Balance Presence and Cognitive Load
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Balance Presence and Cognitive Load

Use a person to grab attention, then focus on the content to convey the messege.


A good presenter captures the viewer’s imagination, and sparks interest. Yet over time the presenter’s presence can be a distraction, overloading learner’s attention with irrelevant information.


You are producing online teaching material that is delivered in video format. This includes directed video or any lecture capture style teaching resource that students are expected to follow to gain subject knowledge i.e. disciplinary content and/or particular threshold concepts.


Open the video with a short shot of a person presenting a PROVOCATIVE QUESTION, introducing the topics to be covered, or outlining the content to be presented. Cut to a visual representation of the main content, with a voiceover explaining the imagery. Conclude with a cut back to the presenter, recapping the main messages of the video.


Some of the weekly introduction videos in the OLDS MOOC used this pattern.


Díaz, Ramírez & Hernández-Leo (2015) argue that, based on EEG data, switching between a “talking head” and a “visuals + voiceover” format increases cognitive load, and should be avoided in complex learning materials.


Díaz, D.; Ramírez, R. & Hernández-Leo, D. (2015), The effect of using a talking head in academic videos: An EEG study, in 'IEEE 15th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT); 2015 Jul 06-Jul 09; Hualien, Taiwan.[Sl]: IEEE, 2015. p. 367-369.’



Author(s): Yishay Mor, Steven Warburton
Published at: 30 Mar 2016 11:09 GMT
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