Designing discovery learning environments: process analysis and implications for designing an information system

Julius Marie Pieters, R. Limbach, Ton de Jong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A systematic analysis of the design process of authors of (simulation based) discovery learning environments was carried out. The analysis aimed at identifying the design activities of authors and categorising knowledge gaps that they experience. First, five existing studies were systematically examined to create an overview of essential characteristics of the instructional design process. Second, an empirical study was carried out in which subjects were asked to design a discovery learning session for the topic of kinematics at a middle-vocational school level. A method of repeated prompted retrospection with structured questions was used. The verbal protocols were analysed to obtain detailed information about the design process, the knowledge applied and the operators used. Results showed that our designers displayed serious knowledge gaps. To help authors or designers to cope with these knowledge gaps, an information system was created that can be consulted during the design process ''just-in-time''.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)147-162
JournalInternational journal of learning technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Information Systems
  • Discovery learning
  • IR-48545
  • process analysis
  • METIS-220112
  • learning environments
  • instructional design
  • thinking aloud protocols
  • information support

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