Frequently asked questions
The 4C/ID model was originally developed in the late 1980s. Its first description can be found in the 1992 publication Training for Reflective Expertise: A Four-Component Instructional Design Model for Complex Cognitive Skills by Jeroen van Merriënboer, Otto Jelsma, and Fred Paas in the journal Educational Technology Research and Development. The first extensive description appeared in the book Training Complex Cognitive Skills by Jeroen van Merriënboer in 1997.
The 4C/ID model adopts a moderate constructivist approach. The basis for an educational program is whole-task practice, offering realistic and increasingly more complex tasks, and often these tasks will be performed collaboratively. Learners actively construct meaning or new cognitive schemas that allow for deep understanding and complex task performance. Yet, the 4C/ID model also has some clear ‘instructivist’ features. These are readily visible in the how-to instructions and corrective feedback for routine aspects of learning tasks, and in part-task practice for routines that need to be developed to a very high level of automaticity. Social constructivist and traditional ‘instructivist’ approaches rest on a common psychological basis and complement each other. The 4C/ID model aims to combine the best of both worlds.