Managing Cognitive Load in Dynamic Visual Representations

Managing Cognitive Load in Dynamic Visual Representations

Slava Kalyuga (University of New South Wales, Australia)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-048-6.ch008
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Abstract

According to dual-coding theory, when learning concrete concepts, adding pictorial representations could be superior to verbal-only descriptions (Clark & Paivio, 1991; Sadoski & Paivio, 2001). This theory assumes existence of two additive sub-systems in human cognitive architecture that process verbal and pictorial information. Accordingly, people learn better when information is encoded verbally and visually rather than in one mode only. Information that has been encoded using two different modes can also be retrieved from memory more easily. The cognitive theory of multimedia learning provides detailed theoretical arguments that effectively support this view and also apply it to dynamic visualizations such as instructional animations. According to cognitive theory of multimedia learning, different mental representations are constructed from verbal and pictorial information, and meaningful learning occurs only when learner actively establishes connections between these representations (Mayer, 2001; Mayer, & Moreno, 2003; Mayer & Sims, 1994). This chapter discusses the strengths and weaknesses of dynamic visualizations and the relationship between instructional effectiveness of dynamic and static diagrams and levels of learner task-specific expertise. It has been mentioned previously that instructional formats that are effective for low-knowledge learners could be ineffective, or even deleterious, for high-knowledge learners and vice versa (the expertise reversal effect). Significant interactions between levels of learner expertise and instructional procedures have been found in many situations. Such an interaction may also exist between dynamic and static visualizations. For example, novice learners may benefit more from traditional static diagrams than from dynamic visual representations (e.g., animated diagrams), while more knowledgeable learners may benefit more from animated rather than static diagrams. This assumption has a viable theoretical rationale. According to cognitive load theory, continuous animations and video may be too cognitively demanding for novice learners. Associated processing difficulties could be due to a high degree of transitivity in such visualizations, on the one hand, and limited capacity and duration of working memory, on the other hand. Less knowledgeable learners, therefore, may benefit more from a set of equivalent static diagrams. However, animations could be superior to static diagrams for more knowledgeable learners who have already acquired a sufficient knowledge base for dealing with issues of transitivity and limited working memory capacity. The chapter also briefly describes a specific empirical study that was designed to investigate the relation between levels of learner expertise and instructional effectiveness of dynamic and static visualizations (Kalyuga, 2007). The rapid diagnostic method discussed in Chapter IV, was used in this study for measuring levels of learner prior knowledge.

Complete Chapter List

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Dedication
Slava Kalyuga
Table of Contents
Foreword
Richard E. Mayer
Chapter 1
Slava Kalyuga
One of the major components of our cognitive architecture, working memory, becomes overloaded if more than a few chunks of information are processed... Sample PDF
Human Cognitive Processes
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Chapter 2
Cognitive Load Theory  (pages 34-57)
Slava Kalyuga
Cognitive load theory is a learning and instruction theory that describes instructional design implications of human cognitive architecture outlined... Sample PDF
Cognitive Load Theory
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Chapter 3
Slava Kalyuga
Cognitive studies of expertise that were reviewed in Chapter I indicated that prior knowledge is the most important 1earner characteristic that... Sample PDF
The Expertise Reversal Effect
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Chapter 4
Slava Kalyuga
Main implication of the expertise reversal effect is the need to tailor instructional techniques and procedures to changing levels of learner... Sample PDF
Assessment of Task-Specific Expertise
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Chapter 5
Slava Kalyuga
Availability of valid and usable measures of cognitive load involved in learning is essential for providing support for cognitive load-based... Sample PDF
Evaluation of Cognitive Load
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Chapter 6
Slava Kalyuga
Chapter VI describes specific evidence-based methods for managing cognitive load in verbal and pictorial information representations. According to... Sample PDF
Managing Cognitive Load in Verbal and Pictorial Representations
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Chapter 7
Slava Kalyuga
Most sophisticated multimedia learning environments include various interactivity features. Interactive multimedia learning environments respond... Sample PDF
Managing Cognitive Load in Interactive Multimedia
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Chapter 8
Slava Kalyuga
According to dual-coding theory, when learning concrete concepts, adding pictorial representations could be superior to verbal-only descriptions... Sample PDF
Managing Cognitive Load in Dynamic Visual Representations
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Chapter 9
Slava Kalyuga
Instructional simulation and games are usually used as substitutes for actual equipment, processes, real-life problems, and social situations. They... Sample PDF
Optimizing Cognitive Load in Instructional Simulations and Games
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Chapter 10
Slava Kalyuga
Personalized adaptive multimedia environments provide individual learners or learner groups with experience that is specifically tailored to them.... Sample PDF
Tailoring Multimedia Environments to Learner Cognitive Characteristics
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Chapter 11
Slava Kalyuga
This chapter describes some specific adaptive procedures for tailoring levels of instructional guidance to individual levels of learner... Sample PDF
Adapting Levels of Instructional Support to Optimize Learning Complex Cognitive Skills
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Chapter 12
Slava Kalyuga
The rapid diagnostic approach to evaluating levels of learner task-specific expertise was introduced in Chapter IV and used in several studies that... Sample PDF
Adaptive Procedures for Efficient Learning
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Summary of Section I
Summary of Section II
Summary of Section II
General Conclusion
Glossary of Terms
About the Author