Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Freeman, M., Alasraj, A. & Chandler, P. (2013). Beyond interface design: considering learner cognition when designing e-learning systems. In H. Linger, J. Fisher, A. barnden, C. Barry, M. Lang & C. Schneider (Eds.), Building Sustainable Information Systems: Proceedings of the 2012 International Conference on Information Systems Development (pp. 127-138). United States: Springer New York.


By developing e-learning systems with an understanding of users’ cognitive load, rather than just focusing on traditional usability constructs, it is envisaged that better learning outcomes will occur. This conceptual paper presents a review of how an understanding of cognitive load can assist with the processes of developing e-learning systems that allow for increased learning outcomes. Through a comparative analysis of human–computer interaction (HCI) methods and cognitive load theory (CLT), a greater understanding of design principles can be gained. The paper focuses on the three main effects discussed in CLT literature—split-attention, redundancy, and element interactivity—and how a developer could use these methods to reduce cognitive load and improve learning outcomes.