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Cognitive Load Measurement

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Measurement of working memory load; Workload measurement


Cognitive load can be defined as the load imposed on an individual’s working memory by a particular (learning) task. It can be measured using various techniques.

Theoretical Background

Cognitive load theory (CLT) is discussed extensively elsewhere in this Encyclopedia, and therefore not repeated in detail here. What is important to note for cognitive load measurement, though, is that the intrinsic load imposed by a learning task results from both task and learner characteristics. The higher the number of novel interacting information elements a task contains, the higher the intrinsic cognitive load it imposes on working memory. With increasing practice, elements are combined or chunked into a schema, which is stored in long-term memory and can be retrieved and handled in working memory as a single information element. Because schemata can be handled as a single element, the same task imposes less cognitive...

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Correspondence to Tamara van Gog .

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© 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

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van Gog, T., Paas, F. (2012). Cognitive Load Measurement. In: Seel, N.M. (eds) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer, Boston, MA.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4419-1427-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4419-1428-6

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