Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

cognitive load theory Related Abstracts

4 Managing the Cognitive Load of Medical Students during Anatomy Lecture

Authors: Siti Nurma Hanim Hadie, Asma’ Hassan, Zul Izhar Ismail, Ahmad Fuad Abdul Rahim, Mohd. Zarawi Mat Nor, Hairul Nizam Ismail


Anatomy is a medical subject, which contributes to high cognitive load during learning. Despite its complexity, anatomy remains as the most important basic sciences subject with high clinical relevancy. Although anatomy knowledge is required for safe practice, many medical students graduated without having sufficient knowledge. In fact, anatomy knowledge among the medical graduates was reported to be declining and this had led to various medico-legal problems. Applying cognitive load theory (CLT) in anatomy teaching particularly lecture would be able to address this issue since anatomy information is often perceived as cognitively challenging material. CLT identifies three types of loads which are intrinsic, extraneous and germane loads, which combine to form the total cognitive load. CLT describe that learning can only occur when the total cognitive load does not exceed human working memory capacity. Hence, managing these three types of loads with the aim of optimizing the working memory capacity would be beneficial to the students in learning anatomy and retaining the knowledge for future application.

Keywords: cognitive load theory, intrinsic load, extraneous load, germane load

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3 Personalized Learning: An Analysis Using Item Response Theory

Authors: A. Yacob, N. Hj. Ali, M. H. Yusoff, M. Y. MohdSaman, W. M. A. F. W. Hamzah


Personalized learning becomes increasingly popular which not is restricted by time, place or any other barriers. This study proposes an analysis of Personalized Learning using Item Response Theory which considers course material difficulty and learner ability. The study investigates twenty undergraduate students at TATI University College, who are taking programming subject. By using the IRT, it was found that, finding the most appropriate problem levels to each student include high and low level test items together is not a problem. Thus, the student abilities can be asses more accurately and fairly. Learners who experience more anxiety will affect a heavier cognitive load and receive lower test scores. Instructors are encouraged to provide a supportive learning environment to enhance learning effectiveness because Cognitive Load Theory concerns the limited capacity of the brain to absorb new information.

Keywords: Learning, Performance, Assessment, Motivation, cognitive load theory, item response theory

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2 Physical Interaction Mappings: Utilizing Cognitive Load Theory in Order to Enhance Physical Product Interaction

Authors: Bryan Young, Andrew Wodehouse, Marion Sheridan


The availability of working memory has long been identified as a critical aspect of an instructional design. Many conventional instructional procedures impose irrelevant or unrelated cognitive loads on the learner due to the fact that they were created without contemplation, or understanding, of cognitive work load. Learning to physically operate traditional products can be viewed as a learning process akin to any other. As such, many of today's products, such as cars, boats, and planes, which have traditional controls that predate modern user-centered design techniques may be imposing irrelevant or unrelated cognitive loads on their operators. The goal of the research was to investigate the fundamental relationships between physical inputs, resulting actions, and learnability. The results showed that individuals can quickly adapt to input/output reversals across dimensions, however, individuals struggle to cope with the input/output when the dimensions are rotated due to the resulting increase in cognitive load.

Keywords: Instructional Design, cognitive load theory, physical product interactions, usability design

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1 A Comparative Evaluation of Cognitive Load Management: Case Study of Postgraduate Business Students

Authors: Kavita Goel, Donald Winchester


In a world of information overload and work complexities, academics often struggle to create an online instructional environment enabling efficient and effective student learning. Research has established that students’ learning styles are different, some learn faster when taught using audio and visual methods. Attributes like prior knowledge and mental effort affect their learning. ‘Cognitive load theory’, opines learners have limited processing capacity. Cognitive load depends on the learner’s prior knowledge, the complexity of content and tasks, and instructional environment. Hence, the proper allocation of cognitive resources is critical for students’ learning. Consequently, a lecturer needs to understand the limits and strengths of the human learning processes, various learning styles of students, and accommodate these requirements while designing online assessments. As acknowledged in the cognitive load theory literature, visual and auditory explanations of worked examples potentially lead to a reduction of cognitive load (effort) and increased facilitation of learning when compared to conventional sequential text problem solving. This will help learner to utilize both subcomponents of their working memory. Instructional design changes were introduced at the case site for the delivery of the postgraduate business subjects. To make effective use of auditory and visual modalities, video recorded lectures, and key concept webinars were delivered to students. Videos were prepared to free up student limited working memory from irrelevant mental effort as all elements in a visual screening can be viewed simultaneously, processed quickly, and facilitates greater psychological processing efficiency. Most case study students in the postgraduate programs are adults, working full-time at higher management levels, and studying part-time. Their learning style and needs are different from other tertiary students. The purpose of the audio and visual interventions was to lower the students cognitive load and provide an online environment supportive to their efficient learning. These changes were expected to impact the student’s learning experience, their academic performance and retention favourably. This paper posits that these changes to instruction design facilitates students to integrate new knowledge into their long-term memory. A mixed methods case study methodology was used in this investigation. Primary data were collected from interviews and survey(s) of students and academics. Secondary data were collected from the organisation’s databases and reports. Some evidence was found that the academic performance of students does improve when new instructional design changes are introduced although not statistically significant. However, the overall grade distribution of student’s academic performance has changed and skewed higher which shows deeper understanding of the content. It was identified from feedback received from students that recorded webinars served as better learning aids than material with text alone, especially with more complex content. The recorded webinars on the subject content and assessments provides flexibility to students to access this material any time from repositories, many times, and this enhances students learning style. Visual and audio information enters student’s working memory more effectively. Also as each assessment included the application of the concepts, conceptual knowledge interacted with the pre-existing schema in the long-term memory and lowered student’s cognitive load.

Keywords: Working memory, cognitive load theory, learning style, instructional environment

Procedia PDF Downloads 27