Developing E-Learning Solutions that are Effective and Minimally Cognitively Taxing?

July 24, 2021

John Sweller, an Australian educational psychologist, is credited with developing the Cognitive Load Theory, which explains cognitive overload.  It implies that the human mind has a finite capacity for absorbing and retaining knowledge. If you go above this limit, you risk overloading their brain circuits. At any one time, we can only absorb, evaluate and retain 5 to 9 bits of information.

 Measures to develop an e-learning solution to ensure high retention and less cognitive load?

1. Each page should include one idea.

This should become your motto. Presenting one essential learning idea on each page will decrease the cognitive load. This would prevent you from being overwhelmed with information. Rather than allowing the essential learning idea to be lost in translation, make it obvious what it is.

2. Get rid of everything that isn't important.

The aim of eLearning, after all, is to educate the audience, not to amuse them. Remove media components that aren't related to learning to reduce cognitive burden. Be cautious when you do utilize media elements. They should complement and enhance learning experiences.

3. Allow the student to choose his or her own pace.

If complicated information is given too quickly, the student may not have enough time to properly absorb it. Allow students to go at their own speed as they go through the course. Instead of simply completing the course, they will have enough time to absorb the information.

4. Break up the material into smaller chunks - Microlearning.

The student may get confused if the course has a large amount of information. To prevent this, chunking the material is a preferable choice. To chunk is to divide the material into smaller, more digestible chunks that are also aesthetically attractive. The chunked material should make learning easier since it is self-explanatory. This technique is called micro-learning. But be careful not to change the content's logical meaning in the process.

5. Use infographics to convey information.

Using infographics to convey information with the assistance of colorful graphs, charts, and notes may help students. They would learn faster and remember what they've learned. These infographics illustrate the complete stages of a process or the most important takeaways from a subject.

6. Experiment with different delivery methods.

Methods of content delivery that include visual, aural, sensory, and kinesthetic learning have a better chance of increasing information retention. People learn in a variety of ways. Hence, your course presentation should incorporate video, text, interactive quizzes, and other interesting and interactive components.

7. Next to the material, place illustrations.

If you're going to use drawings in your course, make sure they're directly next to the relevant information. This encourages the student to examine the images in order to get a better understanding. This allows for better comprehension and retention of the information.

8. A wide range of delivery options

When knowledge is received via various media, such as text accompanied by pictures, it decreases cognitive burden. This method is more effective than depending only on one media (particularly text!) to convey your message and be remembered.

9. Review what you've learned thus far.

Tell them what you're going to teach them, then repeat it for them. Knowledge retention will be improved by consolidating important learning elements at the conclusion. To minimize material in the learning module, consider condensing procedures into quick-reference guides.

July 24, 2021