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Efficiency in Learning: Evidence-Based Guidelines to Manage Cognitive Load Hardcover – December 16, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0787977283 ISBN-10: 0787977284

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Efficiency in Learning: Evidence-Based Guidelines to Manage Cognitive Load + e-Learning by Design + e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pfeiffer (December 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787977284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787977283
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Sweller's Cognitive Load Theory has emerged as one of the most important and best researched bases for improving design of instruction...provides the first book-length practical design guide to the application of  CLT."
—Rob Foshay, senior vice president, Instructional Design and Research, Whitney University

"Riveting reading for anyone who wants to understand human mental processes and how they influence our behavior."
—Nancy Curtis, instructional designer, Element K

"Provides a distinguished example demonstrating how research findings can be made usable for practitioners."
—Alexander Renkl, professor, Department of Psychology, Educational Psychology, University of Freiburg

"Research on cognitive load theory has yielded many guidelines for the design of effective instruction. This excellent book clearly describes and illustrates those guidelines for practitioners in the field of education and training."
—Jeroen J.G. van Merrienboer, coauthor, Integrated E-Learning

"Nowhere else in book form will you find the guidelines that are here."
—Timothy W. Spannaus, instructional technology, Wayne State University

From the Back Cover

Efficient learning environments lead to faster and better learning. In this important book, Ruth Clark, Frank Nguyen, and John Sweller offer guidelines based on more than twenty-five years of research on cognitive load theory that will help you create efficient instructional environments?and they show why they work!

Efficiency in Learning offers a road map of the most effective ways to use the three fundamental communication of training: visuals, written text, and audio. Regardless of how you are delivering your training materials—in the classroom, in print, by synchronous or asynchronous media—the book's methods are easily applied to your lesson presentations, handouts, reference guides, or e-learning screens. Designed to be a down-to-earth resource for all instructional professionals, this book is clearly illustrated with real-world examples.

Efficiency in Learning guidelines are proven to accelerate learning by helping you avoid common pitfalls such as split attention and redundancy in your presentations and content. In addition, the authors summarize the research evidence and the psychological reasons for the guidelines, so you will know not only what to do, but also why you are doing it.

Efficiency in Learning comes with a companion CD-ROM that includes sample lessons and video commentary from John Sweller.

Praise for Efficiency in Learning

"Sweller's Cognitive Load Theory has emerged as one of the most important and best researched bases for improving design of instruction. . . provides the first book-length practical design guide to the application of CLT."
—Rob Foshay, senior vice president, Instructional Design and Research, Whitney University

"Riveting reading for anyone who wants to understand human mental processes and how they influence our behavior."
—Nancy Curtis, instructional designer, Element K

"Provides a distinguished example demonstrating how research findings can be made usable for practitioners."
—Alexander Renkl, professor, Department of Psychology, Educational Psychology, University of Freiburg

"Research on cognitive load theory has yielded many guidelines for the design of effective instruction. This excellent book clearly describes and illustrates those guidelines for practitioners in the field of education and training."
—Jeroen J.G. van Merrinboer, coauthor, Integrated E-Learning

"Nowhere else in book form will you find the guidelines that are here."
—Timothy W. Spannaus, instructional technology, Wayne State University


More About the Author

I received my doctorate in instructional psychology from USC in the mid 1980's and worked as a training manager in an IT Department for five years. In my seminars and books on training by goal is to translate instructional research into useful guidelines for practitioners in workforce learning.

Customer Reviews

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Good instructional design anticipates cognitive load.
Amazon Customer
The authors practice what they teach; a fairly complex set of well-researched recommendations is presented in a clear and easily digestible format.
Pete
Again, research and practical guidelines follow from this insight.
Kevin Wilcoxon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Pete on March 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book shows you how to make complex things easy to understand, and it is based on solid research. If you are involved in communicating or teaching anything that is complex (to the audience), you need this book. The authors practice what they teach; a fairly complex set of well-researched recommendations is presented in a clear and easily digestible format. Nothing is "dumbed down," just presented clearly.

I have been following the research into "cognitive load" (difficulty in learning) on the Internet for some years now, but I yearned for single, coherent book to tie it all together. One day I typed that phrase into the search box on Amazon, and up came this book. It has more than met my expectations.

The book supplies research to support its assertions, but focuses on concrete recommendations that any teacher or communicator can apply right away.

It should be placed in the hands of anybody teaching a complex topic at any grade level, such as

-mathematics

-statistics

-economics

-engineering

-physics

-chemistry

-etc.

I initially ordered this book on interlibrary loan. Although I could easily read it in the three week loan period, I decided to buy it within a few days.

Efficiency in Learning teaching for the 21st century. The sooner the world catches on to this, the better.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Wilcoxon on March 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been a big fan of Ruth Clark since I attended one of her workshops in 2002, and especially since buying her book, e-Learning and the Science of Instruction, in 2004. There are at least a few reasons. One, Ruth's guidance for instructional designers is based in research - not fad and not personal belief. Two, she bridges the gap between educational research and training for adults. Three, she always makes sure to build specific, useful guidelines from the research and theory she cites.

This time out, Ruth, along with Frank Nguyen of Intel and John Sweller of the University of New South Wales, lay down a host of design recommendations based on cognitive load theory. The theory centers around the reality of working memory - the in-the-now processing capacity of the brain, limited to 7 bits, plus or minus two. Learning is limited by the capacity of working memory, and there are a number of strategies instructional designers can use to manage the cognitive load placed on it so that learning is made more effective, more efficient or both. I'll point out just two important ideas from the book and trust that you will be sufficiently tempted to take possession of this important book.

The theory has evolved three types of cognitive load: intrinsic, extrinsic and germane. Intrinsic load is the demand placed on working memory by the nature of the task, more specifically the interactivity between content elements that must be learned. The amount of intrinsic load can be seen in the difference between learning the alphabet and learning to read. Reading involves understanding grouped letters as words, attaching meaning to them and understanding them when placed with other words that create complete thoughts.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By GradStudent on January 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very useful reference/resource for understanding the effects of cognitive load on learning, that includes descriptions of instructional strategies to address these effects. I found the text to be well organized and thorough. I particularly liked the explanation of effect size on statistical analysis of the effects of cognitive load. I'd recommend this text to those developing instructional materials,a s it provides soem excellent guidelines for improving learning effectiveness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Instructional Designer on March 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I recently read this book for work, because Ruth Clark is going to speak there soon. I was pleasantly surprised by the applicability of the information contained in this book to me, a mere graduate student. Even though I already have plenty of reading to do for class, I sat down with this book and finished it in a week. While normally I would not seek to read a book of this nature quite so quickly, I was impressed with the readability and the relevancy of the examples. I am going to start applying these principles to a series of captivate tutorials I am creating regarding the usage of WordPress as a content management system. Of course I will also have plenty of great tips for my presentation at work as well, since we deal in online learning and always want to get the most bang (learning) for the client's buck. It's refreshing to remember that the efficiency of learning is not based solely on the technology used, but rather in the presentation of the material. Thanks again Ruth Clark for another well-written book. Yes she may simplify the material to the novice level, but sometimes that is enough. I did not need to read every example in the book, but was grateful for those examples to help clarify some of the concepts presented. Expert Instructional Designers, yes you may skip over a third of the book, but if you ever have to defend yourself or your methods to your clients, you will be grateful for these go to examples that even the most-novice can understand.
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