Controlling Cognitive Load in a Dual-Tasking Society
This session is based on original published research related to note-taking as a dual-task and complexity of environment.
INTRODUCTION Participants will consider multi-tasking as fact or fiction and learn about a significant study in the field of multi-tasking while driving
LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS Participants will explore the characteristics of todays complex learning environments and methods of teaching and learning. They will be challenged to consider implications of this complexity on the effectiveness of learning related to the concept of cognitive load.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION COGNITIVE PROCESSING AND MEMORY Participants will be introduced to the underlying theories of learning as a process of moving from short-term memory to long-term memory and recall, Working Memory, Dual-Tasking, Cognitive Load Theory, Dual Channel Encoding, and Cognitive Dissonance.
PARTICIPANT PARTICIPATION- ASSESSING MULTI-TASKING ABILITIES Participants will have an opportunity to test their multi-tasking ability with a simple word recall task performed under different environmental and cognitive-load conditions. This helps to make the learning personal and connect to common activities that students perform in todays learning environments. This personal experience for participants is then connected to different forms of learning environments and tasks that students perform from note-taking to chatting online.
IMPLICATIONS AND MITIGATION With participants armed with basic theoretical constructs and a fresh personal perspective on their own abilities to learn and recall information under different environmental and cognitive conditions, we will discuss what this means for learning in todays classrooms. The direction of this conversation will depend greatly on their personal perspectives and experiences.
INTRODUCTION [5 min] The session will start with a short introduction and activity where each individual will have a chance to experience performing a task under different cognitive demands. This should take about 5 minutes to complete.
LEARNING ENVIRONMENT [10 min] This transitions into a short group conversation about what constitutes a learning environment. During this time, note-takers at each table can take notes to a common working document to capture the conversation of the entire group.
PRESENTATION OF BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON COGNITIVE PROCESSING [10-15 min] This will open the conversation to a presentation of some basic concepts related to memory/recall, cognitive-load, dual-tasking and dual channel encoding. The presentation of information here should be approximately 10-15 minutes and lays the groundwork for further informed discussions.
PARTICIPANT PARTICIPATION- ASSESSING MULTI-TASKING ABILITIES [30 min] This is a highly personal and interactive part of the session were participants will actually perform some of the tests we used in our study and explore the impact that different cognitive loads and environments have on their ability to perform a simple recall task. All of the test videos that are used in this session are also posted on YouTube so that they can duplicate the experience with their students, teachers and parent communities at their respective schools.
IMPLICATIONS AND MITIGATION [30 min] This is a group conversation in small focus groups where individuals will document the conversation on the common conference document. There will be various prompts for the groups to address in their groups. Near the end of this time, the groups will share key elements with the larger group.
All presentation materials, session notes and test videos will be available after the session.
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