New report on Cognitive Load Theory aimed at teachers

I have been researching Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) for a couple of years now. During that time, I’ve blogged about CLT and I’ve often been asked if there is a teacher-friendly summary of the theory available.

Today, such a summary has been released by the New South Wales Centre for Education and Statistics (CESE with handle @nswcese on Twitter). It’s a pretty good take on CLT. John Sweller has read it and thinks they’ve managed to capture the essence of the theory pretty well.

The CESE paper looks at the principles of CLT and the main findings as they apply to teaching, including a brief description of the different ‘effects’ that have been noted. It also has a helpful section on criticisms and limitations (CLT is the subject of ongoing research). I strongly recommend the CESE paper to any teachers who are starting to dip their toes in the water.

It’s pleasing to see the number of popular descriptions of CLT increase in recent times. There are my own blog posts, of course, as well as a piece I wrote for The Conversation. In addition, we now have an interesting paper by Sweller that covers similar ground to the CESE paper while placing it in a chronology of how CLT developed. And thanks to the researchED movement, we also have a video of Sweller explaining the key ideas.

However, the best resource for those who want a complete picture of CLT is still a rather expensive book. Hopefully, in time, we will also have a popular version of this.

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7 Comments on “New report on Cognitive Load Theory aimed at teachers”

  1. Mike says:

    Thanks Greg – look forward to reading it.

  2. Michael pye says:

    Asked my college to get a copy of the full CLT text. Got unhelpful suggestions on different resources that had nothing to do with it. Just to expensive. Licencing means no access to the electronic copy either

  3. […] is now a key idea in Cognitive Load Theory. As development of the theory progressed through a number of experiments, explicit approaches to […]

  4. […] on cognitive load so I’ve resorted to making one from scratch. I’m grateful, though to Greg Ashman for some curation of this subject and pointing us in the direction of useful materials such as […]


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