Load up on Learning:
Cognitive Load Theory for
Toastmasters
I yearn to learn.
Learning Rule 1:
7 +/- 2 chunks of info
233-1746
(502) 233-1746
(502) 233-1746
1 chunk
(502)
(812)
(859)
(606)
Each area code may
be
One chunk
(310) 296-3215
(818) 470-4212
(714) 564-2209
(858) 232-5484
(619) 549-7009
Or, they may not
Rule 2: Our brains get
input through 2 separate
channels.
We see words and pictures.
We hear
sounds.
(words,
music,
etc…)
Rule 3: The two can
compliment one another.
They can also conflict.
Our 7 +/- 2 chunks are stored in two types of
working memory.
Working Memory is
temporary.
Working Memory can be like
a filter.
Can cognitive load theory
help me as a Toastmaster?
If I read you every bullet…
• You’ll read quicker than I speak
• You’ll know what I’m about to say
• You’ll tune me out.
Blaming PowerPoint for bad presentations is
like blaming a typewriter for a bad book.
Your audience can read.
Don’t read to them.
Rules of learning
Rules of learning
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Rules of learning

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This overview of cognitive load was for my toastmasters club.

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  • At our last meeting, Dick Wilson gave a speech that encouraged us to find our passion. Today I’m going to talk about mine. I have a passion for learning.
  • Not only do I love being exposed to new ideas, and new ways of looking at things. I love helping create learning experiences for others. I was a teacher for about ten years, and for the last ten I’ve been creating online learning. My speech today is going to tell you what I’ve learned about learning. My goal is to explain 3 rules for learning. And to show ways that you can apply those rules to your own presentations.
  • Have any of you ever heard of this rule?Some people call it Miller’s Law. It’s from a highly cited article about working memory, or Short-Term memory. It’s really the foundation of current cognitive load theory. It’s the idea that we have two types of memory. Working memory and long-term memory. Working memory is limited to roughly seven chunks of information. For some people it may be eight or nine. For others it may only be five or six. Working memory is what we’re thinking of. Working memory is also temporary. For this new information to last, To help us be able to retrieve it later, we have to integrate it with what we already know which we call long-term memory.
  • This is kind of the classic example of working memory. Let’s pretend we still think it’s useful to remember a 7-digit phone numbers and not just have siri dial them up for us.
  • Encoding means we integrate information in working memory. We add it to what we already know. Ideally, we’ll be able to retrieve it when the right moment comes along. The process doesn’t work like putting boxes of information into the warehouse of the brain. Our minds are much more sophisticated than that. Essentially, we add what we learn to what we already know. We build complex mental schemata that are shown here by these webs. What’s really interesting is why there are two folders shown in this diagram.
  • It’s important when you’re designing a presentation that you consider what you show along with what you say. In my line of work, I make narrated presentations for people to watch on their own. I’m constantly juggling what I put into the two different channels.
  • You can watch a music video and watch the visuals on the screen while listening to the lyrics. It’s tougher to listen to a comedy album and hear the news. Or to read a magazine while simulataneously
  • To convert working memory into long term memory, it must be encoded and added to existing knowledge. This means practicing that new information. They call it rehearsal.
  • We all know how the quickest route to losing your audience. Just put each idea that you want to make as a new bullet. Then during your speech, stick to your bullets. Maybe use fancy noises as each bullet comes in.
  • I don’t think it’s fair to place the blame on the software. I blame bad presenters for bad presentations. My takeaway message is to get you to plan opportunities to use your visuals appropriately.
  • Use them to to help connect the dots between the points you make. I did this entire presentation without reading any of the text on screen.
  • Or you can make an impact with your images. I urge you to consider what we’ve talked about with cognitive load, and to plan a one-two punch and presenting to the two
  • Rules of learning

    1. 1. Load up on Learning: Cognitive Load Theory for Toastmasters
    2. 2. I yearn to learn.
    3. 3. Learning Rule 1: 7 +/- 2 chunks of info
    4. 4. 233-1746
    5. 5. (502) 233-1746
    6. 6. (502) 233-1746 1 chunk
    7. 7. (502) (812) (859) (606) Each area code may be One chunk
    8. 8. (310) 296-3215 (818) 470-4212 (714) 564-2209 (858) 232-5484 (619) 549-7009 Or, they may not
    9. 9. Rule 2: Our brains get input through 2 separate channels.
    10. 10. We see words and pictures.
    11. 11. We hear sounds. (words, music, etc…)
    12. 12. Rule 3: The two can compliment one another. They can also conflict.
    13. 13. Our 7 +/- 2 chunks are stored in two types of working memory.
    14. 14. Working Memory is temporary.
    15. 15. Working Memory can be like a filter.
    16. 16. Can cognitive load theory help me as a Toastmaster?
    17. 17. If I read you every bullet… • You’ll read quicker than I speak • You’ll know what I’m about to say • You’ll tune me out.
    18. 18. Blaming PowerPoint for bad presentations is like blaming a typewriter for a bad book.
    19. 19. Your audience can read. Don’t read to them.
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