ERIC Number: EJ815296
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Managing Cognitive Load in Educational Multi-User Virtual Environments: Reflection on Design Practice
Nelson, Brian C.; Erlandson, Benjamin E.
Educational Technology Research and Development, v56 n5-6 p619-641 Dec 2008
In this paper, we explore how the application of multimedia design principles may inform the development of educational multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs). We look at design principles that have been shown to help learners manage cognitive load within multimedia environments and conduct a conjectural analysis of the extent to which such principles can help manage cognitive load in the highly immersive "beyond multimedia" environments that 3-D educational MUVEs represent. We frame our discussion as a design practice analysis of the River City MUVE, a science inquiry environment that has middle school students collaborating to develop and test hypotheses regarding illnesses sweeping a virtual town. We analyze the current River City interface design using a framework describing cognitive overload scenarios and associated approaches to manage cognitive load. We also discuss the potential difficulties that may be seen as multimedia principles are applied to 3-D MUVEs. Our discussion describes a blueprint for research implementations that we are undertaking to systematically investigate the effect of an educational MUVE interface design based on multimedia principles--implementations that we hope will provide an action framework for other MUVE researchers to use in their own studies.
Descriptors: Virtual Classrooms, Cognitive Processes, Difficulty Level, Multimedia Materials, Middle School Students, Science Instruction, Computer System Design
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A