What is Cognitive Load?
Cognitive load is a term that is often used in education, but it is applicable to any situation where one is trying to learn something or solve a problem. It refers to the amount of information that your brain can process at once and how well it can do so. This means that if there are too many things going on at once, your brain will not be able to process them well enough for you to be able to learn from them or solve problems effectively.
The more information you have to hold in your head at once to complete a task, the higher your cognitive load will be. For example, if you are trying to remember what happened at work on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, that is going to be a lot harder than remembering just one day at a time.
Cognitive load is also affected by how familiar you are with the task or material being learned — if you have done something before, it will take less effort for you to remember what to do next time around!
How Can Cognitive Load Be Measured?
There are three main ways in which we can measure cognitive load:
Information Load: This is the amount of information that you have to process at once. It is a combination of visual and verbal information, but it can also include other types of input like auditory cues or gestures.
Task Load: This is how many different things you are trying to accomplish at one time — for example, if you are completing several assignments for different classes, or trying to learn about two topics at once in school.
Cognitive Control Load: This refers to how much control you have over your work; if you are trying something new or unfamiliar, it will be harder for you to focus because there are more steps involved than usual (like learning how to use a new piece of software).
Why Is Cognitive Load Important in Education?
Cognitive load is important in education because it helps teachers to understand how much work they should be putting into each lesson, and it also helps them to understand how much time they should be giving their students to complete tasks.
When a student has a lot of cognitive load, they have a hard time focusing on the task at hand and understanding what is being asked of them. If this happens too often, then the student will become frustrated and give up on the task altogether. Cognitive load can also cause students to feel overwhelmed, which can lead to anxiety or stress if not addressed quickly enough.
On the other hand, when there is no cognitive load present during an educational experience, then it is possible for students to zone out and lose focus entirely. This means that they will not get any benefit from what they are being taught because their minds were elsewhere during class time instead of focused on learning new concepts or skills!