Cognitive load theory and multimedia learning, task characteristics, and learning engagement: The current state of the art

Liesbeth Kester, Gemma Corbalan, Femke Kirschner

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

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    Abstract

    This special issue consists of 16 empirical papers, as well as a discussion based on the Third International Cognitive Load Theory Conference held at the Open Universiteit (Heerlen, The Netherlands) in 2009. All papers focus on improving instructional design from a cognitive load theory (CLT: Sweller, 1988; Sweller, Van Merriënboer, & Paas, 1998; Van Merriënboer & Sweller, 2005) perspective. They cover a wide variety of topics in which learner characteristics, tasks characteristics, and the interaction between both are studied in, new, innovative, but also traditional ways, thereby providing an overview of the current state of the art on CLT research. The overarching goal of all studies is to gain more understanding and insight into the optimal conditions under which learning can be successful, and students will be able to apply their acquired knowledge and skills in new or familiar problem solving situations. Together, the papers comprise three ways in which this overarching goal is reached: (1) by studying multimedia learning environments, (2) by studying different characteristics of a learning task and, (3) by studying how learners can be actively engaged in the learning process. Although, the research focus of most papers fit nicely within these research topics, some overlap is inevitable. The categorization has been made on the basis of the most prominent research focus and findings of each study.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-4
    Number of pages4
    JournalComputers in Human Behavior
    Volume27
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

    Keywords

    • Veni lke
    • Cognitive load theory
    • Multi-media learning
    • Task complexity
    • Learner engagement

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