Instructional Message Design, Volume 2

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2022


Instructional Message Design: Theory, Research, and Practice (Volume 2)


28 pp.


Cognitive Load Theory’s (CLT) purpose is to aid in the design of messages, instructional and otherwise, so that learning and message retention are more effective. CLT was introduced in 1998 by John Sweller and his colleagues. They used the constructs of three areas of memory, sensory, working, and long-term memory, to develop a theory to address the limited capacity of working memory. Through these efforts, they created the concepts of intrinsic, extraneous , and germane cognitive load and used these concepts to explain how various loads are placed on working memory. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the three areas of memory, the three concepts of cognitive load, and address various effects created by intrinsic and extraneous cognitive load while guiding instructional designers on best practices to minimize load and maximize performance.


Rights: CC BY-NC-ND: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs


0000-0001-8157-3713 (Shaffer)