 7 May 2013)

  Remes, A. (2013) Memory, Identity and the Supranational History Museum: The House of European History Creating a Place for Reflection and Debate or Constructing a European Master Narrative?,
Masters Thesis, Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte, Universiteit Gent
http://lib.ugent.be/fulltxt/RUG01/002/060/150/RUG01-002060150_2013_0001_AC.pdf           (last accessed: 4 January 2014)

  Sedgley, M. T. (2013) Learning journeys with international Masters students in UK higher education,
PhD Thesis, School of Management, University of Bradford
https://bradscholars.brad.ac.uk/handle/10454/7327           (last accessed: 7 July 2015)

  Tucker, V. M. (2013) Acquiring Search Expertise: Learning Experiences and Threshold Concepts,
Doctor of Philosophy Thesis, School of Information Systems, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Queensland University of Technology:
http://www.virginiatucker.com/docs/VirginiaTucker_thesis_finalA4.pdf           (last accessed: 7 July 2013)

  Healy, R. L. (2012) Ethical thinking in a disciplinary context: The ethical development of undergraduates and expectations of tutors in the arts, social and pure sciences,
Master’s thesis, University of Chester, Chester, United Kingdom:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/267472           (last accessed: 26 March 2013)

  Hill, S. (2012) Troublesome or Threshold? The experience of difficult concepts in prosthetics,
PhD thesis, Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University, UK, June 2012
http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/61627/1/Hill.pdf           (last accessed: 23 March 2013)

  Lamont, M. (2012) The wholeheartedness of becoming: Evidence-based inquiry into practice for inservice teacher educators,
PhD thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, April, 2012:
http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10063/2138/thesis.pdf?sequence=2   [last accessed 27 August 2012].

  Smith, K. M. (2012) An investigation of student learning using threshold concepts in a first year cell biology course,
Master Of Arts Thesis, The University Of British Columbia (Vancouver) April 2012:
https://circle-prod.library.ubc.ca/bitstream/handle/2429/41938/ubc_2012_spring_smith_karen.pdf?sequence=1   (last accessed 15 April 2012)

  Sorva, J. (2012) Visual Program Simulation in Introductory Programming Education,
Doctoral Thesis, Aalto University, Finland, May 2012:
http://lib.tkk.fi/Diss/2012/isbn9789526046266/isbn9789526046266.pdf   [last accessed 3 September 2012]

  Stadig Degerman M. (2012) Att hantera cellmetabolismens komplexitet: Meningsskapande genom visualisering och metaforer,
[Handling complex cell metabolism: Creating meaning through visualisation and metaphor]
Doctoral thesis, Department of Science and Technology, Linköping University
http://liu.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:512688     [last accessed: 19 July 2012]
and http://liu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:512688/FULLTEXT01     [last accessed: 19 July 2012]

  Vera López, H.B. (2012) The Scholarship of Learning Modern Languages and Cultures: Integrating Education, Research and Human Development,
PhD thesis, University of Nottingham, June, 2012:
http://www.infoling.org/repository/PhDdiss-Infoling-33-11-2012.pdf   [last accessed 3 December 2012].

  Podleschny, N. (2012) Games for change and transformative learning: An ethnographic case study,
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Thesis, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
http://eprints.qut.edu.au/58142/1/Nicole_Podleschny_Thesis.pdf           (last accessed: 26 March 2013)

  Walton, P. (2012) Mind the Gap: A strategy for supporting understanding and engagement with climate change science,
PhD thesis, Geography Department, Queen Mary, University of London.
https://qmro.qmul.ac.uk/jspui/bitstream/123456789/2508/1/WALTONMindThe2012.pdf     [last accessed: 24 November 2012]

  Daniels, M. (2011) Developing and Assessing Professional Competencies: Experiences from an Open-Ended Group Project Learning Environment,
Acta Universitatis. Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology 738. 109pp. Uppsala. ISSN 1651-6214 ISBN 978-91-554-8024-0
[http://www.it.uu.se/katalog/matsd/Mats-Thesis.pdf   last accessed 17 May 2011]

  Moran, S.P. (2011) Virtue Epistemology: Some Implications for Education,
PhD Thesis, Education Department, St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin City University, May 2011.
[http://www.seanmoran.com/downloads/PhD%20FOR%20PRINTING%202011.pdf   last accessed 24 May 2011]

  Moström, J. E. (2011) A Study of Student Problems in Learning to Program,
Thesis, Department of Computing Science, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden, ISBN 978-91-7459-293-1.
[http://umu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:447104/FULLTEXT02   last accessed 30 October 2011]

  Orsini-Jones, M. (2011) Towards a role-reversal model of action-research-supported threshold concept pedagogy in languages and linguistics,
PhD Thesis, Coventry University

  Smith, J. (2011) Resonance, Dissonance, Rejection: Experiences of Probationary Lecturers in UK Higher Education,
PhD Thesis, School of Education, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, July 2011:
http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/35822/

  Timmermans, J.A. (2011) Epistemic Beliefs, Threshold Concepts, and Educational Development,
PhD Thesis in Educational Psychology, McGill University.

  Boustedt, J. (2010) On the Road to a Software Profession. Students’ Experiences of Concepts and Thresholds,
Acta Universitatis. Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology 734. 61pp. Uppsala. ISBN 978-91-554-7789-9.
[http://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:309647/FULLTEXT01   last accessed 31 May 2010]

  Carter, D.J. (2010) INCITE (Investigating Needed Cooperative Information Technology Experiences), then DELIGHT (Developing Experiential Learning In Guided Holistic Teamwork),
University of British Columbia MA Thesis: http://circle.ubc.ca/bitstream/handle/2429/27727/ubc_2010_fall_carter_deborah.pdf?sequence=1   (last accessed 29 September 2010).

  Hall, B. (2010) Teaching uncertainty: the case of climate change,
PhD Thesis, University of Gloucester.
http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.536685

  Kabo, J.D. (2010) Seeing Through the Lens of Social Justice: A Threshold for Engineering,
Ph.D. Thesis, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, April, 2010: http://qspace.library.queensu.ca/bitstream/1974/5521/1/Kabo_Jens_D_201004_PhD.pdf.

  Sheehan, M. (2010) Identification of difficult topics in the teaching and learning of Chemistry in Irish schools and the development of an intervention programme to target some of these difficulties,
University of Limerick PhD Thesis: http://ulir.ul.ie/bitstream/10344/432/3/MSpthesis.pdf   (last accessed 11 September 2010)

  Turraoin, S. (2010) Improving visual literacy in design education - Can a grounding in social semiotics and modalities benefit students with underdeveloped visual literacy skills in overcoming threshold concepts and wicked problems in design education?,
MA thesis in Higher Education, 2010, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Learning and Teaching Centre, Dublin.
http://www.sibealturraoin.ie/Writing/maeducation/MA_Thesis.pdf           (last accessed: 26 March 2013)

  Doody, J. (2009) A Longitudinal Evaluation of the Impact of a Problem-Based Learning Approach to the Teaching of Software Development in Higher Education.,
University of Durham EdD Thesis: http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/47/1/James_Doody_Ed.D._Thesis_1_Dec_09..pdf?DDD29   (last accessed 16 September 2010)

  Drummond, S. A. (2009) Investigating the Impact of Entry Qualifications on Student Performance in Computing Programmes at Undergraduate Level,
University of Durham PhD Thesis: http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/154/1/Sarah_Drummond.pdf   (last accessed 11 September 2010)

  Eckerdal, A. (2009) Novice Programming Students’ Learning of Concepts and Practise.,
Acta Universitatis. Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology 600. 194pp. Uppsala. ISBN 978-91-554-7406-5.
[http://user.it.uu.se/~annae/FullAvh-Spikenheten.pdf   last accessed 3 October 2010]

  Kärner, A. (2009) Supervision and research training within the professional research community: Seeking new challenges of doctoral education in Estonia,
Dissertation Pedagogicae Universitatis Tartuensis 7, Department of Pedagogy, University of Tartu, Tartu University Press.
[http://dspace.utlib.ee/dspace/bitstream/10062/10504/1/karneranita.pdf   last accessed 5 September 2009]

  Wilson Billay, D.B. (2009) Preceptors and Nurse Practitioner Education: Navigating the Liminal space,
University of Alberta PhD Thesis: http://repository.library.ualberta.ca/dspace/bitstream/10048/1278/1/Billay_Diane-Fall+2010.pdf.pdf   (last accessed 11 September 2010)

  Wimpenny, K. (2009) Participatory change: an integrative approach toward occupational therapy practice development,
PhD Thesis, Coventry University, 2009:
http://curve.coventry.ac.uk/open/items/c1fd7f27-ab06-16cc-fed8-a864a1e7a109/1/wimpennycomb.pdf

  O’Brien, M. (2008) Teaching as Translation: An Investigation of University Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Reasoning and Intention.,
PhD Thesis, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, January, 2008: http://www4.gu.edu.au:8080/adt-root/uploads/approved/adt-QGU20100802.131904/public/02Whole.pdf   (last accessed 19 october 2010)

  Pettersson, K. (2008) Algorithmic, intuitive and formal aspects of mathematics in dynamic interplay: A study of students’ use of their conceptions in calculus
(Algoritmiska, intuitiva och formella aspekter av matematiken i dynamiskt samspel: En studie av hur studenter nyttjar sina begreppsuppfattningar inom matematisk analys)
Chalmers Tekniska Högskola och Göteborgs Universitet PhD thesis: http://www.math.chalmers.se/Math/Research/Preprints/Doctoral/2008/1.pdf   (last accessed 29 September 2010)

  González Sampayo, M. [now Holmberg, M.] (2006) Engineering Problem Solving: The case of the Laplace transform as a difficulty in learning electric circuits and as a tool to solve real world problems,
No. 1038, Linköping Studies in Science and Technology Dissertation, Linköping: Linköping University.
http://www.didaktik.itn.liu.se/thesis/gonzalez.html   (last accessed 11 September 2010)




Threshold Concept Web Pages

The following web pages contain extensive documentation, explanation, discussion and relevant links on the Threshold Concept.


Call for papers featuring the Threshold Concept

Relevant calls for papers will be posted here


Future Conferences, Symposia and Workshops on or strongly featuring the Threshold Concept

  • Sixth International Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference
    The Sixth International Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference will be held in June 2016 at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Details to follow.

Recent Conferences, Symposia and Workshops on or strongly featuring the Threshold Concept



Best Paper Awards awarded to Authors of papers featuring Threshold Concepts



Teaching Awards awarded to Teachers of courses embedding Threshold Concepts

  • Sangeeta Khorana, Lecturer in the School of Management and Business at Aberystwyth University, has been awarded the Aberystwyth University Teaching Excellence Award (academic year 2009-2010) for her work in utilising several e-learning technologies to aid teaching - in particular, using the "threshold concepts" approach in conjunction with differentiation as a teaching technique. This approach attempted to deliver an effective learning environment through inquiry-oriented collaborative group activities for postgraduate students
    http://nexus.aber.ac.uk/xwiki/bin/view/Main/Teaching+Excellence+Award

  • Elena A Korosteleva, Lecturer in European Politics at Aberystwyth University, has been awarded the BISA/C-SAP Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching International Studies (2008-2009), which is awarded annually by the British International Studies Association and Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics.
    See publication:
    Korosteleva, E. A. (2010) Threshold Concept Through Enactive,
    Learnings: How Effective Are They in the Study of European Politics?
    ,
    International Studies Perspectives, 11, 37-50.



Recent Grants awarded to Projects on or Strongly Featuring Threshold Concepts



Threshold Concept Community Social Networks

     JISCM@il TCS
This is a discussion list for threshold concepts set up by Jan Smith as a forum for continuing discussion on threshold concepts following the Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines Symposium, Glasgow, 2006.
URL: https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A0=TCS.

     Facebook
Jeffrey Keefer set up a Threshold Concepts Facebook Group in 2011.
URL: https://www.facebook.com/groups/265003370204301/



    
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Mick Flanagan [m.flanagan@ucl.ac.uk]   -    Last update: 29 August 2015