Theory Name: 4C/ID – Four Component Instructional Design Model

Authors: van Merrienboer, Joreon J.G.

Associated Learning Theory
Cognitive Learning Theory

Model Description
This model prescribes instruction for learning in a complex environment. This model focuses on incorporating requisite skills with now learning and focus on creating a learning environment.

Specification of Theory
(a) Goals and preconditions
Learning of complex cognitive skills, task-specific skills

(b) Principles
1. There are two main relationships between constituent skills: horizontal and vertical. Some skills can be horizontal, occur simultaneously or independent of other unrelated skills. Horizontal skills are bottom up, or are based on prerequisites.
2. Training should focus on coordination and integration of constituent skills and desired exit behavior for an overall complex skill.
3. Training should promote schema for non-recurrent aspect and rule automation for recurrent aspect of a complex skill.

(c) Condition of learning
1. Learning should be based around real-life situations.
2. Media should only be used if it supports the real life environment.

(d) Required media
None required. However, it is noted that media selection should be consistent with the type of learning that occurring. That is to say that all learning should be based around

(e) Role of facilitator
Provide a great deal of support at the beginning or learning and fade as skills progress (scaffolding).

(f) Instructional strategies
Create learning environments that contain the four blueprint component.
1. Learning tasks: Provide concrete, whole-process tasks. Promote schema construction for nonrecurrent tasks.
2. Supportive information: Provide reference that supports the learner in bridging the gap between prior knowledge and the learning tasks. Focus on elaboration (embellishing existing schema).
3. Just-In-Time information: Provide information that is prerequisite to recurring tasks. Focus on procedural information rules.
4. Part-task practice: Promote rule automation with practice of recurring tasks. Focus on promoting automatic performance.

(g) Assessment method

Formative Research & Application
(a) Tested context -
(b) Research method
(c) Research description
(d) Resources

van Merrienboer, J.J.G., Clark, R.E., de Croock, M.B.M. (2002). Blueprints for complex learning: the 4C/ID model. Educational Technology, Research and Development. 50(2); 39 – 65.

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