Document Type



This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Publication Details

British Journal of Educational Technology, 2011.


This case study describes an effective method to ameliorate the cognitive load caused by new terminology and concepts in lectures. Ten online pre-lecture resources whose design was underpinned by the principles of cognitive load theory were provided to a class of 49 first year university level chemistry students. Each resource introduced a number of key concepts to the forthcoming lecture and included a quiz for students to test understandings and identify misconceptions. The evaluation of the implementation of resources was measured by considering the difference in exam marks for in-semester test and end of module exam. These showed that the marks for students who had no prior knowledge of chemistry before coming to college significantly improved to the point that there was no difference between students with and without prior knowledge. A key outcome of this work is that providing students with resources to prepare for lectures can help in reducing their cognitive load.



Higher Education Authority Strategic Innovation fund