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Working Memory
How it works
Working memory
How long do items stay without
Practice: Remember a group of letters:
count backwards by 3’s
Are they still there?
Are experts smarter?
• Capacity of WM
• Expert chess players as an example
• The mystery of expertise
Spontaneous rehearsal
Intersperse lecture and lab
Adapt practice to learner
Respond to meaningful questions
Bypass Working Memory
• External support
aids, references, embedded information
• Reference based training
Relevant task and reference guide
Provide conceptual and process
Case studies related to tasks
Bypass WM by automating
knowledge and skills
Reduce load by chunking
• On pages and screens
• Sequencing information
• Integrate text, graphics, audio
Focus on Performance-Based
knowledge and skills
Provide complete handouts
Provide worked examples
What happens when working
memory gets filled up?
1. Clear by providing frequent rehearsal
2. Bypass through external memory resources
or automation of knowledge
3. Reduce burden by information layout
4. Reduce processing demand by providing
instructional materials that do nonessential
work for learner
How to manage overload
Clear WM on a regular basis
Bypass WM resource requirements
Reduce WM load via information display
Provide external processing support