Direct Measurement of Cognitive Load in Multimedia Leaming

Roland B. Brünken, Jan L. Plass, Detlev L. Leutner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cognitive load theory (CLT) is gaining increasing importance in the design and evaluation of instruction, both traditional and technology based. Although it is well understood as a theoretical construct, the measurement of cognitive load induced by instructional materials in general, and by multimedia instruction in particular, mainly relies on methods that are either indirect, subjective, or both. Integrating aspects of CLT, working memory research, and cognitive theories of multimedia learning, we describe the conceptual basis and practical implementation of a dual-task approach to the direct measurement of cognitive load in multimedia learning. This computer-based instrument provides a direct and objective measure that overcomes many of the shortcomings of other indirect and subjective methods that will enable researchers to validate empirically theoretical predictions of CLT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEducational Psychologist
Subtitle of host publicationA Special Issue of educational Psychologist: Volume 38
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781135065812
ISBN (Print)9780805896107
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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