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Pfeiffer, San Francisco, Calif., 2006

ISBN: 0-7879-7728-4

In this area of information overload and greater work complexity, instructional professionals are increasingly asked to accelerate the speed and quality of the learning process. This book provides you with evidence-based guidelines on how to create an efficient instructional environment which result in faster learning, better learning, or both. At the core of efficiency in learning are instructional guidelines that work in harmony with human learning processes.

This book was written for all instructional professionals in organizational training settings who are seeking proven methods to create efficient learning environments. This includes classroom and synchronous e-learning instructors, as well as designers and developers of classroom and multimedia instructional materials.

Part I ”An Introduction to Efficiency in Learning (Chapters 1 and 2)” provides an introduction to efficient learning that introduces cognitive load theory and overviews the scientific definition and metric for efficiency, as well as the human learning processes from which cognitive load theory is derived.

Part II ”Basic Guidelines for Managing Irrelevant Cognitive Load (Chapters 3 through 8)” provides guidelines and supporting research for the use of graphics, text, and audio proven to make learning more efficient. It also discusses ways to reduce memory load by (1) eliminating extraneous content or themes, (2) imposing mental work gradually through appropriate lesson organization, and (3) replacing some practice exercises with worked examples.

Part III ”Instructional Guidelines for Imposing Relevant Cognitive Load (Chapter 9)” focuses on proven ways to help learners build new knowledge and skills through the use of diverse examples, better processing of examples, and rehearsal of new content.

Part IV ”Tailoring Instruction to Learner Expertise (Chapters 10 and 11)” offers guidelines and examples of ways to tailor your training for novice and experienced learners. It summarizes a model for adaptation of instructions in asynchronous e-learning environments based on a new technique of rapid testing.

Part V ”Cognitive Load Theory in Perspective (Chapters 12 and 13)” provides a retrospective look at the previous chapters. In Chapter 12 we integrate all of our previous guidelines into a context familiar to instructional professionals, and in Chapter 13 John Sweller discusses the past, present and future of cognitive load theory from a personal perspective.