Self-management of cognitive load: Potential and challenges

Faisal Mirza, Shirley Agostinho, Sharon Tindall-Ford, Fred Paas, Paul Chandler

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

8 Citations (Scopus)


The predominant focus for cognitive load theory research has been the teachers’ or instructional designers’ application of cognitive load theory principles to prepare learning materials to optimally support their students’ cognitive load. This chapter discusses a new line of research that focuses on equipping learners to apply cognitive load theory principles themselves to manage their own cognitive load –self–management of cognitive load. The chapter begins with a summary of the research conducted on self–management of cognitive load when learning from split–attention materials. The chapter then presents a recent investigation into self–management of cognitive load in redundant learning materials. The findings highlight the educational potential of this emergent self–management effect, but also the significant challenges. A literature review of redundancy–effect studies illustrates the various ways redundancy can be evident in instructional materials and the challenges learners face when having to self–manage redundancy. The chapter concludes by outlining educational implications and areas for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Cognitive Load Theory
Subtitle of host publicationRethinking Teaching
EditorsS. Tindall-Ford, S. Agostinho, J. Sweller
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis AS
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781000022575
ISBN (Print)9780367246884
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 selection and editorial matter, Sharon Tindall-Ford, Shirley Agostinho and John Sweller; individual chapters, the contributors.

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