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Wednesday, March 30 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Paper Presentation 3/1: 397 How Much Can We Learn? Utilising Cognitive Load Theory In Instructional Design LIMITED

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Given the limited capacity of our working memory, how do we cope with the wide array of sensory information around us? In order not to be overwhelmed by our surrounding, we necessarily filter and select sensory information for processing. What implication does this have for educators who are routinely creating rich learning tasks for their students, and increasingly in a multi-sensory online environment? In this paper, I suggest drawing on research in Cognitive Load Theory as we consider our learning design and design parameters. This paper also discusses how we can design meaningful and appropriate learning experiences that leverage the affordances of technology, without overwhelming our students.

Research in Cognitive Load Theory began in the 1980s and has since undergone further development and expansion (Paas, Renkl & Sweller, 2003).  The theory offers an important dimension to designers of learning experiences in that it considers “the structure of information and cognitive architecture that allows learners to process that information” (ibid: p.1).   Due to the limited processing capacity of the mind, the learning process can be hampered when the learner is overwhelmed by the additive effects of intrinsic, germane and extraneous cognitive loads. Paas, Renkl and Sweller (2003) discuss how intrinsic and extraneous loads can be reduced to free up more capacity for schema acquisition and automation through better instructional control. In addition, van Merriënboer, Kirschner and Kester (2003) suggest methods of scaffolding and methods of just-in-time information presentation as ways to manage the high cognitive load of authentic, whole tasks. Both articles offer useful implications for educators in that they argue for more thoughtful instructional planning that take into the structure of information and the task complexity. Their premises form the basis for this paper and this paper will offer some thoughts and suggestions for how cognitive loads can be managed, particularly in online learning environments.



Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road)

Wednesday March 30, 2016 3:30pm - 4:00pm GMT+08
MR 327