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The use of cues in multimedia instructions in technology as a way to reduce cognitive load

, North Carolina State University, United States

North Carolina State University . Awarded


This study was designed to address cognitive overload issues through the use of visual cueing as a means to enhance learning.

While there has been significant research such as use of color for cueing to address many of the cited problems, there are missing elements in this research that could go a long way toward designing more effective solutions and teaching methods for Technology Education students. One aspect that is missing is a better understanding of how color cueing and narration interact with various aspects of information overload, split attention effect, and overall instructional difficulty.

When teaching technical topics to a technical or non-technical audience using multimedia instructions or tutorials, there is a problem of information overload when using these methods of delivery. Without the proper testing and methods for designing these types of presentation, the students or the audience the instructor plans to present this information to may likely experience cognitive overload, reducing the effectiveness of the instructions and tutorials. Cognitive overload is the result of excessive demands made on the cognitive processes, in memory particular.

The research was also designed to move beyond theory and to research hands-on instructional activities with typical students to prove that certain multimedia interventions reduce cognitive load and make learning more efficient when presenting technical information.

The principal research uses two rating scale assessment techniques: the SSI and NASA-Task Load Index (TLX), to assess levels of cognitive load. Previous research demonstrated that the SSI and TLX had different sensitivities to cognitive load.

The research adds to the existing research base, address some of these missing elements, and gain a better understanding of how to address the problems that have been presented above specific to Technology Education students, but equally relevant to other subject matter.

Visual cueing shows promise as a means to reduce cognitive overload and enhance learning.


Roberts, W.E. The use of cues in multimedia instructions in technology as a way to reduce cognitive load. Ph.D. thesis, North Carolina State University. Retrieved January 20, 2020 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

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