Cognitive Load Theory is a model that deals with the working memory of the learner.  A curriculum designed with cognitive load theory in mind is one that weighs the balance between intrinsic, extraneous and cognate load.  An understanding of these elements and optimizing a curriculum can lend to better transfer of knowledge/learning to trainees.  Below you will find articles and animations that will help clarify cognitive load theory and we will practice applying the concepts in the classroom.


1.     Young, JQ, Merrienboer, JV et al., (2014) Cognitive Load Theory: Implications for medical education: AMEE Guide No. 86, Medical Teacher, 36:371-384.

2.     Sweller, J, et al., (1998) Cognitive Architecture and Instructional Design, Educational Psychology Review, Vol. 10(3): 251-296.

3.     Van Merriënboer, JJ, Sweller, J, (2010) Cognitive Load theory in health professional education: design principles and strategies, Med Education. 44:85-93.