Cognitive load and knowledge sharing in Learning Networks

Amy Hsiao*, Francis Brouns, Liesbeth Kester, Peter Sloep

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Learning Networks are online social networks designed to support non-formal learning; they are therefore particularly suitable for self-directed learners. In Learning Networks, learners need to acquire knowledge through knowledge sharing with other participants. However, without a support structure, learners have to organize knowledge sharing themselves and this could induce extraneous cognitive load. When working on complex learning tasks, this organizing process could have a detrimental effect on knowledge acquisition. To optimize cognitive load, we propose to use a particular type of collaborative learning, peer tutoring, as a support structure. Its mechanisms reduce, we argue, the extraneous load imposed by organizing knowledge sharing as well as induce germane load by directing the freed cognitive capacity to processes that contribute to knowledge acquisition.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)89-100
    Number of pages12
    JournalInteractive LearnIng Environments
    Issue number1
    Early online date4 Jul 2011
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


    • knowledge sharing
    • peer tutoring
    • cognitive load
    • Learning Networks


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