107 - Minimize the Noise: Methods and Examples to Reduce Cognitive Load
In the information age it’s believed more is better. However, when it comes to learning we often find the opposite: less can be more. Because of the cognitive load limits of people’s brains, we’re only able to focus on and learn a finite number of any given items on a screen, slide, or page. And thus, the old adage is true; a picture speaks a thousand words. So, the problem for most instructional designers is finding balance. Balance in content. Balance in graphics. Balance in motion and placement.
In this session we’ll discuss how cognitive load plays a part in how people learn and retain information, and how to best find the balance of giving people the information they need without overloading them. You’ll start with a brief baseline discussion about what exactly cognitive load is and why it's important to consider in instructional design. Next, you’ll learn simple and effective techniques to maximize the learning experience and increase learning retention, including how to control the learner's eye movements, properly highlight key points, and stimulate the brain functions to maintain a high level of learner engagement. You’ll also take a look at how things like animations, color, placement of texts and graphics, and more can be used to reduce cognitive load. Finally, you’ll take what you’ve learned and apply it by investigating several real examples that illustrate cognitive overload problems and discussing what corrections you would make in order to reduce the load.
In this session, you will learn:
- Why cognitive load is an important consideration
- Techniques to minimize cognitive load
- Techniques to engage learners more effectively
- Striking the right balance between content and graphics
Designers, developers, managers