Module 6

Cognitive Load Theory

Sources of load, split attention, & redundancy

Goals and Outcomes

Outcomes

After completing this module, students will be able to:

  • describe how working memory is limited when dealing with elemental information
  • identify the role of schema for information process
  • explain cognitive load theory
  • describe split-attention principle in multimedia learning
  • identify the criteria for the occurrence of split attention effect
  • explain the importance of element interactivity
  • describe redundancy principle in multimedia learning
  • identify two types of redundancy
  • explain what makes learning difficult
  • identify conditions for facilitating learning

Selected Readings

Required

  • Pass, F. & Sweller, J. (2014) Implications of cognitive load theory for multimedia learning. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning. (pp. 27-42). New York: Cambridge.
    (e.g. Chapter 2)
  • Ayres, P & Sweller, J. (2014) The split-attention principle in multimedia Learning. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning. (pp. 206-226). New York: Cambridge.
    (e.g. Chapter 8)

Recommended:

  • Kalyuga, S. & Sweller, J. (2014) The redundancy principle in multimedia learning. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning. (pp. 247-262). New York: Cambridge.
    (e.g. Chapter 10)
  • Sweller, J. (1994). Cognitive load theory, learning difficulty, and instructional design. Learning and Instruction, 4, 295-312.
    Download (PDF, 1.7 MB)

“To Do” List

Discussions

Extraneous Cognitive Load

According to Pass and Sweller (2014), extraneous cognitive load is caused by inappropriate instructional designs (leading to the split-attention effect, the redundancy effect and the expertise reversal effect) and it can be reduced by employing worked examples (the worked example effect) or by presented verbal material in spoken form (the modality effect). Intrinsic cognitive load is due to the natural complexity of the information to be processed. Germane cognitive load is “effective” load; it is cognitive load that assists in schema construction. The goal of education should be to reduce extraneous cognitive load caused by inappropriate methods. However, if intrinsic cognitive load is low, then adding extraneous cognitive load in the form of germane cognitive load can be beneficial for it helps in schema construction.

Based upon your teaching experience, please describe 1) an instructional incident where extraneous cognitive load is induced by inappropriate designs; and 2) what can be done to reduce the extraneous cognitive load. Please elaborate your interventions.

Make your initial posts before 11:59 p.m. U.S. EST/EDT on Day 5 of this module. After making your initial postings, review at least two of your classmates’ postings and reply to their threads.Complete your replies before 11:59 p.m. U.S. EST/EDT on the next Monday.

Discussion postings should always be thoughtful and courteous and include some references or direct evidence from the module’s content, readings, or assignments to support your statements. In order to ensure that postings are appropriate in length and substance, please limit your initial postings to 100 – 200 words and each of your responses to 25 – 50 words.

Assignments

Annotated Bibliographies for Module 6

Please read the Annotated Bibliographies for Module Reading page for details about this assignment. 

Outcomes

After completing this assignment, you will be able to:

  • describe how working memory is limited when dealing with elemental information
  • identify the role of schema for information process
  • explain cognitive load theory
  • describe split-attention principle in multimedia learning
  • identify the criteria for the occurrence of split attention effect
  • explain the importance of element interactivity
  • describe redundancy principle in multimedia learning
  • identify two types of redundancy
  • explain what makes learning difficult
  • identify conditions for facilitating learning

Instructions

  1. Read all assigned reading carefully and thoroughly.
  2. Summarize the most important ideas and questions for ALL journal articles or book chapters covered in the week (including the one you find).
  3. For EACH journal article or book chapter, the summary should be between 150 – 300 words in length. This is not a reaction paper or an excerpt, but rather your synthesis of the main ideas and related questions. View an synthesis example at the Template page.
  4. Compose all of your annotated bibliographies in MS Word and check for spelling/grammatical errors.
  5. Post your synthesis text onto a Weebly page as online text (not file attachment) and label the page appropriately.

Submitting and Posting 

  1. To submit your work, copy and paste your synthesis text onto the corresponding link under Submissions inside Moodle before 11:59 p.m. U.S. EST/EDT on the following Monday.

Grading
Grades on the synthesis will be based on the requirement listed in the Annotated Bibliographies for Module Reading page. Read it carefully to get a sense of the instructor’s specific expectations.