ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cognitive rules in Instructional Design

Updated on November 30, 2012

Cognitive Theory

In chapter six, seven, eight, and nine of E-Learning and the Science of Instruction, Authors Clark and Mayer emphasize the basis of instructional design should align with the cognitive theory of multimedia learning. The cognitive theory explains that all people have a visual processing channel and a verbal processing channel, each channel capacity is limited to the amount of processing that takes place at once, and learners actively attempt to make connections between the two channels to understand the information presented to them (Clark & Mayer, 2011, p. 138).

Blind Applications

When the authors explain, [“recommendations should be applied based on an understanding of how people learn from words and pictures rather than a blind application of rules in all situations”] (Clark & Mayer, 2011, p. 154), I define the explanation as implementing proven applications of design principles as oppose to applying principles merely because they are design ideologies.


I believe this information will affect my experience with evaluating instructional design because it appears easy for violations of the cognitive theory to go unnoticed. For example, it appears logical to include text and graphics to convey a message simply because it introduces the learner to twice the relevant information at the same time, but the visual processing channel becomes overwhelmed because text and graphics are competing for the same visual attention (Clark & Mayer, 2011). Instructional designs appear to make this mistake often because they are simply implementing principles for the sakes of principles rather than understanding the effectiveness of engaging both of the learners processing channels.


Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2011). E-Learning and the Science of Instruction (Third ed.). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.