Colloquium Cognitive Systems

E-Learning instruction for driver education: Design - Development - Evaluation
Prof. Dr. Roland Brünken


Abstract: Modern, technology-based learning environments are of growing interest not only for the trainings of academic competencies but also for the acquisition of every day skills. In a three-year research project funded by the German Highway Research Institute (BASt) we developed and evaluated a computer-based training (CBT) intervention to complement driver education. For this purpose an adaptive multimedia learning environment was devised that facilitates the acquisition of driving skills, that are relevant for driving safety but not fully developed within novice driver education. Because of its empirically proven relevance, hazard perception and related subskills (e.g. visual search behavior) have been chosen as learning content.

In constructing the CBT we took design guidelines for multimedia instruction into account. The learning environment was based on an instructional design model that has explicitly been developed to promote the acquisition of complex skills: the Four-Component Instructional Design (4C/ID) Model (van Merriënboer & Kirschner, 2017).

In a series of three experimental studies elements of the 4C/ID Model were developed and empirically tested. Two preliminary studies were conducted to identify appropriate learning scenarios as well as supportive and procedural information for imparting hazard perception, and to test how each type of information should be presented during learning. In a third study, driving simulation was used to evaluate whether the developed learning tasks are appropriate to improve driving performance (e.g. speed regulation). In addition, we tested whether an adaptive learning environment provides considerable benefits compared to a non-adaptive learning program.

The results showed that the 4C/ID Model can successfully be applied to a computer-based hazard perception training which allows (learner drivers) to train this safety relevant driving competence. Moreover, we could demonstrate the facilities of state-of-the-art computer-based learning materials to complement the development of every day competencies.

Van Merriënboer, J.J.G. & Kirschner, P.A. (2017). Ten Steps to Complex Learning: A Systematic Approach to Four-Component Instructional Design (3rd Ed.). London: Routledge.

Bio. Roland Brünken, Dipl. Psych, Dr. Phil, Full Professor in Education at Saarland University, Research Interests: Learning with Media, Instructional Design, Cognitive Load Theory, Teacher Education, Development of Professional Competencies, Traffic Psychology. Teaching: Educational Psychology in Psychology Bachelor and Master Program, Teacher Education Program and Educational Technology Master Program