Optimizing Cognitive Load in Instructional Simulations and Games

Optimizing Cognitive Load in Instructional Simulations and Games

Slava Kalyuga (University of New South Wales, Australia)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-048-6.ch009
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Abstract

Instructional simulation and games are usually used as substitutes for actual equipment, processes, real-life problems, and social situations. They allow observing outcomes of different learner actions and steps without involving actual hardware and people. They also provide environments for practicing important skills in an efficient (in terms of cost and time) way. From a cognitive load perspective, using actual equipment or human actors may not necessarily lead to the acquisition of expected knowledge and skills. High cognitive load involved in operating the equipment itself, performing required procedures, interacting with other people, especially when allowed time is constrained, may inhibit learning. In such high load situations, limited cognitive resources would be left for actual learning. Instructional simulations and games allow modeling such processes without time limitations and other cognitive constrains. Instructional simulations may also allow representing abstract knowledge structures and processes that are difficult to observe in real conditions. They may enhance the development of abstract thinking and problemsolving skills by offering environments for exploring and testing hypotheses. Many available instructional simulations and games represent mostly exploratory learning environments with limited guidance for learners. From a cognitive load perspective, any random exploratory or search procedures may impose excessive levels of working memory load thus interfering with meaningful learning (see Chapter II for more details about basic principles of cognitive load theory). Therefore, optimizing levels of instructional guidance represents the most important means of managing cognitive load and enhancing learning outcomes in such environments. This chapter starts with examining the role of simulations as instructional technology tools and describes means of enhancing instructional effectiveness of simulations and games. Then the chapter discusses how to evaluate cognitive load in simulations using concurrent verbal reports. Some issues of cognitive load associated with instructional applications of mobile technologies are considered at the end.

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