Assessment of cognitive load in multimedia learning using dual-task methodology

Roland Brünken, Susan Steinbacher, Jan L. Plass, Detlev Leutner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In two pilot experiments, a new approach for the direct assessment of cognitive load during multimedia learning was tested that uses dual-task methodology. Using this approach, we obtained the same pattern of cognitive load as predicted by cognitive load theory when applied to multimedia learning: The audiovisual presentation of text-based and picture-based learning materials induced less cognitive load than the visual-only presentation of the same material. The findings confirm the utility of dual-task methodology as a promising approach for the assessment of cognitive load induced by complex multimedia learning systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Cognitive load
  • Dual task
  • Learning with multimedia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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