Reducing extraneous cognitive load

In cognitive psychology, cognitive load refers to the total amount of mental effort being used in working memory. One facet of this is extraneous cognitive load (mental effort spent on distracting elements that are not relevant to the learning).

Research shows that if you can reduce extraneous cognitive load, you can make it easier for students to process the important information and move it from working memory to long-term memory. Put simply, if you remove distractions, learning occurs more readily.

Pearson MyLab Programming’s presentation of content reduces extraneous cognitive load to keep students focused on what’s important.

  • Pearson MyLab Programming provides a multimedia experience that is coherent and concise, providing everything students need for the task at hand and nothing more.
  • All content is presented in manageable chunks to help students learn without becoming overwhelmed.
  • Pearson MyLab Programming’s performance in terms of spatial contiguity is very strong, placing all relevant content on-screen simultaneously.

Taken together, these design elements help reduce extraneous cognitive load, facilitating efficient learning.

Learn more about the features of Pearson MyLab Programming