Process-oriented instruction in learning and thinking strategies

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Process-oriented instruction is defined as instruction aimed at teaching thinking strategies and domain-specific knowledge in coherence. This new conception of instruction is derived from psychological research on the way students learn and on the interplay between self-regulation and external regulation of learning. In the research reported here the learning effects of a process-oriented instructional program for university students were empirically studied. The instructional program consisted of a diagnostic learning style instrument, a learning guide and tutorials. The results showed that the majority of students reported significant general, knowledge, insight and application learning effects. The program effects were typified more by integrating and making usable metacognitive knowledge already present, than by increasing knowledge about new subjects. Evidence for transfer effects was obtained because participants in the program scored better than non-participants on two exams of another course. The learning effects were higher than the effects of an preliminary version of the program implemented with students from an open university. These results support the importance of the process-oriented instructional model. The linking of a thorough diagnosis of personal learning styles to individually tailored instructional measures, turned out to be a powerful way to activate students to reflect on their learning and to develop their mental models of learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-349
Number of pages25
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychology of Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Learning strategies
  • Learning styles
  • Process-oriented instruction
  • Self-regulated learning
  • Thinking strategies


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