4C/ID in medical education: How to design an educational program based on whole-task learning: AMEE Guide No. 93

Mieke Vandewaetere*, Dominique Manhaeve, Bert Aertgeerts, Geraldine Clarebout, Jeroen J. G. Van Merrienboer, Ann Roex

*Corresponding author for this work

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Medical education increasingly stresses that medical students should be prepared to take up multiple roles as a health professional. This requires the integrated acquisition of multiple competences such as clinical reasoning and decision making, communication skills and management skills. To promote such complex learning, instructional design has focused on the use of authentic, real-life learning tasks that students perform in a real or simulated task environment. The four-component instructional design model (4C/ID) model is an instructional design model that starts from the use of such tasks and provides students with a variety of learning tools facilitating the integrated acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes. In what follows, we guide the reader on how to implement educational programs based on the 4C/ID model and illustrate this with an example from general practice education. The developed learning environment is in line with the whole-task approach, where a learning domain is considered as a coherent, integrated whole and where teaching progresses from offering relatively simple, but meaningful, authentic whole tasks to more complex tasks. We describe the steps that were taken, from prototype over development to implementation, to build five learning modules (patient with diabetes; the young child with fever; axial skeleton; care for the elderly and physically undefined symptoms) that all focus on the integrated acquisition of the Canadian Medical Education Directives for Specialists roles in general practice. Furthermore, a change cycle for educational innovation is described that encompasses practice-based challenges and pitfalls about the collaboration between different stakeholders (students, developers and teachers) and the transition from traditional, fragmented and classroom-based learning to integrated and blended learning based on sound instructional design principles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-20
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


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