Cognitive Load Theory and its Applications for Learning - Scott H Young - Deepstash

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Cognitive Load Theory and its Applications for Learning - Scott H Young

Cognitive Load Theory and its Applications for Learning - Scott H Young

scotthyoung.com

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Cognitive Load Theory

Cognitive load theory, developed in the 1980s by psychologist John Sweller , has become a dominant paradigm for the design of teaching materials.

Cognitive load theory separates three different demands that learning puts on our limited working memory capacity:

  1. Intrinsic load. The combined attention that’s necessary to learn the pattern that will be put into long-term memory.
  2. Extr...

Over the past few decades, cognitive load theory has amassed a lot of interesting experimental effects with catchy-sounding names. Here are a few:

1. The Worked-Example Effect

Traditionally, math education has focused on having students solve problems to get good at math. Sweller and Cooper pushed back against this idea, showing that studying worked examples (problems, along with detailed solutions) is often more efficient.

Worked examples have since been shown t...

2. The Split-Attention Effect

Cognitive load isn’t just found in problem solving. Badly designed instructional materials can increase cognitive load by requiring learners to move their attention around to understand them.

Consider these two flashcards for learning Chinese characters. The first creates extra cognitive lo...

Cognitive load theory’s principal applications are in instructional design. How should a subject be taught so that students will efficiently master the patterns of knowledge it contains? Cognitive load theory favors direct instruction, quick feedback and plenty of practice.

Here are a few ...

In my experience, the Feynman Technique mainly works by slowing things down. A concept can be confusing in a lecture because critical assumptions aren’t made explicit or intervening steps are skipped. Walking through the expl...

Math and science tend to have high element interactivity, which is why mastery of them is seen as a sign of intelligence. Working memory is associated with intelligence, and those with slightly more working memory can handle slightly greater element interactivity. While this creates only a modest...

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