Arlene Walker-Andrews, Associate Provost and Psychology Professor at the University of Montana, discusses how cognitive capacitiesand the ability to attend to information need not be considered as limited. In other words, cognitive overload need not exist. This suggests interesting implications for the design of instruction that is both scaffolded and learner-centered. Some great analogies and resources.
Having recently discussed the need to avoid cognitive overload in online courses, we take a step back to consider whether or not cognitive overload is actually an issue. As Arlene Walker-Andrews, Associate Provost and Psychology Professor at the University of Montana, points out: “I do not believe that attention and cognitive capacities are limited. In my view, attention shouldn’t be considered a finite resource, rather it should be characterized as “attending,” which suggests flexible, skilled action. Recent theories about attention suggest that although not all stimuli are analyzed, nonattended stimuli are not all filtered out and their impact on learning and memory will vary depending on relevance and/or personal experience.” Great stuff!
Join Arlene and the ID team this week to listen to what this means for individualizing the learning experience and tailoring instructional strategies to the cognitive abilities of learners.