Cognitive load theory: Learning design principles and strategies

Instructional strategies, learning and assessment design based on cognitive principles

Theory informed instruction:

Components of learning design: visual/interaction/multimedia

  • Learning design to reduce cognitive load
    • Reduce extraneous load
    • Optimise intrinsic load
  • Transfer of information from working memory to long-term memory
  • Intrinsic motivation to promote self-regulated learning

Blended learning and assessment delivery strategy

  1. eLearning –preparation and pre-class readiness assurance
  • Microlearning – bite sized chunks – sequenced / pace / modelling
  • Visual and multi-media design – Potential ways of reducing extraneous cognitive load (through avoiding/minimizing modality effects).
  • Worked examples
    • Authentic tasks
    • Real world context
    • Use of analogies – linking new ideas to what students already know
    • Tasks that require students to provide explanation (the how and why) focus on the meaning
    • Use of stories/ mnemomics for hard to remember content
    • Carefully paced explanation
    • Feedback/reflection – to facilitate self-regulated learning
    • Additional Practice examples
    • Assessment – self tests to practice – to assist students to monitor their own progress and thinking
  1. In-class activities: Interactive workshop
  • MCQs – quizzes to ascertain student knowledge level and to practice
  • Team based collaborative
  • Case based scenarios
  • Worked examples – step by step demonstration – with guidance and scaffolding that is gradually removed with subsequent case scenarios – giving students to move to independent problem solving
  • Using multiple modalities in presentation of content – graphic with verbal explanation
  • Deliberate practice – providing different problems/contexts with similar underlying structure for students to draw upon and translate to the different presenting problem
  1. Workplace learning
  • Applying learning to clinical setting
  • Micro-learning / mobile delivery/ clinical guidelines at point of need/at point of care
  • Feedback specific and clear, focused on task and improvement
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