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The impact of Co-actors on cognitive load: When the mere presence of others makes learning more difficult

Published on Dec 1, 2019in Computers in Human Behavior 4.31
· DOI :10.1016/j.chb.2019.06.016
Irene T. Skuballa (OU: Open University), Kate M. Xu (OU: Open University), Halszka Jarodzka17
Estimated H-index: 17
(OU: Open University)
Abstract A large body of research has established the value of learner characteristics on cognitive load. However, little attention has been paid to the physical environment where learning takes place. The present study takes a step to address this gap by studying the impact of the presence of others during learning on cognitive load. In a between-subject design, participants (N = 115) were randomly arranged in groups of different group sizes to study computer-based multimedia materials (group size range: 1-13, continuous variable). Further, participants' working memory capacity, topic interest, and their prior knowledge were measured to reveal relevant learner characteristics. Dependent variables were learning performance, perceived task difficulty (mental load), and invested mental effort. We tested the predictions from cognitive load theory with alternative path models to identify the best model fit. Our results show that group size predicted learners' perceived task difficulty: the larger the group of co-actors in the learning situation was, the higher the perceived task difficulty. Moreover, higher topic interest led to lower perceived task difficulty, and more mental effort, although that effect became non-significant after multiple testing adjustment. Perceived task difficulty mediated the effect of group size and topic interest on mental effort.
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Published on Jan 22, 2019in Educational Psychology Review 6.87
John Sweller66
Estimated H-index: 66
(UNSW: University of New South Wales),
Jeroen J. G. van Merriënboer54
Estimated H-index: 54
(UM: Maastricht University),
Fred Paas60
Estimated H-index: 60
(EUR: Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Cognitive load theory was introduced in the 1980s as an instructional design theory based on several uncontroversial aspects of human cognitive architecture. Our knowledge of many of the characteristics of working memory, long-term memory and the relations between them had been well-established for many decades prior to the introduction of the theory. Curiously, this knowledge had had a limited impact on the field of instructional design with most instructional design recommendations proceeding ...
Published on Apr 3, 2019in Educational Psychologist 5.96
Øistein Anmarkrud12
Estimated H-index: 12
(University of Oslo),
Anette Andresen1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Oslo),
Ivar Bråten39
Estimated H-index: 39
(University of Oslo)
This article reviews contemporary research on multimedia learning that uses cognitive load theory as the major theoretical framework. In particular, we address the extent to which working memory has been conceptualized and measured in this research, what kind of subjective measures of cognitive load have been used and whether such measures are combined with other measures of cognitive load, and how results from subjective measures have been related to learning and achievement. The findings show ...
Published on Jan 1, 2019in Journal of Educational Psychology 5.18
Vincent Hoogerheide8
Estimated H-index: 8
(UU: Utrecht University),
Alexander Renkl48
Estimated H-index: 48
(University of Freiburg)
+ 2 AuthorsTamara van Gog38
Estimated H-index: 38
(UU: Utrecht University)
Recent findings show that after studying a text, teaching the learned content on video to a fictitious peer student improves learning more than restudying the content. This benefit may be in part due to increased arousal associated with the teaching activity. The present experiment investigated whether teaching on video is also effective for acquiring problem-solving skills from worked examples, and explored the role of cognitive load, worry, and arousal. Participants (N = 61 university students...
Published on Jun 12, 2018
Bianca A. Simonsmeier3
Estimated H-index: 3
Maja Flaig1
Estimated H-index: 1
Anne Deiglmayr
Published on Nov 16, 2017in Frontiers in Psychology 2.13
Melina Klepsch3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Ulm),
Florian Schmitz11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of Ulm),
Tina Seufert13
Estimated H-index: 13
(University of Ulm)
Cognitive Load Theory is one of the most powerful research frameworks in educational research. Beside theoretical discussions about the conceptual parts of cognitive load, the main challenge within this framework is that there is still no measurement instrument for the different aspects of cognitive load, namely intrinsic, extraneous, and germane cognitive load. Hence, the goal of this paper is to develop a differentiated measurement of cognitive load. In study 1 (N = 97) we developed and analyz...
Published on Jan 25, 2017in Cogent Education
Moritz Krell6
Estimated H-index: 6
(FU: Free University of Berlin)
AbstractThis study evaluates a 12-item instrument for subjective measurement of mental load (ML) and mental effort (ME) by analysing different sources of validity evidence. The findings of an expert judgement (N = 8) provide evidence based on test content that the formulation of the items corresponds to the meaning of ML and ME. An empirical study was conducted in which secondary school students (N = 602) worked on multiple choice (mc)-tasks and thereafter using the developed instrument to self-...
Published on Aug 1, 2016in Building and Environment 4.82
Ronald Beckers5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UT: University of Twente),
Theo van der Voordt15
Estimated H-index: 15
(TU Delft: Delft University of Technology),
Geert P.M.R. Dewulf15
Estimated H-index: 15
(UT: University of Twente)
This paper aims to address higher education students’ learning space preferences. The study is based on a survey that involved 697 business management students of a Dutch University of Applied Sciences. The research focuses on preferred learning spaces for individual study activities, which require concentration, and preferred learning spaces for collaborative study activities with peers, which require communication. The results show that students consider their physical learning environment to ...
Published on Jul 1, 2016in Computers in Human Behavior 4.31
Judith Schweppe10
Estimated H-index: 10
(University of Erfurt),
Ralf Rummer15
Estimated H-index: 15
(University of Erfurt)
Many principles for the design of multimedia learning materials share the recommendation to facilitate processing. One prominent example is the modality principle, according to which pictures should be presented with auditory rather than visual texts. Research on desirable difficulties, however, indicates that - unlike short-term learning - long-term learning benefits when processing is more demanding and therefore more effortful. In a classroom experiment (Experiment 1) and in a laboratory stud...
Published on Jan 1, 2016in Contemporary Educational Psychology 2.48
Vincent Hoogerheide8
Estimated H-index: 8
(UU: Utrecht University),
Lian Deijkers2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Avans University of Applied Sciences)
+ 2 AuthorsTamara van Gog38
Estimated H-index: 38
(UU: Utrecht University)
Abstract Two experiments investigated whether studying a text with an “explanation intention” and then actually explaining it to (fictitious) other students in writing, would yield the same benefits as previously found for explaining on video. Experiment 1 had participants first studying a text either with the intention to explain it to others or to complete a test, and subsequently restudying vs. explaining in writing. Neither study intention nor explaining affected learning outcomes. Experimen...
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