A relationship study of student satisfaction with learning online and cognitive load: Initial results
Internet and Higher Education Volume 14, Number 4, ISSN 1096-7516 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
This study sought to explore if a relationship exists between cognitive load and student satisfaction with learning online. The study separates academic performance (a.k.a., “learning”) from cognitive load and satisfaction to better distinguish influences on cognition (from cognitive load) and motivation (from satisfaction). Considerations that remain critical to the field of instructional design, as they apply to learning online, are described and used to guide a review of the literature to find directions to fulfill the goal of the study. A survey was conducted and 1401 students responded to an instrument that contained 24 items. Multiple analysis techniques found a positive, moderate, and significant (p<.01) correlation between cognitive load and satisfaction. Most importantly, the results found that approximately 25% of the variance in student satisfaction with learning online can be explained by cognitive load. New constructs emerged from a Principal Component Analysis suggest a refined view of student perspectives and potential improvement to guide instructional design. Further, a correlation, even a moderate one, has not previously been found between cognitive load and satisfaction. The significance of this finding presents new opportunities to study and improve online instruction. Several opportunities for future research are briefly discussed and guidelines for developing online course designs using interpretations of the emerged factors are made.
Bradford, G.R. (2011). A relationship study of student satisfaction with learning online and cognitive load: Initial results. Internet and Higher Education, 14(4), 217-226. Elsevier Ltd.