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Cognitive Load Theory Prerequisites - Essay Example

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The essay "Cognitive Load Theory Prerequisites" presents a discussion of the underlying cognitive structures and processes forming the cognitive load theory, along with a discussion of three instructional techniques that are generated from this theory…
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Cognitive Load Theory Prerequisites
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Download file to see previous pages He argues, however, that a long term memory contains sophisticated structural schema that allows the human mind to link, interpret, and process information and solve problems.
These schemas are the cognitive elements that make up the human being’s knowledge base and enable multiple elements that are imbibed in the short term to be processed as one single element that can be retained in the individual’s long term memory. The cognitive load theory examines the cognitive process and the interaction of multiple elements. The elements that an individual’s short-term memory has to deal with are referred to as the extraneous cognitive load, which is experienced by learners as they interact with instructional materials (Chandler and Sweller, 1991). This is one element that instructors can control to a large extent; for example, in teaching a student what a prism is shaped like, it may more effective to use visual cues and provide students with a model to look at, rather than attempting to explain the concept theoretically using words. Hence, the extraneous cognitive load places a relatively simple burden on a learner. Intrinsic cognitive load, however, refers to the more difficult elements that are inherent within each learning experience. For example, performing calculations or solving equations may be more complex and have an inherent level of difficulty for a student, and this cannot necessarily be altered by an instructor; it will depend on the learner’s ability to assimilate the information (Paas et al, 2003:2).
Another form of the cognitive load is the germane cognitive load, which essentially concerns the processing of information with the construction and development of schema to cope with the cognitive demands of learning. Unlike intrinsic load, germane cognitive load is another aspect that can be influenced by the instructor. Focusing upon this aspect can help instructors to design learning materials in such a manner that they aid the learner in constructing schema. From the above, it may therefore be noted that there are three major aspects to be taken into consideration by educators in designing learning materials. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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