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Cognitive Load Theory

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Cynthia Spires

on 7 July 2014

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Transcript of Cognitive Load Theory

Cognitive Load Theory
What is Cognitive Load Theory?
How Cognitive Load Theory Relates
Strengths and Weaknesses of Cognitive Load Theory
More On Cognitive Load
Extraneous Load
Based on the instructional methods and materials

Distracts from learning

Controlled by the instructor

Should be minimized
The quality of instructional can be increased if attention is paid to the limitations of working memory. (Kirschner 2009)

Several instructional formats have been studied which have been shown to reduce Cognitive Load and increase learning. (Kirschner 2009)
Used for processing and learning information

Builds lasting knowledge

Should be increased
Intrinsic Load
Measures the amount of working memory in use

Depends on the difficulty of the information to be learned

Cannot be changed
Cognitive Load Theory is NOT Constructivist.

Minimally guided instruction (as is common in constructivist learning activities) causes heavy working memory loads which makes learning difficult. (Kirschner 2006)
Cognitive Load Theory does not follow Behaviorist Theory.

It does not deal with extrinsic motivation.
Cognitive Load Theory follows Cognitivist Theory.

It deals with mental processes including how working memory and long term memory are connected during learning.
Works Cited
Bozarth, J. (2010, August 3). Nuts and Bolts: Brain Bandwidth - Cognitive Load Theory and Instructional Design.
Educational Solutions Magazine
. Retrieved July 5, 2014, from http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/498/nuts-and-bolts-brain-bandwidth---cognitive-load-theory-and-instructional-design

de Jong, T. (2010). Cognitive load theory, educational research, and instructional design: Some food for thought.
Instructional Science
, 38(2), 105-134.

Kirschner, P., Kirschner, F., & Paas, F. (2009). Cognitive Load Theory.
. Retrieved July 5, 2014, from http://www.education.com/reference/article/cognitive-load-theory/

It is uncertain whether the types of loads can be distinguished. (de Jong, 2010)

It is not clear to what extent working memory is required for learning. (Schnotz, 2007)
(Sweller, 2011)
for Online/Blended Learning
How My Education Would Have Looked with Cognitive Load Theory
Basically there is a limited amount of new information that our brains can process at one time.

If too much is presented, it is difficult for information to be absorbed and retained.
Sweller, J., Ayres, P., & Kalyuga, S. (2011).
Cognitive Load Theory
. New York: Springer.

Wolf, A. Introduction to Cognitive Load Theory. (2012).
. Retrieved July 5, 2014, from http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=9ZcjWzXTHng
Kirschner, P., Sweller, J. & Clark, R. (2006). Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential, and Inquiry-Based Teaching.
Educational Psychologist
, 41(2), 75-86.

Schnotz, W., & Kurschner, C. (2007). A reconsideration of cognitive load theory.
Educational Psychology Review
, 19, 469–508.

not so much of this...
Goal-Free Effect
Chunk the Content
Make sure the learners aren't doing exposed to too much information at once.

Break the content into meaningful chunks (not just random groups of information).
(Bozarth, 2010)
Consider Novice and Expert
What is adequate for the expert will probably overload the novice

What is adequate for the novice, will probably be boring for the expert.
Remove Extra Information that is Decorative
Information enters the brain through 2 basic channels (visual and auditory).

To reduce cognitive load, get rid of extraneous information by eliminating "pretty" or "cool" pictures and sound effects.
Replace a problem with a specific goal with one with a non-specific goal

Example: In geometry, instead of solving for angle ABC in a complex diagram, ask the students to solve for all angle they can.
Worked Examples
(in Math & Science)
Have students study a step-by-step solution to a problem before asking them to solve a similar problem.

Example: Show worked example of solving 2x + 3 = 7 before having students solve 4x + 5 = 13.
(Sweller, 2011)
(Sweller, 2011)
The Redundancy Effect
Instructors should not express the same information in multiple formats.

Example: Don't do this.
(Sweller, 2011)
(I actually went back and removed several images I had in this Prezi. )
Full transcript