Collaborative learning can be described as two or more learners actively pursuing and contributing to a shared goal, or trying to share the effort required to reach that goal. It has become a mainstay of educational practice. During my time as a teacher there was always an expectation that most lessons would involve some elementContinue reading Collaborative learning and Cognitive load
I’ve stated elsewhere that working memory is limited and that these limitations can hamper our ability to learn new things and carry out complex tasks. I’m implying here that learning and remembering are either the same or very similar, so I’m referring to learning in a rather narrow way, but stay with me on this.Continue reading Cognitive load and cognitive offloading
In his 2019 review of twenty years of Cognitive Load Theory, John Sweller explores several avenues of further investigation. One such avenue relates to emotions, stress and uncertainty and how these factors influence cognitive load. Within the education community aspects of cognition in learning are often starkly separated from seemingly non-cognitive factors. Curiously, the formerContinue reading Cognitive Load, emotion and buoyancy
The term cognitive load has been around for a long time but definitions have tended to shift and often depend on theoretical positions. Early researchers rarely attempted to define cognitive load at all. In a 1966 paper, Levine describes cognitive load as the amount of information that the observer is required to store in memoryContinue reading What do we really mean by cognitive Load?
The very fact that I’ve posed this as a question rather than a statement probably gives some indication that the answer isn’t exactly straightforward. The notion of decay is a vital component of the short-term/long-term memory distinction, so even asking the question risks casting doubt on an assumption that is almost as old cognitive psychologyContinue reading Does information in short-term memory decay?
According to Soderstrom and Bjork, latent learning refers to “learning that occurs in the absence of any obvious reinforcement or noticeable behavioural changes” (Soderstrom and Bjork, 2015 p177). Most often associated with the work of Edward Tolman in the 1930s, latent learning is viewed as hidden (or behaviourally silent) because it is only when reinforcementContinue reading What is Latent learning?
The answer to this question is both very simple and incredibly complex. Simple because it’s very straightforward to demonstrate working memory in action; complex because to fully grasp the nature of working memory we really need to understand how it’s related to other types of memory. Let us then get the easy explanation out ofContinue reading What is Working Memory?
I’ve written elsewhere about how British psychologists at the MRC Applied Psychology Unit, now the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, worked with the British Post Office to design the most memorable system of postcodes in the world. The Unit was also involved in other projects for the Post Office, primarily concerned with changes takingContinue reading Learning: The importance of timing
In recent years, the phenomenon dubbed the forgetting curve has tweaked the interest of a growing number of teachers and other educationalists motivated by the application of cognitive psychology to learning. Put simply, the forgetting curve states that newly learned information will fade quickly unless returned to regularly. This makes intuitive sense; if I learnContinue reading The Forgetting Curve: How useful is it?
What is it to pay attention? Why is it that sometimes I can be engaged in a conversation when suddenly my focus of attention is drawn away from it, only to return when I realise I’m expected to offer a response to a comment I didn’t catch? And what was it that disrupted by attentionContinue reading Attention in the classroom