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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Correlation of Cognitive Load with the Physical Learning Environment for Undergraduate College Students in an Introduction to Psychology Class
by Bowman, Shennen, Ph.D., Grand Canyon University, 2018, 206; 10937852
Abstract (Summary)

A gap in the knowledge of literature was found in that no research had been performed examining the effect different physical learning environments have on cognitive load levels. This is important because high cognitive load levels are known to affect learning. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study is to examine the relationship between the overall, intrinsic, and extraneous cognitive load and the physical learning environment (online and traditional classrooms) of undergraduate college students in an Introduction to Psychology class, at a medium-sized liberal arts college. Cognitive load theory provides a framework that has been used extensively to promote learning. Cognitive load refers to the total amount of mental activity imposed onto the learner. Research noted what has not been examined is how different physical learning environments may affect cognitive load. For this study, the physical learning environment is the place where learning takes place. Three research questions sought a correlation between cognitive load levels and the physical learning environment, online or traditional classroom. The Leppink scale was used to measure cognitive load. A survey was sent, one week in December, until the minimum sample size was determined. Data were determined using a Spearman correlation. The findings indicated no significant relationship exists between Overall Cognitive Load and the physical learning environment (r s = –0.011, p > 0.05), Intrinsic Cognitive Load and the physical learning environment (rs = –0.082, p > 0.05), and Extraneous Cognitive Load and the physical learning environment (rs = 0.086, p > 0.05). Recommendations for future research include looking at gender differences and testing at different times during the semester.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jenkins, Alan
Commitee: Jenkins, Alan, Trauffer, Hazel, Wagner-Loera, Daniela
School: Grand Canyon University
Department: Doctoral Studies
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education, Educational psychology, Psychology, Higher education
Keywords: Classroom learning, Cognitive load levels, Cognitive load theory, Online learning, Physical learning environment, Sweller, John
Publication Number: 10937852
ISBN: 978-0-438-53302-8
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