Cognitive Science in Instructional Design

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Learning Science in the Real World Online Conference 2022 - April 7, 2022

Tim Kozlowski

Learning Strategist
TK Learning Strategies

In the information age it's believed more is better. However, when it comes to learning we often find the opposite: less can be more. Because of the cognitive load limits of learner's memory, we're only able to focus on and learn a finite number of any given items on a screen, slide, or page. The problem for most instructional designers is finding balance.

In this session we'll discuss the role cognitive load plays in how people learn and retain information. We'll start with a baseline discussion about what cognitive load is and why it's important to consider in instructional design. Next, you'll learn simple and effective techniques to maximize the learning experience and increase learning retention, including how to control the learner's eye movements, properly highlight key points, and stimulate the brain functions to maintain a high level of learner engagement. You'll also look at how features like animations, color, placement of texts and graphics, and more can reduce cognitive load. Finally, you'll take what you've learned and apply it by investigating several real examples that illustrate cognitive overload problems and discuss what corrections you would make to reduce the load.

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