This article discusses the use of different techniques for uncovering cognitive processes, for research and instructional purposes: verbal reporting, eye tracking, and concept mapping. It is argued here that applying these techniques in research inspired by cognitive load theory may increase our understanding of how and why well-known effects of instructional formats come about (e.g., split-attention, redundancy, or worked example effects) and refine or corroborate the proposed theoretical underpinnings of such effects. This knowledge can inform instructional design, and moreover, the effects of these techniques on learning can also be direct, by embedding the techniques in instruction.

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Computers in Human Behavior
Department of Psychology

van Gog, T., Kester, L., Nievelstein, F., Giesbers, B., & Paas, F. (2009). Uncovering cognitive processes: Different techniques that can contribute to cognitive load research and instruction. Computers in Human Behavior, 25(2), 325–331. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2008.12.021