Cognitive Load Theory: How It Can Improve Learning Outcomes - Garmin Express

Education

Cognitive Load Theory: How It Can Improve Learning Outcomes

Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) is a theory of learning that focuses on how the human brain processes information and how this affects...

Written by admin · 2 min read >
cognitive-load-theory-how-it-can-improve-learning-outcomes_

Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) is a theory of learning that focuses on how the human brain processes information and how this affects learning outcomes. It is based on the idea that the human brain has limited capacity and can only process a certain amount of information at any given time. The theory suggests that when the amount of information presented to a learner exceeds their cognitive capacity, it can lead to poorer learning outcomes. By understanding the principles of CLT, educators can design learning experiences that are more effective and efficient.

The concept of cognitive load was first introduced by John Sweller in 1988. He proposed that the amount of information that can be processed by the human brain is limited and that when this limit is exceeded, learning outcomes suffer. Sweller argued that the amount of information that can be processed is determined by the amount of cognitive load that is placed on the learner. He suggested that the cognitive load can be divided into three categories: intrinsic, extraneous, and germane. Intrinsic cognitive load is the amount of cognitive load that is inherent in the task itself. Extraneous cognitive load is the amount of cognitive load that is caused by the way the task is presented. Germane cognitive load is the amount of cognitive load that is necessary for the learner to understand the task and to learn from it.

The principles of CLT can be used to improve learning outcomes by reducing the amount of cognitive load placed on the learner. This can be done by reducing the amount of extraneous cognitive load and increasing the amount of germane cognitive load. For example, when presenting a complex task, educators can reduce the amount of extraneous cognitive load by breaking the task down into smaller, more manageable chunks. This will reduce the amount of cognitive load placed on the learner and make it easier for them to understand and learn from the task.

Educators can also increase the amount of germane cognitive load by providing learners with relevant background information and by providing them with appropriate scaffolding. Scaffolding is a technique that involves providing learners with support and guidance as they work through a task. This can include providing them with hints, providing them with examples, and providing them with feedback. By providing learners with the appropriate scaffolding, educators can help them to understand the task and to learn from it more effectively.

In addition to reducing the amount of cognitive load placed on the learner, CLT can also be used to improve learning outcomes by increasing the amount of intrinsic cognitive load. Intrinsic cognitive load is the amount of cognitive load that is inherent in the task itself. Educators can increase the amount of intrinsic cognitive load by making the task more challenging and by providing learners with more complex tasks. This will help to engage the learner and to ensure that they are learning from the task.

Finally, CLT can also be used to improve learning outcomes by increasing the amount of motivation that learners have to complete the task. Motivation is an important factor in learning and can be increased by providing learners with rewards for completing the task. Rewards can be in the form of tangible rewards such as points or badges, or they can be in the form of intangible rewards such as praise or recognition. By providing learners with rewards, educators can help to motivate them to complete the task and to learn from it more effectively.

In conclusion, Cognitive Load Theory is a powerful tool that can be used to improve learning outcomes. By understanding the principles of CLT, educators can design learning experiences that are more effective and efficient. By reducing the amount of cognitive load placed on the learner, increasing the amount of intrinsic cognitive load, and increasing the amount of motivation, educators can help to ensure that learners are able to learn from the task and to achieve better learning outcomes.