Cognitive Learning

Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Singin’ In The Rain (Gene Kelly)
Topic: Literature Review

So, have been reading some stuff on cognitive learning lately, as that is one of the sections in my literature review. There are a lot of theories surrounding this, you have the theory of working memory that Baddeley and Hitch developed about have a central executive system which does the processing. This have two slave systems, a phonological loop (verbal and audio) and a visuospatial sketchpad (visual – like words and geographical locations with respect to things – I think) … lately they have added something new, an episodic buffer which says that this can use data from both the phonological loop and the visuospatial sketchpad to assimilate and learn better (my interpretation :D).

Well … after the working memory thingy we have the concept of cognitive load theory developed by Sweeney and others, in which it looks at the capacity of the working memory and how to best used it. They proposed three types of loads: intrinsic – which deals with materials that are new to the person, the germane load – this is where the information is processed and becomes learning (whether surface or deep – I have no idea, but some kind of learning occurs) and then there is extraneous load – this is material that does not contribute to learning directly but rather things in the periphery.

Mayer and his colleagues using the concept of working memory and the cognitive load theory for multimedia learning. Particularly, looks at how a person could have cognitive overload – i.e. reached the processing capacity of their working memory. They use a different approach to Sweller I think, they look at cognitive demands, i.e. the types of processing, a)essential processing – this is processing to make sense of materials and perhaps (??) allow meaningful (something like deep learning – allow the students transfer their learning to different tasks), b) incidental processing – processing materials that do no do anything towards meaningful learning (I guess this is similar to extraneous load) and c) representational processing – this is where a representation of the materials, such as an image, has to be held in the working memory for a period of time.

Updated: Wednesday, 1 March 2006 1:00 PM GMT

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