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
Cognitive Load, emotion and buoyancy
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
What do we really mean by cognitive Load?
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?
Does information in short-term memory decay?
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?
What is Working Memory?
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?
Attention in the classroom
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
When is a chunk not a chunk?
Chunking describes the process by which individual pieces of information are broken down and grouped together. The process is said to make the recall of information easier because it helps to bypass the inherent limitations of working memory. However, chunking also relies heavily upon long-term memory. Chunking is, therefore, related to another aspect of memoryContinue reading When is a chunk not a chunk?
Are you paying attention?
This is the first part of planned series on attention and its relationship to other cognitive processes. Many years ago I recall sitting in a room at Durham University, headphones piping into my brain words I can no longer recall. As the words were uttered I was repeating them out loud, as I had beenContinue reading Are you paying attention?