Cognitive Load & Simulation: Research, Theories and Application to Simulation Practice


Paas defined cognitive load (CL) as multidimensional consisting of mental load and mental effort. The stages of information processing include attention, processing, memory storage, and action. Components of CL can compromise the states of processing and memory storage which impacts mental effort. When students transition to practice, there is an increase in emotional or cognitive factors that could contribute to an increase load on working memory potential resulting cognitive overload. The current COVID-19 pandemic has prevented students from experiencing real time, face-to-face patient encounters, thus there is the potential for an increase in higher emotional or cognitive factors upon the transition to practice. This session will explore instructional strategies based on current research and theories associated with CL in simulation curriculum development.


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