Cognitive load theory in health professional education: Design principles and strategies

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Abstract
Context  Cognitive load theory aims to develop instructional design guidelines based on a model of human cognitive architecture. The architecture assumes a limited working memory and an unlimited long-term memory holding cognitive schemas; expertise exclusively comes from knowledge stored as schemas in long-term memory. Learning is described as the construction and automation of such schemas. Three types of cognitive load are distinguished: intrinsic load is a direct function of the complexity of the performed task and the expertise of the learner; extraneous load is a result of superfluous processes that do not directly contribute to learning, and germane load is caused by learning processes that deal with intrinsic cognitive load. Objectives  This paper discusses design guidelines that will decrease extraneous load, manage intrinsic load and optimise germane load.
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Sweller, John
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Publication Year
2010
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Journal Article
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