Evidence-Based Instruction: Prevent Cognitive Overload From Interfering with Learning

 

graphic illustrating cognitive load

Is Your Cup Overflowing? – Sources of Cognitive Load (CL)

Working memory is a well-known limitation for learners.  A rule of thumb, based on numerous research studies is that somewhere between five and eight elements can be held simultaneously in working memory to be manipulated and processed together.  Working memory is closely related to the concept of “cognitive load” – basically how much learning the brain can handle at a given point. Sweller, Cognitive load theory, learning difficulty, and instructional design in Learning and Instruction, Volume 4, Issue 4, 1994, Pages 295–312.

As this more recent article describes:

“The basic idea of cognitive load theory is that cognitive capacity in working memory is limited, so that if a learning task requires too much capacity, learning will be hampered. The recommended remedy is to design instructional systems that optimize the use of working memory capacity and avoid cognitive overload.”

There are numerous strategies for reducing cognitive load.  One of these is the use of redundancy.

Information acquisition theory posits three delivery routes for information: pictures, spoken word, or written word. The theory predicts that students will learn more deeply from multimedia presentations when redundant on-screen text is included rather than excluded.

The theory has been supported by studies such as Mayer, R. E., & Johnson, C. I. (2008). Revising the redundancy principle in multimedia learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100(2), 380 and Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine ways to reduce cognitive load in multimedia learning.  Educational Psychologist, 38,43-52.

Both studies compared the learning outcomes of students who had exposure to the redundancy of pictures, narrative audio, and on-screen text throughout slides of a lecture and those who had only images and narrative audio on slides.  Moreno & Mayer’s work found that those who were exposed to all three types of information received an average of 79 percent more correct answers on a problem-solving test than those who only received the spoken audio and images.  The Mayer & Johnson study confirmed the result of students retaining more information when they are exposed to more types of information simultaneously.

These studies showed that redundant information is advantageous to learning, as long as it is kept brief, and placed close to the information to which it relates.  Other methods for reducing cognitive load described in Mayer and Moreno’s article include segmenting (chunking information into smaller pieces), “signaling,” (“providing cues to the learner about how to select and organize the material”) and “weeding” (eliminating extraneous material).  Contact ATIG if you’d like to meet with an Instructional Strategies Specialist for more ideas on reducing cognitive load and improving learning.

Thanks to Jarrod Slavinskas, Academic Technology Assistant, for research and help writing this post.

This entry was posted in Evidence-Based Instruction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Evidence-Based Instruction: Prevent Cognitive Overload From Interfering with Learning

  1. Chas says:

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day.
    It’s always exciting to read through content from other
    writers and use a little something from their web sites.

  2. Sysmamesia says:

    This content is look that very good.

  3. momente says:

    Hi to every body, it’s my first visit of this webpage; this website consists of remarkable
    and in fact fine information for visitors.

  4. cado1.com says:

    As the admin of this web site is working, no doubt very
    shortly it will be famous, due to its feature contents.

  5. After I originally commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I recieve four emails with
    the exact same comment. Perhaps there is a way you can remove
    me from that service? Thank you!

  6. Staying around for the best piece of the newest 55 years, Polo Ralph Lauren has seen an enormous change
    in the market and has needed to always adapt its self to fit within the
    requirements of cutting edge life, something which it has recently been to a great level effective to
    do. Primarily begun as a company offering and represent
    considerable power in extravagance ties for respectable man,
    the rand name has exponentially developed and produced its way on the market as the key light in huge way of life.
    Via dress to home product, to specialized recreation items to magnificence and beautifiers, there truly isn’t a stone that has recently been left
    unturned. Going from one independent boutique inside the New York
    selling establishment Bloomingdales, to 320 stores universally, it is anything but difficult to perceive
    how well the brand did in making the look and feel of a way of
    life which is attractive to the point that every person needs somewhat of
    computer.

    To adapt to the level of development, the brand concocted many sub-classifications or sub brands which would house diverse
    lines of their clothing and lifestyle stock. The rule lines
    inside the Polo Ralph Lauren umbrella would incorporate; Bordo Golf,
    Black Label, Polo Ralph Lauren UK itself and naturally Lauren by Ralph Lauren. One particular of the numerous programs where the brand has held the capability to prolong so successfully, has recently
    been their excellent advertising and sponsorship battles.
    5 years ago, the organization switched into the primary and first authority support and supplier of The Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the Wimbledon logo was adjusted and an entire scope of clothes was performed accessible
    for ball teenage boys and young ladies, staff working at the scene and
    off the back of this, a scope of dress was can be sold to the
    overall human population close to the competition.

    What looks certain is that there will be no halting Ralph Lauren as a constrain, both in the form world in addition to the realm
    of lavish way of life. It looks to be likely that the brand will continue in the rule at the highest point of the business stakes, offering to its reliable and committed fan base, new and crisp thoughts,
    the best lawn mowers of quality and obviously with that exceptional, restrictive advantage.
    You as the buyer will then obviously be protected
    in the information you happen to be wearing a lttle bit of
    history, clothes which has had so much time, thought and past experience
    furrowed into it, keeping in mind the finish goal to give the most ideal Polo Ralph Lauren encounter.

  7. aufora says:

    Our philosophy here at Aufora is a simple one: to make your rooms beautiful, elegant and stylish. We collaborate with only the most talented designers from all around the globe to bring you items that are to be treasured now and forever.

    Aufora.com was established in 2015 by a group of interior enthusiasts with the simple goal of providing sleek, stunning and affordable luxury home accessories which are designed to add a little something extra to your home. Our selection of products will ensure you find exactly you’re after; whether it’s new wall mirrors to add extra light into a room, crystal vases and bowls to have as a centerpiece on your dining room table, or some artificial plants and flowers to brighten up your day, you will be sure to find the styles and colours to match your tastes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *