Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Computer Sciences

Publication Details

4th International Symposium on Human Mental Workload: Models and Applications


This paper investigates the efficiency of two instructional design conditions: a traditional design based on the direct instruction approach to learning and its extension with a collaborative activity based upon the community of inquiry approach to learning. This activity was built upon a set of textual trigger questions to elicit cognitive abilities and support knowledge formation. A total of 115 students participated in the experiments and a number of third-level computer science classes where divided in two groups. A control group of learners received the former instructional design while an experimental group also received the latter design. Subsequently, learners of each group individually answered a multiple-choice questionnaire, from which a performance measure was extracted for the evaluation of the acquired factual, conceptual and procedural knowledge. Two measures of mental workload were acquired through self-reporting questionnaires: one unidimensional and one multidimensional. These, in conjunction with the performance measure, contributed to the definition of a measure of efficiency. Evidence showed the positive impact of the added collaborative activity on efficiency.