The Cognitive Load group at Southern Cross University has been pursuing research projects about the application and principles of Cognitive Load Theory for the last 11 years. The Cognitive Load group is situated in the Information Technology group and has a particular interest in the application of CLT to computing and programming education.
- Dr Raina Mason
Raina was introduced to Cognitive Load Theory in the early 2000s and has since applied CLT to the teaching of various complex areas. Her research is driven by her desire to make computing education accessible to all, and as part of this goal, to determine and mitigate the factors that impact on novice learning of programming and computing concepts.
Since 2004 she has investigated the role of cognitive load in pair computing, instigated and developed programs that make programming more attractive and achievable for school-aged girls, and investigated cognitive load theory based instructional design principles that impact on student learning in computing, both for school children and University students.
Currently she is researching into other applications of computer-mediated learning using CLT, for example in the use of CLT-designed multimedia materials in medical training contexts.
- Dr Graham Cooper
Graham began his research activities in the mid 1980’s investigating the role of human cognitive processing in the study of worked example
and problem solving, and the dynamics of problem solving transfer. This provided some of the foundational understandings regarding the impact
of working memory limitations in learning complex information. As it happens, the ‘worked example effect’ was one of the first cognitive load effects described.
Through the 1990’s Graham worked in industry as an instructional designer, applying the emerging knowledge base of cognitive load theory to a
diverse ranges of technically complex training contexts, including submarine operations, underground mining, explosives handling, and investment banking.
Since 2000 he has held an academic position in information technology and multimedia, involved in teaching, and in exploring how these technologies provide further
opportunities for applying and advancing cognitively based instructional design strategies.
- Carolyn Seton
Carolyn has been investigating the application of CLT principles in the teaching of complex Information Technology subjects as well as more generic digital literacy training and user interface design for older people. Her PhD project has helped older Australians to access technology and become part of the digital age, resulting in measured improvements in their sense of connectedness, health and well-being.
- Dr Barry Wilks
Barry has been involved recently with the Cognitive Load group in applying CLT principles to Integrated Development Environments for teaching programming languages. He has a more general interest in applying CLT concepts to software design.