Saturday, May 31, 2008

Teaching Leadership with Cognitive Load in Mind

Sat through a workshop today taught by Dr. Ruth Clark, an expert on learning and cognitive load (One's ability to attend to, load, encode for further use, and then retrieve knowledge. It was a great review of some research with some very good principles to remember.

  • "Novice" learners need smaller chunks of knowledge delivered to them, whereas "Expert" learners often seen larger chunks or patterns of chunks useful.
  • "Novice" learners learn faster when they are given an example, asked to practice, given another example, then asked to practice again.. and so on.
  • "Expert" learner learn faster when they are given an example.. then give lots of practice exercises.
  • While we claim that we can multi task.. research finds that if we perform dual tasks our performance diminishes if the tasks are:
    • both auditor in nature
    • or both visual in nature
Of all the content covered in this workshop, the most interesting was that we tend to over load the learner when we use text, voice and visuals.. the research indicates, that e-learning works best when voice and visuals are use.. but text tends to distract the learner.. scare when you consider all the extra stuff people are putting on web pages.

Regardless.. it was very interesting and created quite a bit of discussion at our table. While we all agreed that contextual concerns play a role, we also agreed that their is some truth to this research and simple is really better.

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