Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 351–371

Instructional control of cognitive load in the training of complex cognitive tasks

  • Fred G. W. C. Paas
  • Jeroen J. G. Van Merriënboer

DOI: 10.1007/BF02213420

Cite this article as:
Paas, F.G.W.C. & Van Merriënboer, J.J.G. Educ Psychol Rev (1994) 6: 351. doi:10.1007/BF02213420


Limited processing capacity constrains learning and performance in complex cognitive tasks. In traditional instruction, novices' failure to adequately learn cognitive tasks can often be attributed to the inappropriate direction of attention and the related high or excessive load that is imposed on a learner's cognitive system. An instructional design model for the training of complex cognitive tasks should provide instructional strategies that control cognitive load. We propose such a model and recommend research in which the cognitive load of instructional manipulations is systematically investigated and determined with mental-effort based measures.

Key Words

instruction cognitive load complex cognitive tasks 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred G. W. C. Paas
    • 1
  • Jeroen J. G. Van Merriënboer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Instructional TechnologyUniversity of TwenteTwenteThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Movement SciencesUniversity of LimburgMaastrichtThe Netherlands

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