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Quality of Online Discussion and Learners’ Cognitive Load

, Florida State University, United States ; , Florioda State University, United States

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Victoria, Canada ISBN 978-1-939797-03-2 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


This paper focuses on extraneous cognitive load as the reason for lack of quality associated with conventional online discussion. Using the principles of cognitive load theory, four online discussion strategies were designed aiming at reducing the discussants’ extraneous cognitive load. Outcome variables measured were perceived cognitive load of the discussion task, discussion quality, and instructional efficiency of each strategy used in this study. The results indicated that, compared to conventional discussion strategy, the discussion quality was significantly enhanced for participants using “example-posting” strategy and “limited-number-of-posting” strategy. Cognitive load was significantly reduced for participants using “filtered-posting” and “combination” strategies. Instructional efficiency of all proposed strategies was found to be significantly better than conventional discussion strategy. The results and implications of findings for instructional design research w


Darabi, A. & Jin, L. (2013). Quality of Online Discussion and Learners’ Cognitive Load. In J. Herrington, A. Couros & V. Irvine (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia 2013--World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (pp. 1932-1939). Victoria, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved July 24, 2019 from .


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