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For Educational Designers

This section provides information primarily for designers of educational software. Emphasis is placed on developing support within the learning environment for building students' metacognitive skills and optimizing the design to facilitate learning processes.

We believe that the following information will be of greatest use for people outside academia who strive to improve their existing educational software or seek guidance supported by evidence-based findings on development of any new instructional unit (such as mobile educational applications or eLearning websites). However, designers of written educational materials such as textbooks or teacher-made factsheets, study guides and overviews for students will also find helpful tips here.

While we acknowledge that we exercise a certain degree of personal judgement in selecting the most relevant information, we also always present research findings that support the recommended principles. To facilitate understanding of these principles, we also strive to illustrate these principles on several case studies.

If you disagree with any of our recommendations or would like to add additional information, please feel free to contact us to let us know how we can improve.


A) Designing for metacognitive and learning skills

  1. Brief what and why of metacognitive skills
  2. Designing metacognitive instructional unit
  3. Incorporating metacognitive instruction into existing learning environment
  4. Examples of application of metacognitive instruction & overview of research results on incorporating metacognitive instruction

B) Optimizing learning environment

  1. Basic design principles
  2. Planning development and structure of your educational product
  3. Structuring a long-term instructional unit
  4. Structuring a short-term instructional unit
  5. Support for learning processes

  1. Evaluating your educational product
  2. Design product checklist
    1. Software focused on individual learners & self-study
    2. Software intended or suitable for group work & classroom use
    3. Collaborative learning environment
    4. Instructional software
    5. Assessment software
    6. Integrating assessment and instruction
    7. Instructional videos

D) Common design mistakes and how to avoid them: case-studies

E) Topics for