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Schema Theory and Cognitive Load Theory

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Kevin Meadows

on 6 September 2012

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Transcript of Schema Theory and Cognitive Load Theory

Schema Theory &
Cognitive Load Theory Relevant approaches to Schema & Cognitive Load Theories Real world technology applications of Schema & Cognitive Load Theories Start with Basic Skills 4-MAT - Bernice McCarthy 4C/ID - Van Merrienboer Document Cameras What is the nature of learning, knowing and teaching for cognitive load and schema theory? What is the impact of cognitive load and schema theory on research and practice in our field? Before Cognitive Load and Schema Theory Recent
Research Applications New Ideas Learning starts with working memory Knowing comes
from long-term memory schemas Teaching Methods and Cognitive Load John Sweller Jeroen
van Merriénboer Who are the major scholars and what are their key claims? Introduction Conclusion (Reiser, 2012) Sweller believes that the difference between a novice and an expert is the development of their mental schema. (Solomon, 2011) Sweller is most interested in technically complicated problems. (Solomon, 2011) Sweller also differentiates the difference between cognitive load and cognitive limit. (Solomon, 2011) Cognitive Load Cognitive Limit Cognitive Load is the amount of mental processing that a person has to do to learn or complete a task. (Solomon, 2011) Cognitive Limit is the maximum that a person can process. (Solomon, 2011) Bibliography Merriénboer is known for his development of 4C/ID. The 4C is for "Four Components" and ID is for "Instructional Design." (EduTech Wiki, 2006) Learning Tasks Supportive Information Just in Time Information Part-Task Practive Learning tasks are designed to reflect what learners do in the real world. This is to help with the creation of more complex schema. (EduTech Wiki, 2006) Information that is supportive of the learning process. (EduTech Wiki, 2006) Why the Schema Theory and Cognitive Load can be served as the best framework in our field. Improving Teaching Materials Limited Processing Capacity "Demonstration is usually needed to illustrate the application of rules or procedures and to exemplify concepts, principles, or plans that are prerequisite to a correct application of those rules or procedures in solving the problem" (Van Merrienboer, 1997) Working memory (WM): responsible for on-the-go processing- allows for reasoning and understanding to take place.
Limitations to how much WM can process at once.
Cognitive Load- how much processing the WM can or cannot handle with any given learning experience. (Kirschner et. al. 2003) Fun Fact: working memory has an average maximum capacity of seven new items, and even less capacity if these items must be immediately analyzed. That is why telephone numbers are only seven digits long! (Miller, 1956) If info can be processed effectively in WM, it can be stored in long term memory (LTM).
New knowledge gets stored in LTM via schemas.
Schemas- constructions in LTM that contain attribute info about certain categories of concepts (Kirschner, et. al. 2003) Schema Example A biology student can develop a schema for a cell- a cell has mitochondria, cytoplasm, DNA, etc. Once this schema is formed in LTM, the student can quickly identify a cell under a microscope. The larger the repertoire of complex schemas, the more effective an individual is at analyzing and comprehending information.
Stored schemas reduce cognitive load.
Allows for automated processing of new info- ultimately facilitating learning. (Kirschner, et. al. 2003) Instructional design and teaching methods must consider cognitive load.

Effort must be made to avoid overloading a learner's working memory. (Sweller, 1998) Studies show that decreasing load on working memory enough to leave room for conscious processing of the new information maximizes schema construction, and therefore learning (Sweller, 1998) Before these theories, research in instructional design centered around examining novice learning in a rather static fashion.
Learners presented with info that was beyond an appropriate level- led to poor learning outcomes. (Paas, et. al. 2003) Beginning research focused on developing techniques for reducing cognitive load.
Some techniques that were developed include goal specificity, split-attention, among others.
Have been applied to execution of ID with positive outcomes. (Kirschner, et. al. 2003) More recent research- considers the complexities between learning tasks, cognitive load, and personal experience of the learner.
A recent finding: expertise reversal effect: ID techniques effective with novices can worsen learning for more experienced learners. (Paas, et. al. 2003) Scaffolding technique has risen from cognitive load (CL) theory.
Involves introducing the learner to simple then more complex ideas.
Significant support and guidance given at first (reduces CL), then support decreases as learner gains expertise. (Paas, et. al. 2003) Reiser, R.A. & Dempsey, J.A (2012). Trends and issues in Instructional Design and Technology. (3 ed., p 38). Boston, MA : Pearson Education Inc.
Kirschner, Paul A (2012). Cognitive load theory: implications of cognitive load theory on the design of learning. http://ou-nl.academia.edu/PaulKirschner/Papers/281915/Cognitive_Load_Theory_Implications_of_Cognitive_Load_Theory_on_the_Design_of_Learning
Miller, G. A. (1956). The magical number seven, ± two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychological Review, 63, 81–9.
Sweller, J., van Merriënboer, J., & Paas, F. (1998). Cognitive architecture and instructional design. Educational Psychology Review, 10(3), 251–296.
Kirschner, P., Kirschner, F., Paas, F., (2003). Cognitive Load Theory. Retrieved from http://www.education.com/reference/article/cognitive-load-theory/
Paas, F., Swellar, J., Renkl, A., (2003). Cognitive Load Theory and Instructional Design: Recent Developments. Educational Psychology, 38(1), 1-4. Retrieved from http://cis.msjc.edu/evoc/637/References/Pass-CognitiveLoadTheoryAndID.pdf
4C/ID: Van Merrienboer, J.J.G. (1997). Training Complex Cognitive Skills. Englewood Cliffs: Educational Technology Publications
McCarthy, B. (1996). About Learning. Barrington, IL: Excell Inc.
Merrill, M.D. (2002). Educational Technology, Research and Development. ProQuest Research Library. 50(3), 43-59.
UNSW. (2011). E/Prof John Sweller - UNSW-Arts: Education - Staff. Retrieved September 5, 2012, from http://education.arts.unsw.edu.au/staff/john-sweller-1206.html.
Solomon, H. (2011). Cognitive Load Theory - Instructional Design. Retrieved September 4, 2012, from http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/cognitive-load.html.
(2010). Merriënboer van, Jeroen - Maastricht University. Retrieved September 4, 2012, from http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/web/Faculties/FHML/Theme/Education/InstituteForEducationFHML/SchoolOfHealthProfessionsEducationSHE/OrganisationStaff/StaffABC5/MerrienboerVanJeroen.htm.
(2006). 4C/ID - EduTech Wiki. Retrieved September 2, 2012, from http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/4C/ID.
(2009). van Merriënboer's 4C/ID Model and Instructional Design. Retrieved September 2, 2012, from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/learning/id/4c_id.html.
Anderson, R. C. (1977). Schema-directed processes in language comprehension.
FABBS. (2011). FABBS :: In Honor Of... Richard Anderson. Retrieved September 5, 2012, from http://www.fabbs.org/index.php?cID=405.
Chinn, Clark. (2010). Anderson, Richard C(hase) 1934- | Education.com. Retrieved September 5, 2012, from http://www.education.com/reference/article/anderson-richard-chase-1934-/.
Wopereis, I.(2007). Ten Steps to complex learning. Retrieved September 5, 2012, from http://www.tensteps.info/. The impact of the schema theory and
cognitive theory in our field of practice
has made researchers re think how
students learn and retain information.
The theory itself is how with basic
skills the human brain can expand by
building on the information already
obtained from prior experiences.
(Kirschner 2012) It has made educators
re think how to bring information across
to students, in order for them to better
succeed in an educational environment. Instead of having students view “onscreen text by itself, combining narration and pictures into the presentation” (Reiser, Dempsey 2012 p.38) makes it more likely that students will retain more of the information. The information at that point becomes more intriguing to the student. Understanding this theory and applying it in the educators material could greatly help students in subject that are very structured, like math, science, and computer programming. Having a systematic way in which people learn makes it
easier to create material that will assist a student with
succeeding in a specific task. It is very important “in the
construction of schemas because learners have only so
much processing capacity”. (Reiser, Dempsey 2012 p.38)
If you overload a student’s mind there is no understanding
and the material never makes the connections in the brain.
Without a connection in the schema there is very little
chance that the student will understand what is being
taught. Sweller identifies an example that illustrates this point in research carried out by Simon & Simon (1978) with physics students. Novice sudents worked backwards using a variety of equations to gradually eliminate unknown variables. Experts could quickly identify the nesecary equation with only one unkown variable. The experts could solve the problem much more quickly.
Sweller attributes this difference to the experts' more highly developed mental schema. (Sweller, 1988) In his own words Sweller explains the importance of using diagrams in instruction.
Video Source : "http://youtu.be/RyuOU2RasRQ" Richard C. Anderson Anderson was an early advocate for Schema Theory. He built his research off of previous work from Piaget & Bartlett. (Chinn, 2010) (Anderson, 1977) Most of Anderson's research has focused on reading comprehension and vocabulary acquisition. He believes that the development and organization of schema is essential for effective understanding. (Chinn, 2010) Example #1 Example #2 Increases automation through scalability
All learning preferences are involved in the whole cycle of learning (Merrill, 2002)
Students draw upon prior knowledge and make connections through new meanings
Phases 1 & 2 focus on activation & demonstration
Phases 3 & 4 focus on application & integration
Plethora of opportunities for worked exanples, technology integration, and development of schemata Image: 4-MAT Wheel (McCarthy, 1996) Progressive in nature.
Takes in to consideration cognitive load of learners and development of schemata
Focuses on simple to complex versions of whole tasks
Demonstration is a key concept and is addressed at several levels (Merrill, 2002)
Application & Integration are at its core. These concepts are integrated rather than distinct phases
Promotes a "scaffolding of problems" working towards effective skill development (Merrill, 2002) Image: 4C/ID Model (Van Merrienboer, 1997) Is a schema!
Presents information progressively of the "big idea"
Encourages students to build representations of how they learn
Easily accessible and lower learning curve as compared to Keynote & Power Point
Is really cool to look at! Chinn (2010) gives an example of Anderson's theory. If a student is to understand a reading about a wedding they must already have a schema of a wedding. (Bride, groom, cake, flowers, etc.) This schema has "slots" where more informaion can be processed. (The bride and grooms names, the cakes flavor, the smell of the flowers, etc.) (Chinn, 2010) Without a working schema of a wedding the reader will have too high of cognitive load and not grasped the reading. Anderson gives his own example using a face. People have a schema for a face. (Eyes, nose, mouth, etc.) The schema is sufficiently flexible that people can recognize a variety of faces including cartoons. However, it is also specific that people will not confuse something for a face that lacks its essential elements. (Anderson, 1977) Image: TT-12 INTERACTIVE DOCUMENT CAMERA retrievd from
http://www.elmousa.com/tt-12-interactive-document-camera Elmo TT-12 Document Camera - Demonstration retrieved from
www.youtube.com/watch?v=njSjqj6WJqY Teachers easily provide worked examples in real time
Allows for live teacher narration to reduce distraction
Students can apply concepts easily with direct feedback
Record function allows for repetition
Particularly useful in visual arts, science, math Information that is necessary to complete a certain task. Especially repetitive or procedural information. (EduTech Wiki, 2006) These tasks are designed so that learners automate parts of the task as they move towards completing a whole complex task. (EduTech Wiki, 2006) Chris Kennedy, Jacqueline Mason,
Stephanie Mazurik, Kevin Meadows (UNSW, 2011) (FABBS, 2011) (Wopereis, 2007) (Anderson, 1977) (Solomon, 2011) (EduTech Wiki, 2006) Image Source: https://encrypted-tbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQmP2Ny15XovUbMV45uYmrG6w4z87jSrZYkvzuLTcQFTyjEqjcf_A Image Source: https://encrypted-tbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS9LxXqkbmi7jQSn5uhVc2loI2mqwQXElNVbMw6MuuP9suRJ6TmUVoU5rQ Bernice McCarthy
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