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ICLTC 2018


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Slides of my presentation at ICLTC conference, 4 September 2018, Beijing, China

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ICLTC 2018

  1. 1. 1/18 | Jan Claes Yet another reconsideration of cognitive load theory
  2. 2. 2/18 | About me Jan Claes Postdoctoral researcher Ghent University, Belgium Economics Faculty Computer Science Department Ph.D. about differentiated process modeling Postdoc about differentiated problem solving
  3. 3. 3/18 | Types of cognitive load “Extraneous cognitive load is defined as any cognitive activity that is engaged in because of the way the task is organized and presented rather than because it is essential to attaining relevant goals.” (Sweller et al., 1990, p. 176) “A further distinction can be made between extraneous cognitive load and germane cognitive load. (…) Extraneous cognitive load reflects the effort required to process poorly designed instruction, whereas germane cognitive load reflects the effort that contributes to the construction of schemas.” (Sweller et al., 1998, p. 259) Extraneous load (ECL) load related to the presentation format load not essential to solve the task
  4. 4. 4/18 | Problem 1. Definitions Load type Source Cognitive process Effect on learning Intrinsic Domain complexity Necessary for task execution Harmful, but effective Extraneous Poor instructional design Irrelevant to schema construction and automation Harmful and ineffective Germane Supportive instructional design Relevant to schema construction and automation Helpful and effective Adapted from Gerjets et al., 2009, p. 45
  5. 5. 5/18 | Problem 1. Definitions “The notion of cognitive load is not explicit enough to allow one to determine what sorts of manipulations will and will not reduce load and, hence, improve the usefulness of instructional materials.” (Dixon, 1991, p. 347) “The studies are not sufficiently detailed to test the utility of such a prescription, either in terms of the operational definition of learning or guidelines for determining what activities might be ‘extraneous’ to the learning task.” (Goldman, 1991, p. 335)
  6. 6. 6/18 | Problem 2. Measures “There will be no reliable and valid methods of measuring distinct kinds of cognitive load in the next and even in the farer future.” (Schnotz & Kürschner, 2007, p. 500) “Of course, special care has to be taken to characterize cognitive load concepts independently from learning.” (Schnotz & Kürschner, 2007, p. 503) “Second, and even more important to avoid circularity, the measurement methods that are used to test assumptions (…) must not presuppose these assumptions already in their rationale.” (Gerjets et al., 2009, p. 46) Related to learning only
  7. 7. 7/18 | Problem 3. Germane load “Germane cognitive (…) is not an independent source of cognitive load like intrinsic and extraneous cognitive load.” (Sweller, 2010, p. 136) “A meaningful way of treating this concept suggested recently by Sweller (2010) is to redefine the idea of germane load as associated with working memory resources actually devoted to dealing with intrinsic cognitive load that leads to learning” (Kalyuga, 2011, p. 14) ”Germane load is cognitive load due to cognitive activities in working memory that aim at intentional learning and that go beyond simple task performance” (Schnotz & Kürschner, 2007, p. 496)
  8. 8. 8/18 | What if? “We do not assimilate information in the form that it is presented, but rather, in order to represent it, we transform it. (…) Information is not remembered in the way a tape recorder might be considered to ‘remember’ material, in a form identical to its presentation form.” (Sweller & Chandler, 1991, p. 356) “It therefore emphasizes the capacity of working memory to manipulate and create new representations, rather than simply activating old memories.” (Baddeley, 2003, p. 836)
  9. 9. 9/18 | Introduction to neuropsychology PREFRONTAL CORTEX Working memory (WM) • Left: verbal processing • Right: visual processing THALAMUS Sensory memory (SM) • Connects to the visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory and somesthetic cortexes NEOCORTEX Long-term memory (LTM) (explicit - semantic - declarative) • Sensory perception • Generation of motor commands • Spatial reasoning • Language AMYGDALA Long-term memory (LTM) (explicit - episodic - declarative) • Attach emotional significance (makes it harder to forget) • Memorized after few repetitions BASAL GANGLIA Long-term memory (LTM) (implicit - procedural) • For emotion • For reward processing • For habit formation • For movement • For learning • For coordination of motor activity CEREBELLUM (implicit) • Fine motor control • Arm-leg coordination • Balance HIPPOCAMPUS (explicit) • Transfer from WM to LTM • Formation of episodic memories • Indexing for later access
  10. 10. 10/18 | Working memory as a transformation system Sensory memory Working memory Long-term memory ECL GCLICL interpretation reasoning learning Transformation from external stimuli to internal/mental images Transformation within working memory, e.g. deduction, induction, abduction Transformation of information to be stored in cognitive schema’s in working memory
  11. 11. 11/18 | What if? “Students acquire different kinds of knowledge. Many theories of learning and cognition make a distinction between declarative and procedural knowledge. Whereas declarative knowledge is related to semantic and episodic memory, procedural knowledge refers to the ability to perform skilled actions.” (Schnotz & Kürschner, 2007, p. 494)
  12. 12. 12/18 | Subtypes of the types of cognitive load Visual vs. auditory extraneous load  Visuospatial sketchpad  phonological loop Declarative vs. procedural intrinsic load  Semantic  episodic + procedural knowledge  “about facts”  “about procedures” Declarative vs. procedural germane load  Building expertise  experience  Semantic + episodic  procedural knowledge  “facts about”  “procedures about”
  13. 13. 13/18 | What if we consider multiple subtypes of extraneous, intrinsic, and germane load? What if? What if we would consider working memory as an information transformation system?
  14. 14. 14/18 | Benefits of these definitions Reasoning about WM capacity measures  Solving ‘simple’ tasks with varying ‘complexity’  Fixed procedural ICL and variable declarative ICL  May explain different found capacity limits Reasoning about cognitive load types  The types of load are additive  The types of load are interactive (=not independent)  May shed more light on additivity discussion
  15. 15. 15/18 | Benefits of these definitions  Overload = insufficient capacity for total required or desired load at certain time  “Consequences” become evident options:  Reduce required/desire load (introduce biases)  Reduce effective GCL (stop learning)  Reduce effective ECL (make interpretation errors)  Reduce effective declarative ICL (conceptual errors)  Reduce effective procedural ICL (procedural errors)  Reduce effective procedural ICL (become slower)
  16. 16. 16/18 | Benefits of these definitions Measurement via active zones in memory  Extraneous load: sensory and working memory  Intrinsic load: only working memory  Germane load: working and long-term memory Comparing tasks via number and interconnectivity  of required transformations  of desired transformations May thus introduce new measure alternatives for actual, required, and desired load?
  17. 17. 17/18 | Benefits of these definitions Reasoning about described effects  Modality effect (increasing total capacity for ECL)  Problem-solving strategies (procedural ICL & GCL)  Goal-free effect (less procedural ICL)  Guidance fading (interaction procedural ICL & GCL)  Expertise-reversal (procedural GCL)  Etcetera
  18. 18. 18/18 |  Do you have any questions?  Do you have feedback? Thanks for you attention! Jan Claes