This paper investigates interactions between user expertise and formats of instructional presentations. A cognitive load approach assumes that information presentation should be structured to eliminate any avoidable load on working memory. The level of learner expertise is a major factor determining intelligibility of information for a user. A diagram might not be intelligible in isolation for less experienced users and so require additional textual explanations. Physical integration (e.g., using spatial grouping or colour coding) of the text and diagram can reduce split attention and an unnecessary working memory load. The same diagram may be understandable for more experienced users. Eliminating redundancy may be the best way to reduce cognitive load in this situation. A series of experiments using instructions in elementary electrical engineering demonstrated the alterations in optimal instructional designs with the development of user expertise.
Instructional Design Instructional Material User Expertise Mental Load Fault Finding
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