Cognitive LoadResearch & TheoryImplications for InstructionalDesign                                 1
Cognitive ArchitectureThe basics     Working memoryEarly research     The magic number 7 ± 2                            ...
Working MemoryWe are conscious of what is in workingmemoryCan hold a few things in working memory                         ...
Math Story ProblemA tailor stitches 2 shirts everyday. It takes him 3 hoursto stitch a shirt. Each shirt uses 7 buttons an...
Long Term MemoryIt is more than a passive storage placeHow have we learned about long termmemory?                         ...
What are these structures?schemata     A cognitive constructs that permit us to      treat multiple elements as a single ...
Learning           7
An example (Sweller)Rote memory     s=vt              s=distance traveled              v=average velocity              t=...
s=vt1.    S= distance traveled2.    V= average speed3.    T=time4.    Speed is defined5.    as the number of units of dist...
Interactivity High interactivity among elements      Only meaningful when considered simultaneously Low interactivity amo...
Interactivity Low interactivity       Impose very little on working memory       May be difficult to learn High interact...
Three types of Cognitive LoadIntrinsicExtraneousGermaneICL + ECL + GCL = TCL                         12
Fredrick D. Pociask  Dimensions of Cognitive Load                          Available Cognitive Resources                  ...
Fredrick D. Pociask  Dimensions of Cognitive Load                         Available Cognitive Resources                   ...
Controlling Cognitive LoadControlling for split attention and redundancy                                     15
Split Attention Effect Learner’s must split attention between diagram and instructions                          DiagramIns...
Baddeley’s Working Memory   Model                           Long Term                            MemoryVisual/Spatial     ...
Baddeley’s Working Memory   Model                   Long Term                    MemoryVisual/Spatial        Central      ...
Baddeley’s Working Memory   Model                           Long Term                            MemoryVisual/Spatial     ...
Baddeley’s Working Memory   Model                           Long Term                            MemoryVisual/Spatial     ...
Baddeley’s Working Memory   Model                               Long Term                                MemoryVisual/Spat...
ImplicationsTwo applications for cognitive load     Instructional design     Message design     Message design, the los...
In SummaryCognitive load theory could inform our ID practice and research     Reduce extraneous cognitive load     Resul...
Referencesvan Meeriënboer, Kirschner, Kester (2003). Taking theload off a learner’s mind: Instructional design forcomplex ...
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Cognitive load theory

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Cognitive load theory

  1. 1. Cognitive LoadResearch & TheoryImplications for InstructionalDesign 1
  2. 2. Cognitive ArchitectureThe basics  Working memoryEarly research  The magic number 7 ± 2 2
  3. 3. Working MemoryWe are conscious of what is in workingmemoryCan hold a few things in working memory 3
  4. 4. Math Story ProblemA tailor stitches 2 shirts everyday. It takes him 3 hoursto stitch a shirt. Each shirt uses 7 buttons and has twopockets. Each shirt costs the tailor $2 and he chargesthe customer $4. 1. How many pockets does the tailor stitch in 8 days? 2. How many shirts does the tailor stitch if he uses 84 buttons? 3. How many dollars does the tailor collect from his customers in 4 days? 4. How many dollars does the tailor earn as profit in 5 days? 5. How many hours does the tailor work in 3 days? 4
  5. 5. Long Term MemoryIt is more than a passive storage placeHow have we learned about long termmemory? 5
  6. 6. What are these structures?schemata  A cognitive constructs that permit us to treat multiple elements as a single element 6
  7. 7. Learning 7
  8. 8. An example (Sweller)Rote memory  s=vt s=distance traveled v=average velocity t=timeEasy to memorize and write it down for atest 8
  9. 9. s=vt1. S= distance traveled2. V= average speed3. T=time4. Speed is defined5. as the number of units of distance traveled6. in a single unit of time7. Multiplying8. the number of units traveled9. in a single unit of time10. by the number of units of time11. equals the distance traveled 9
  10. 10. Interactivity High interactivity among elements  Only meaningful when considered simultaneously Low interactivity among elements  i.e., chemical symbols  No interaction  Can be learned individually 10
  11. 11. Interactivity Low interactivity  Impose very little on working memory  May be difficult to learn High interactivity  Impose a lot on working memory  How do we accomplish this “impossible” task? 11
  12. 12. Three types of Cognitive LoadIntrinsicExtraneousGermaneICL + ECL + GCL = TCL 12
  13. 13. Fredrick D. Pociask Dimensions of Cognitive Load Available Cognitive Resources Germane Cognitive Load Extraneous Cognitive Load Total Intrinsic Cognitive Load Cognitive CapacityIdeal situation with ample cognitive resources are available. 13
  14. 14. Fredrick D. Pociask Dimensions of Cognitive Load Available Cognitive Resources Germane Cognitive Load Extraneous Cognitive Load Total Intrinsic Cognitive Load Cognitive CapacityA context where instructional materials were poorly designed. 14
  15. 15. Controlling Cognitive LoadControlling for split attention and redundancy 15
  16. 16. Split Attention Effect Learner’s must split attention between diagram and instructions DiagramInstructions 16
  17. 17. Baddeley’s Working Memory Model Long Term MemoryVisual/Spatial Central Phonological Sketch Pad Executive Loop Visual/Spatial Sketch Pad  Visual working memory  Deals with entities that occupy 2-3d space Diagrams, pictures 17
  18. 18. Baddeley’s Working Memory Model Long Term MemoryVisual/Spatial Central Phonological Sketch Pad Executive Loop Executive Memory Transfers information between locations 18
  19. 19. Baddeley’s Working Memory Model Long Term MemoryVisual/Spatial Central Phonological Sketch Pad Executive Loop Listening to an audio tape  Use phonological loop (auditory) memory to process 19
  20. 20. Baddeley’s Working Memory Model Long Term MemoryVisual/Spatial Central Phonological Sketch Pad Executive Loop Consider listening to an audio tape explaining a diagram  Use visual/spatial memory for diagram  Use auditory memory for tape 20
  21. 21. Baddeley’s Working Memory Model Long Term MemoryVisual/Spatial Central Phonological Sketch Pad Executive Loop But, what happens if you are reading about the diagram?  Sentence is first processed by visual working memory Then transferred to auditory working memory Processed the same was as if it was heard 21
  22. 22. ImplicationsTwo applications for cognitive load  Instructional design  Message design  Message design, the lost art 22
  23. 23. In SummaryCognitive load theory could inform our ID practice and research  Reduce extraneous cognitive load  Results in an increase in germane cognitive loadPotential areas for future research 23
  24. 24. Referencesvan Meeriënboer, Kirschner, Kester (2003). Taking theload off a learner’s mind: Instructional design forcomplex learning. Educational Psychologist, 38(1), 5-13.Miller, G. A., (1956). The magical number seven, plusor minus two: Some limits on our capacity forprocessing information. Psychological Review. 63, 81-97.Cowan, N. (2000). The magical number 4 in short termmemory: A reconsideration of mental storage capacity.Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24, 87-185.Mayer, R. E. & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine ways to reducecognitive load in multimedia learning. EducationalPscyologist, 38(1), 43-52. 24

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