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An exploratory study of cognitive load in instructional chat rooms

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3 Author(s)
M. O. Thirunarayanan ; Florida Int. Univ., Miami, FL, USA ; C. A. Ryan ; A. Perez-Prado

The purpose of this study is to explore the cognitive load that students experience in text-based instructional chat rooms. Thirty-four undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory educational psychology course were the participants in this study. An instrument that was developed by one of the authors of the study was used to measure cognitive load in a text-based chat room. Students were asked to read a scenario that was taken from a textbook used in another class taught by an author of this study. After reading the stimulus material, students discussed the topic. A few questions, also taken from the textbook, were typed in the chat room by an author of the study, to initiate and facilitate discussion of the topic. Findings of the study suggest that students did experience measurable cognitive load during the discussion session. The findings of the study are reported and suggestions for further research are offered.

Published in:

Computers in Education, 2002. Proceedings. International Conference on

Date of Conference:

3-6 Dec. 2002