I have been searching for succinct language for referring to how "advanced" a topic or skill might be. I've found things like Integrative Complexity and the Model of Hierarchical Complexity, which seems to describe a school of thought, but falls short of providing consistent language for comparing examples within that school of thought. By "advanced", I am intending to communicate a greater amount of pre-requisite knowledge and/or a higher degree of complexity.

I toyed around with some terminology such as "Depth of Knowledge Required" at first, but it seemed lacking to me for some reason.

Is there a published set of language one could refer to in order to describe the concept of how advanced/complex a particular topic or skill is?

An example application where this terminology would be helpful could be in determining what the appropriate course of action would be to introduce a concept/topic to another person. For clarification, how would I compare the following two examples:

Computational Genomics in general might require additional knowledge compared to biological taxonomy

Non-linear dynamics involves many more pre-requisites than does algebra.

It's not that either option can't be complex or involve high level work, but to engage with the topic for the first time one clearly would be more difficult to approach than the other.

  • What do you mean by topic and where is this topic, anyway?? Who is expounding it? – Lambie Apr 17 at 18:13
  • @Lambie topic here was meant to describe a subject matter, in an academic sense. I suppose it could be broad or narrow. There was no one specific subject or skill in mind at the time of asking the question. Would a specific example help? – WellThatBrokeIt Apr 17 at 18:17
  • Well....it seems to me that there are topics and topics. A topic can only be advanced in a specific context. Also, yes, I wonder what you actually mean. I think you mean: in-depth topics. – Lambie Apr 17 at 18:20
  • @Lambie Added an edit with example. This has been challenging to communicate, thank you for your thoughts! – WellThatBrokeIt Apr 17 at 18:34
  • Ok,well individuals have knowledge: beginner knowledge of a topic, intermediate knowledge of a topic and advanced knowledge of a topic. Can't see how else one might word this. So,to correct your question, it is not how advanced a topic is. It is how much knowledge an individual has of a topic. Right? And for the topics themselves, we get: advanced mathematics, advanced physics. graduate and post-graduate topics. – Lambie Apr 17 at 18:53

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