Integrating Cognitive Load Theory, Bloom’s, and Gagné

The Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy informs author’s of applied learning activities as to what knowledge and cognitive processes are being exercised, which translates directly into cognitive load depending upon the current proficiency of learners, and their exposure to prior modeling of the activity’s solution. Several points of consideration motivated by Bloom’s include:

  1. What level of competence is the applied learning activity directed towards?
  2. Where is the activity oriented in the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy table?
  3. What are the prerequisite knowledge and cognitive processes?
  4. What is the targeted learner’s level of expertise/competence?
  5. Does this activity make sense incrementally, given the targeted learner’s level of competence?
  6. Is the intrinsic cognitive load manageable?
  7. Has extraneous cognitive load been minimized?
  8. Are there distracters and if so, are they intentional to the activity?
  9. Will learners have time for the germane cognitive load of reflection and incorporation of the new material into their mental schema?
  10. Is this applied learning activity in alignment with learning objectives, teaching activities, and learner assessment.

Gagné’s work more specifically informs the design of an applied learning activity. Several points of consideration include:

  1. Is the activity engaging?
  2. Are the objectives of the activity clear to learners?
  3. Does the activity provide content context?
  4. Is the activity presented in a relevant situational context?
  5. Is adequate background information provided to orient learners to the activity?
  6. Is the learning task stated appropriately, which can range from clear to intentionally ambiguous?
  7. Are any constraints on the situation/activity clear?
  8. Is the outcome/deliverable that is expected from learners clear?
  9. Has the performance of this activity been modeled to learners previously?
  10. Does the activity provide sufficient guidance to learners?
  11. Are adequate supporting resources either made available or identified?
  12. How will learners received feedback on their performance to assist in schema building/remodeling?