Notes on Visual, Auditory, and Mental Cognitive Load

Kalyuga, S., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (2000). Incorporating learning experience into the design of multimedia instruction. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 126-136.

Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine ways to reduce cognitive load in learning. In Bruning, C. Horn, and L. PytlikZillig (Eds). Web-based learning: What do we know? Where do we go? (pp. 23-44). Greenwich, CN: Information Age Publishing.

M&M: “each channel in the human information-processing system has a limited capacity — only a limited amount of cognitive processing can take place in the verbal channel at one time and only a limited amount of cognitive processing can take place in the visual channel at any one time… A potential problem is that the processing demands evoked by the learning task may exceed the processing capacity of the cognitive system — a situation we call cognitive overload”

KCS: “a visually presented geometry diagram, combined with auditory presented statements, enhanced learning compared to conventional, visual-only presentations (the instructional modality effect)… However, presenting several sources of information simultaneously, even in an integrated format.. may not always be effective, particularly if some of the information to be processed is unnecessary or redundant they may prefer to ignore the text but may have difficulty doing so, resulting in a higher cognitive load”


Don’t Overload Any of These Three

Nagging Questions…

“Learning styles” does not have much support. However, if people possess both visual and audio systems, doesn’t it make sense that people’s abilities in these systems will vary? Is this a contradiction?

The authors divide processing into essential, incidental and representation parts. Is the only difference between incidental and representational processing that representational processing involves remembering things you have to and incidental doesn’t. Can something be both incidental and representational?