Towards Cognitive Load Theory as Guideline for Instructional Design in Science Education

Barbara Meissner, Franz Bogner


We applied cognitive load theory in an heuristic out-of-school science lesson. The lesson comprises experimentsconcerning major attributes of NaCl and was designed for 5th to 8th grade students. Our interest focused on wethercognitive load theory provides sufficient guidelines for instructional design in the field of heuristic science education.We extracted student clusters derived from pre-knowledge and learning success. We characterised students, based oncognitive achievement, mental effort, and instructional efficiency. Cluster analyses revealed three student clusterswith quite satisfying results. Two further clusters showed improvable results, two showed no learning success, whichmay point to difficulties in coping with the learning setting. Motivational characterisation will refine the results, andmay confirm starting points to advance cognitive load theory in heuristic science education.

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World Journal of Education
ISSN 1925-0746(Print)  ISSN 1925-0754(Online)

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