Title

Finger pointing to self-manage cognitive load in learning from split-attention examples

Publication Name

Applied Cognitive Psychology

Abstract

We investigated whether finger pointing can be used as a cognitive load self-management strategy when learning from split-attention examples. We expected that pointing would reduce cognitive load and enhance learning performance. In a guided self-management phase, 122 university students studied a split-attention example under three pointing conditions (i.e., no pointing, one-handed pointing, two-handed pointing) or an integrated example without pointing. In the subsequent unguided self-management phase, all students studied a new split-attention example without pointing instructions. Results on retention and comprehension tests and self-ratings of cognitive load after studying each split-attention example revealed no differences between conditions. An exploratory analysis of pointing movements in the unguided self-management phase revealed that participants who frequently pointed outperformed those who barely pointed on the comprehension test in this phase. Our findings provide some suggestive evidence for the effectiveness of pointing as a self-management strategy in the learning from split-attention examples.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Volume

36

Issue

4

First Page

767

Last Page

779

Funding Number

201706360140

Funding Sponsor

China Scholarship Council

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acp.3961