4C/ID instructional design model: Effects on the students approaches to learning on 9th grade

Mário Marcelino Luís de Melo, Guilhermina Lobato Miranda


The main purpose of this paper is to present the research results of the use of a digital learning environment, built with the four components instructional design model (4C/ID-model), on the students’ approach to learning. We used the digital environment to teach the subject of electrical circuits to 9th grade students.

We formed two groups: the experimental group (nE=76) in which electrical circuits were taught with the digital learning environment (student-centered strategy) and a control group (nC=49) in which a conventional method (teacher-centered strategy) was used to teach the subject of electrical circuits. To assess the students approach to learning we used the “Inventário de Processos de Estudo” validated to several samples of the Portuguese student population.

The results revealed that: (1) the two groups were equivalent on the surface and deep variables in the pre-test; (2) on the post-test, for the experimental group, there was a decrease of the surface learning approach and an increase of the deep learning approach, and there were no significant changes in the control group. The analysis of the qualitative data derived from the experimental process, based on the classes’ observation and in interviews with the teachers, allowed us to explain some characteristics of the digital learning environment, which allowed us to interpret the results more accurately. The multidimensional nature of the “approach to learning” construct was evident by the low effect sizes.


Students approach to learning, Deep approach, Surface approach, 4C/ID-model.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14417/ap.1293


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