Cognitive Load Theory

Thursday 22nd October 2020

  • #UKEdChat session 526
  • Teachers can maximise bandwidth while streamlining the signals to improve learning
  • Signaling the core information can improve learning and help students make connections.
  • Click here to view the tweet archive.

We all get overloaded from time to time, especially toward the end of a term when your todo list turns from being measured by points to metres. We all have our own capacity to deal with the issues at hand, and the ideas behind Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) attempt to maximise our bandwidth while streamlining the signals.

The origins of the theory go back to the 1980s when a plethora of digital innovations changed how presentations were done in the business world. This trickled down in the following decades into how teachers presented ideas, moving away from blackboard and Over-Head Projectors to digitalised PowerPoint presentations. As with any new innovation, form overcame function, and for a period in the early noughties, I swear it must have been the law to cram as many animations and sound effects into every PowerPoint, and reading every word from the screen aloud was mandatory.

🙄Luckily, we live in more enlightened times…

In this #UKEdChat discussion, which took place on Thursday 22nd October 2020 at 8pm(UK), and during our free UKEdChat After Hours Webinar at 9pm, we discussed how CLT can help educators declutter their instructional design to maximise the focus of the important essentials to improve learning.

Click here to read our #UKEdChat Book Review on Steve’s book

🔼UKEdChat After Hours Webinar, featuring guests Steve Garnett, with @ICTmagic hosting. See the links to Steve’s book📗, dialogic teaching and Creating Effective Lessons the Easy way with Dr. Fred Jones.


  1. What elements of teaching and learning cause distractions and a potential loss of focus?
  2. What is your understanding of Cognitive load theory?
  3. How do you signal to your student which parts of your instructional teaching is most important? Is it ok to say it’s all-important?
  4. How do you gauge the level of information you are presenting to your pupils to ensure there isn’t cognitive overload?
  5. How do you plan your lessons to streamline information and remove the clutter?
  6. How can we actively train our students to manage greater information flow and greater working memory?
  7. What techniques and tools can we use to lighten the cognitive load?
  8. How can teachers set up the learning environment to improve the cognitive load on both students and teachers?

Chat Participants:

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About @ICTmagic 780 Articles
Martin Burrett is the editor of our popular UKEdMagazine, along with curating resources in the ICTMagic section, and free resources for teachers on UKEd.Directory

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