Cognitive Load Theory for Test Design

  • Peter A. Beddow


This chapter examines the practical applicability of cognitive load theory (CLT) to the design of tests for assessing student learning, with the purpose of addressing the recent accessibility and universal design guidelines for fairness in testing. The first section provides an overview of CLT, beginning with a discussion of the cognitive forebears of the theory, an examination of five principles of CLT and its primary assumptions, and an explanation of the three categories of cognitive load as they relate to test design. The final section focuses specifically on current methods of measuring cognitive demand with an emphasis on their potential application to the measurement of cognitive load during testing.


Cognitive load Cognitive demand Cognitive load theory Long-term memory Working memory Short-term memory Assessment 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter A. Beddow
    • 1
  1. 1.Accessible Hope, LLCNashvilleUSA

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