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cognitive load theory

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Cognition, Design Strategies, eLearning, Learning Theories

Learning Snapshots: Cognitive Load Theory


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.

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