The Cognitive Load Theory is a powerful tool in a learning designer’s toolbox. It has had many practical implications in my own learning design work. It has help me not have to walk in the dark when making many design decisions. The theory has been developed since 1988 by John Sweller, an Australian educational psychologist. It focuses on how learners’ cognitive resources are used during learning and problem solving and how we can design instructions and learning experiences to best utilise scarce cognitive resources.
These basic multimedia learning principles help guide learning designers in designing effective multimedia learning experiences. Using these principles, we aim to:
- Reduce extraneous processing
- Support essential processing
- Encourage generative processing
What does research say about the best way to label and explain a diagram?
Have you ever read a book where the labelling or short explanation for a diagram was located on a different page than where the diagram was?
Have you ever read an online tutorial where the explanation for an image was located far from where the image is?