About Us

The cognitiveload.com.au group at Southern Cross University is a group of researchers who are involved with a variety of projects that include Cognitive Load Theory. Although these researchers are situated in an Information Technology discipline, their focus is multi-disciplinary. 

Dr Raina Mason was introduced to Cognitive Load Theory in the early 2000s and has since applied CLT to the teaching of various complex areas. Her research is driven by her desire to make computing education accessible to all, and as part of this goal, to determine and mitigate the factors that impact on novice learning of programming and computing concepts. Since 2004 she has investigated the role of cognitive load in pair computing, instigated and developed programs that make programming more attractive and achievable for school-aged girls, and investigated cognitive load theory based instructional design principles that impact on student learning in computing, both for school children and University students.

Dr Carolyn Seton has been investigating the application of CLT principles in the teaching of complex Information Technology subjects as well as more generic digital literacy training and user interface design for older people. Her PhD project has helped older Australians to access technology and become part of the digital age, resulting in measured improvements in their sense of connectedness, health and well-being. 

Dr Graham Cooper began his research activities in the mid 1980’s investigating the role of human cognitive processing in the study of worked example and problem solving, and the dynamics of problem solving transfer. This provided some of the foundational understandings regarding the impact of working memory limitations in learning complex information. As it happens, the ‘worked example effect’ was one of the first cognitive load effects described.Through the 1990’s Graham worked in industry as an instructional designer, and since 2000 he has held an academic position in information technology and multimedia, involved in teaching, and in exploring how these technologies provide further opportunities for applying and advancing cognitively based instructional design strategies.