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Title: Individual versus group learning as a function of task complexity: An exploration into the measurement of group cognitive load.
Authors: Kirschner, Femke
Paas, Fred
Kirschner, Paul A.
Keywords: Cognitive load
Collaborative learning
Task complexity
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Springer
Abstract: The target of this study is twofold, on the one hand it is an empirical study into the learning effectiveness of group versus individual learning as a function of task complexity, on the other hand it is an exploration into the measurement of group cognitive load as a function of task complexity. The effects of individual versus group learning on retention and transfer test performance and mental effort were investigated among 52 high school students performing mathematical tasks. Applying cognitive load theory groups were considered as information processing systems in which group members, by communication and coordination of information (i.e., transaction costs), can make use of each others WM capacity. It was hypothesized that with low complexity tasks, group members would achieve the same test performance, but with higher learning effort than individuals because of the transaction costs. With high complexity tasks, group members were expected to achieve a higher test performance with lower learning effort than individuals, because the transaction costs are minimal compared to the gain afforded by a division of cognitive load. On an exploratory basis, it was investigated how individual-level models can be used as a basis to understand group-level load.
Description: Kirschner, F., Paas, F., & Kirschner, P. A. (2008). Individual versus group learning as a function of task complexity: An exploration into the measurement of group cognitive load. In J. Zumbach, N. Schwartz, T. Seufert, & L. Kester (Eds.), Beyond knowledge: The legacy of competence (pp. 21-28). Springer.
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