Information Problem Solving Instruction in Higher Education: A Case Study on Instructional Design

Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 552)


Information problem solving (IPS) is the process of locating, selecting, evaluating, and integrating information from various sources to fulfill an information need. In academia, it is central to conducting literature reviews in research projects. This paper presents a case study on effective and efficient instructional design for learning this complex skill. It includes an analysis of students’ output and (perceived) studiability of an online IPS-course that was designed according to the 4C/ID-model, a contemporary holistic instructional design model. Results were based on data retrieved from 49 Open University premaster students. The results show that a holistic approach to instructional design is effective: all students passed the course and they appreciated course studiability. However, due to the holistic (‘whole task’) design approach, the students’ time on task was relatively high as was the time teachers spent on providing instructional support, which questions efficiency.


Instructional design Information problem solving Information literacy Completion strategy Whole-task models 4C/ID-model 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and Educational SciencesOpen University of the NetherlandsHeerlenThe Netherlands

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