Saturday, 21 November 2015

A paper on cognitve load theory (UKPSF A4 K2 K3)

Volume 27, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 99–105
Current Research Topics in Cognitive Load Theory
Third International Cognitive Load Theory Conference

Contemporary cognitive load theory research: The good, the bad and the ugly

I started reading the above paper, available via the library of Plymouth University.

It contains a review and introduction to a number of papers on cognitive load theory. This is a field of cognition that is important for "worked examples".

I particularly surprised to see the phrase:

 It is an unfortunate reality that the field of cognition and learning continues to lack from evidenced based theory driven research
because the PGCAP community are always insisting that their ideas are "evidence led."

The start of the paper describes how many experts in "cognitive load" are looking at complicated problem solving situations, which mirror the real world. This is good for developing content for the employability of the students.

One paper had data on how much help should be given to the students. A fully worked example gives the students a lot of help, but the problem solving method gives very little help to the students.

There was a review of a study which attempted to teach a "schema" for knowldege. This was good for transference of problem solving.

There was a review of a paper on cognitive load with students working in groups
While modern education strongly advocates working in groups and collaborative learning environments, very little research actually moves beyond fuzzy “feel good” explanations as to how and why group learning can be beneficial.

The research suggests that it is better for students to work in groups when dealing with hard material, but individual work is better for simpler problems. In groups the student can spread the memory load accross the students.