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Cognitive Load Theory Sweller, van Merrienboer, and Paas, 1998. Psych 605 Fall 2009. What is Cognitive Load Theory?. Long Term Store. Monitoring occurs in working memory. Processing occurs in working memory. There is a restricted space: 7 +/- 2. Schema Construction. Working Memory.

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what is cognitive load theory
What is Cognitive Load Theory?

Long Term Store

  • Monitoring occurs in working memory.
  • Processing occurs in working memory.
  • There is a restricted space: 7 +/- 2

Schema Construction

WorkingMemory

Schema Automation

Executive

Episodic Buffer

Visuospatial

Sketchpad

Phonological

Loop

In terms of Working Memory

CLT is a theory of instruction that addresses directly the limitations of Working Memory

what is cognitive load theory1
What is Cognitive Load Theory

Long Term Memory

  • Long term memory stores unlimited amounts of information.
  • Humans are poor at reasoning skills unless elements, which we reason with, have been previously stored in long term memory.

Schema Construction

Schema Automation

Working Memory

Executive

Episodic Buffer

Visuospatial Sketchpad

Phonological Loop

In terms of Long Term Memory

CLT is designed to provide principles which

lead to the construction of new schema stored in Long Term Memory.

what is cognitive load theory2
What is Cognitive Load Theory?

Long Term Store

  • Knowledge is stored in long term memory in the form of schemas.
  • Skilled performance develops from the combination of elements consisting of lower level schemas into higher level schemas.
  • Schema construction categorizes elements of information.

SchemaConstruction

Working Memory

Schema Automation

Executive

Episodic Buffer

Visuospatial

Sketchpad

Phonological

Loop

In Terms of schema construction

CLT addresses the reduction of working memory load during the formation of new schema.

what is cognitive load theory3
What is Cognitive Load Theory

Long Term Store

  • Schema automation is a process of schema construction.
  • Schema automation results from practice.
  • Minimal conscious effort is needed.
  • Familiar tasks are performed accurately and fluidly.

Schema Construction

WorkingMemory

Schema Automation

Executive

Episodic Buffer

Visuospatial

Sketchpad

Phonological

Loop

In terms of schematic automation

CLT addresses the importance of

schema automation during schema construction.

main goals of cognitive load theory and instruction
Cognitive Load Theory

Instruction

Main Goals of Cognitive Load Theory and Instruction

To provide guidelines in

presentation of information

To construct and

automateschemas

To manipulate information

in working memory

prior to long term storage

To encourage learner

activities to optimize

intellectual performance

To reduce working memory

load

To facilitate the

information that is processed

in working memory

To encourage schema

construction

clt identifies 3 types of cognitive load
CLT Identifies 3 Types of Cognitive Load
  • 1. Intrinsic Cognitive Load
intrinsic cognitive load
Intrinsic Cognitive Load
  • Intrinsic Cognitive Load are characteristics of materials themselves.
  • Intrinsic Cognitive Load is created in any content being learned in working memory.
  • Intrinsic Cognitive Load cannot be altered.
  • Intrinsic Cognitive Load contains low/high element interactivity.

Materials

Themselves

Learned in

Working Memory

Cannot be

Altered

Low/High

Elements

intrinsic cognitive load1
Intrinsic Cognitive Load
  • Intrinsic Cognitive Load are characteristics of materials themselves.

Materials

Themselves

Example: numbers in a math problem

3 ( 5 + 9) = 42

intrinsic cognitive load2
Intrinsic Cognitive Load
  • Intrinsic Cognitive Load occurs in working memory with any content being learned.

Learned in

Working Memory

Long Term Store

Schema Construction

Schema Automation

The concept of

Intrinsic Cognitive

Load

WorkingMemory

Executive

Episodic Buffer

Phonological

Loop

Visuospatial

Sketchpad

intrinsic cognitive load3
Intrinsic Cognitive Load
  • Intrinsic Cognitive Load cannot be altered.

Example: Sentences in a paragraph.

The use of physical guidance raises a potential ethical issue. Suppose that, in a program for persons with developmental disabilities, a teacher decides to use physical guidance. Suppose further that an individual client resists being guided. Physical guidance in that instance would therefore be viewed as somewhat intrusive or restrictive. However, as indicated in the discussion of ethical guidelines in Chapter 30, it is generally agreed that behavior modifiers should use the least intrusive and restrictive interventions possible. (Behavior Modification: What it is and How to do it, p.123)

Cannot be

Altered

intrinsic cognitive load4
Intrinsic Cognitive Load
  • Intrinsic Cognitive Load contain low/high element interactivity.

Mesa: Table

Café: Brown

Grande: Big

La/El: The

Es: Is

Example of a low element interactivity:

When learning a new language, the vocabulary

words have a low element interactivity.

Example of a high element interactivity:

When learning a new language, correctly

placing words together to create a sentence

have a high element interactivity.

La mesa grande es café.

The big table is brown.

Low/High

Elements

element interactivity
Low Element Interactivity…

has a low Working Memory load.

are easy to understand.

elements are learned serially.

are non-interacting.

High Element Interactivity…

has a high Working Memory load.

are harder to understand.

elements are learned simultaneously.

do interact.

Element Interactivity
example solve for a
Example: Solve for a

a/b = c

a = bc

Is this a low element interactivity or a high element interactivity?

Did you solve it quickly?

if fast if slow
The elements do not need to be considered individually within WM.

The multiple elements can act as a single element.

The schema imposes minimal WM demands, especially if it’s automated.

The schema can be used as elements in higher order schemas once they are constructed.

The elements need to be considered individually within WM.

The Working Memory load is full.

Schema has not yet been constructed.

If Fast… If Slow…
when schemas are constructed and automated
When Schemas are Constructed and Automated

Solve for a

a/b = c

Our working memory has more space to find a solution to a more difficult problem with higher order schema.

a = b (c - 5x)

+ 5x

10x +

intrinsic cognitive load5
Intrinsic Cognitive Load
  • Intrinsic Cognitive Load cannot be altered due to the nature of the material. However, it needs to be considered in instructional design so that knowledge can be communicated at the right grain size.
clt identifies 3 types of cognitive load1
CLT Identifies 3 Types of Cognitive Load
  • 1. Intrinsic Cognitive Load
  • 2. Extraneous Cognitive Load
extraneous cognitive load
Extraneous Cognitive Load…
  • is unnecessary cognitive load.
  • is not relevant for learning.
  • is seen in poorly designed instructional designs.
  • can be altered with instructional intervention.
  • plus intrinsic cognitive load can exceed working memory, if they are both high.
examples of extraneous cognitive load
Examples of Extraneous Cognitive Load
  • Multiple sources of information
  • Unnecessary, comprehensive format
  • Extra sounds
  • Long complex explanations
extraneous cognitive load1
Extraneous Cognitive Load
  • Extraneous Cognitive Load can and should be altered. Unnecessary information within the text or format of the instructional design may cause an overload in the working memory and will negatively affect the learners storage of information.
clt identifies 3 types of cognitive load2
CLT Identifies 3 Types of Cognitive Load
  • 1. Intrinsic Cognitive Load
  • 2. Extraneous Cognitive Load
  • 3. Germane Cognitive Load
germane cognitive load
Germane Cognitive Load…
  • increases cognitive load.
  • is directly relevant to schema construction.
  • contributes to learning.
  • plus intrinsic and extraneous cognitive loads should stay within WM limits.
example of germane cognitive load
Example of Germane Cognitive Load

Highlighted words or definition tables in a textbook are extra information that shows which words are essential to know.

What makes research good? T. D. Cook and Campbell (1979) present four criteria for evaluating how well behavioral science research is carried out- the validity of the research. Construct validity deals with the adequacy of operational definitions: Did the procedures used to concretely represent the hypothetical constructs studied in the research correctly represent those constructs?... (Principles of Research in Behavioral Science,

p. 23)

    • Definitions
  • Construct Validity: The
  • adequacy of operational
  • definitions to represent
  • the hypothetical
  • constructs of interest.
example of germane cognitive load1
Example of Germane Cognitive Load

Diagrams or organizational

charts may be used when it

is directly relevant to the

instructional goal or to create

schemas.

germane cognitive load1
Germane Cognitive Load
  • Germane Cognitive Load, like Extraneous Cognitive Load, is extra information that can be altered. However, Germane Cognitive Load should be used for necessary schematic construction.
summary
Summary
  • Understanding the three elements of Cognitive Load Theory; Intrinsic, Extraneous, and Germane, can be used to put together a more effective instructional design. An effective instructional design will directly address the limitations of working memory by the reduction of unnecessary Extraneous Cognitive Load and with the manipulation of information in Germane Cognitive Load, while taking consideration of Intrinsic Cognitive Load. Well prepared instructional designs will facilitate knowledge storage of schemas in Long Term Memory.
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