Process model comprehension: The effects of cognitive abilities, learning style, and strategy

Jan Recker, Hajo A. Reijers, Sander G. van de Wouw

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Process models are used to convey semantics about business operations that are to be supported by an information system. A wide variety of professionals is targeted to use such models, including people who have little modeling or domain expertise. We identify important user characteristics that influence the comprehension of process models. Through a free simulation experiment, we provide evidence that selected cognitive abilities, learning style, and learning strategy influence the development of process model comprehension. These insights draw attention to the importance of research that views process model comprehension as an emergent learning process rather than as an attribute of the models as objects. Based on our findings, we identify a set oforganizational intervention strategies that can lead to more successful process modeling workshops.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Pages (from-to)199-222
Number of pages24
JournalCommunications of the Association for Information Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive abilities
  • Experiment
  • Learning strategy
  • Learning style
  • Model comprehension
  • Multimedia theory of learning
  • Process modeling


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