Germane load: The right kind of mental effort?

This is a long but very interesting read indeed and with a lot of links to other posts and research that just are essential reading imho.

Evidence into Practice

Despite our vast capacity to hold information in long term memory; our working memory is extremely limited and becomes overloaded very easily. Greater insight into these problems and some practical ideas about what to do about them comes from the research of John Sweller. Sweller was interested in how teachers could structure their lessons in order to minimise this problem of overload. From the results of numerous experiments, he developed Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) which explains how teachers might manage the ‘load’ they place on working memory and help students learn more readily. The theory divides up the different kinds of loading on working memory:

Intrinsic load represents the inherent difficulty of the material and is related to their levels of element interactivity. This is limited to between 3-5 items. There’s not much we can do about this as teachers (multiplying 5×8 will always be easier than 5x8x3). However…

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