4C/ID in the Context of Instructional Design and the Learning Sciences

Authored by: Jeroen J. G. van Merriënboer , Paul A. Kirschner

International Handbook of the Learning Sciences

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138670594
eBook ISBN: 9781315617572
Adobe ISBN:


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Nowadays, the four-component instructional design (4C/ID) model receives a lot of attention (e.g., Maggio, ten Cate, Irby, & O’Brien, 2015; Postma & White, 2015) because it nicely fits current trends in education: (a) a focus on the development of complex skills or professional competencies, (b) increasing emphasis on the transfer of what is learned in school to new situations including the workplace, and (c) the development of self-directed and self-regulated learning skills and information literacy skills that are important for lifelong learning. The 4C/ID model has been extensively described in two books, Training Complex Cognitive Skills (van Merriënboer, 1997) and Ten Steps to Complex Learning (van Merriënboer & Kirschner, 2018), as well as in numerous articles and book chapters.

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