You are here:

Cognitive load: updating the theory?

Learning and Instruction Volume 12, Number 1, ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This special issue presents a very varied vintage of recent theoretical developments and empirical research that help to found to a further extent the Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) as it was conceptualised by Sweller and others in the late eighties ( Cognitive Science 12 (1988) 257). The present article does not present individual commentaries on each contribution of this special issue. Another strategy has been adopted because we aim at—considering the title of this contribution—extending Cognitive Load Theory and orienting further research. Three basic ‘new’ directions are suggested. The first one is related to the potential of CLT to ground—next to cognitivist approaches—also constructivist approaches to learning and instruction. The second new direction looks at a neglected process in CLT that is related to the monitoring activities that occur during the learning process. We postulate—building on current CLT theory, current research and other work in the field of learning and instruction—the need for an extra perspective on cognitive load: metacognitive load. Thirdly, we present an attempt to position the notion of prior knowledge in the context of CLT.


Valcke, M. (2002). Cognitive load: updating the theory?. Learning and Instruction, 12(1), 147-154. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved December 8, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Learning and Instruction on January 29, 2019. Learning and Instruction is a publication of Elsevier.

Full text is availabe on Science Direct: