Ten steps to 4C/ID: training differentiation skills in a professional development program for teachers

J. Frerejean*, M. van Geel, T. Keuning, D. Dolmans, J.J.G. van Merrienboer, A.J. Visscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper describes how an interdisciplinary design team used the Four-Component Instructional Design (4C/ID) model and its accompanying Ten Steps design approach to systematically design a professional development program for teaching differentiation skills to primary school teachers. This description illustrates how insights from a cognitive task analysis into classroom differentiation skills were combined with literature-based instructional design principles to arrive at the training blueprint for workplace-based learning. It demonstrates the decision-making processes involved in the systematic design of each of the four components: learning tasks, supportive information, procedural information, and part-task practice. While the design process was time and resource-intensive, it resulted in a detailed blueprint of a five-month professional development program that strategically combines learning activities to stimulate learning processes that are essential for developing the complex skill providing differentiated instruction in a mathematics lesson.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-418
Number of pages24
JournalInstructional Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • Instructional design
  • Cognitive task analysis
  • Differentiation
  • Complex skills
  • Teacher education


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