Making Working Memory Work

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Working memory and how it influences knowledge gains. Consider the research evidence and explore practical strategies that reduce task distraction and help to avoid cognitive overload.

About this module

In this module, we explore the role of working memory and how it influences knowledge gains. The sessions will consider the characteristics and limitations of this important cognitive process and how we can use this understanding to construct learning activities to maximise knowledge gains. Strategies to reduce task distraction and complexity and to avoid cognitive overload will be introduced and explored over the course of the two sessions. You will be invited to apply and refine your own practice in your own context both between and beyond the sessions with practical examples and suggestions for you to try out.

Session One: Understanding memory limitations will explore:

  • The limitations of working memory and how this can impact on learning.
  • Attention, cognitive load and task complexity as barriers to learning.

Session Two: Optimising working memory and cognitive load will explore:

  • Practical strategies to make working memory work effectively and optimise cognitive load.
  • Illustrate worked examples, reducing redundancy, simplification and scaffolding independence.
What you will learn:
  • Understand what working memory is and what the research tells us about how it can impact on learning.
  • Understand the limitations of working memory.
  • Appreciate the impact attention, cognitive load and task complexity can have on learning.
  • Develop a greater understanding of your own practice in relation to working memory.
  • Learn strategies to ensure working memory is working effectively and cognitive load is optimised.
  • Learn how to apply practices that reduce redundancy, increase simplification and enable scaffolding independence.