LRNT622 – Theoretical Frameworks

Upon the completion of my introduction and the finalization of my topic, I have isolated my research question as follows.

What layout and design principles might be implemented in the creation of digital learning resources (DLR) within the Ontario college system to help the learner process information?

After completing my second sweep of academic-based articles, I see the same pattern over, and over again. The majority of all papers I have collected thus far seem to refer to cognitive load theory. Cognitive load theory is a framework that outlines a construct of cognition and how humans process and store information in relation to our working and long-term memory (Wong, 2012). Cognitive load theory will help explain how layout and design principles may be used to help the learner input, process, and store information in an organized, concise format.

A second theory, which closely follows cognitive load theory, is that of Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning by Richard Mayer. Mayer (1999) emphasizes that meaningful learning occurs when “multimedia messages must be constructed to enable the learner to hold corresponding verbal and pictorial material in working memory at the same time” (p. 105). The focus of my paper will be that of the process of the creation of digital learning resources, which in turn is a combination of images, text, video and audio. However, I think I will stick with Cognitive Load Theory as the framework for my paper and use Mayer’s Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning to back up my research throughout.


Mayer, R. E. (2002). Multimedia learning. Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 41, 85–139.

Wong, A., Leahy, W., Marcus, N., & Sweller, J. (2012). Cognitive load theory, the transient information effect and e-learning. Learning and Instruction, 22(6), 449–457.

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