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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter provides a concise description of the four-component instructional design model (4C/ID), its development, and its applications in an international context. The model assumes that social constructivist and objectivist approaches rest on a common psychological basis and should best complement each other. Educational blueprints are built from four interrelated components: (1) authentic learning tasks, which provide the backbone of the program; (2) supportive information, which helps learners perform non-routine aspects of learning tasks; (3) procedural information, which enables learners perform routine aspects of learning tasks, and (4) part-task practice, which aims at full automaticity of routine aspects. The Ten Steps help designers to systematically develop blueprints for complex learning. Example applications in an international context are described and directions for the further development of the model are discussed, including the teaching of 21st century skills, the design of game-facilitated curricula, and the role of emotions and affect in learning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of the Learning Sciencs
EditorsFrank Fischer, Cindy E. Hmelo-Silver, Susan R. Goldman, Peter Reimann
Place of PublicationNew York, NY / Oxon, OX14
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-61757-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-67059-4, 978-1-138-67056-3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • Learning Sciences
  • Computer-supported collaborative learning
  • Learning Science Research
  • MOOCs
  • CSCL Research
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Collaboration Scripts
  • Design Based Research
  • Design Based Implementation Research
  • LS Approach
  • Learning Sciences Researchers
  • Learning Sciences Perspective
  • Learning Sciences Community
  • Learning Analytics
  • Epistemic Cognition
  • Educational Data Mining
  • Epistemic Practices
  • SRL
  • Part-task Practice
  • Large Scale Assessments

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    van Merrienboer, J. J. G., & Kirschner, P. A. (2018). 4C/ID in the Context of Instructional Design and the Learning Sciences. In F. Fischer, C. E. Hmelo-Silver, S. R. Goldman, & P. Reimann (Eds.), International Handbook of the Learning Sciencs (1 ed., pp. 169-179). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315617572-17