Cognitive Load Theory – Sometimes Less Is More

Cody Taylor*
Periodicity:June - August'2013


The following paper represents review of the literature examining the current research related to cognitive load theory and more specifically the negative aspects of the redundant on-screen text. The authors describe working and long-term memory and how both factor into human learning through the facilitation of knowledge transfer. Limited working memory and cognitive load as defined in the cognitive load theory are explored thoroughly. Briefly, the author describes the benefits of including visual and audio components in the design of technology-based instruction based on the split-attention and modality effects of the cognitive load theory. Several studies related to the redundancy effect are presented, all supporting the exclusion of redundant on-screen text in technology-based instruction. Justifications for case by case inclusion of redundant on-screen text are discussed. Recommendations for technology-based instructional design are included in the recommendations section of the summary.


Technology, Learning, Cognition, Modalities, Redundancy

How to Cite this Article?

Taylor,C. (2013). Cognitive Load Theory – Sometimes Less Is More.i-manager’s Journal on School Education Technology, 9(1), 61-68.


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