Mathematics, Science and Technology
Purpose – As online course enrollments increase; it is important to understand how common course features influence students’ behaviors and performance. Asynchronous online courses often include a discussion forum to promote community through interaction between students and instructors. Students interact both socially and cognitively; instructors’ engagement often demonstrates social or teaching presence. Students’ engagement in the discussions introduces both intrinsic and extraneous cognitive load. The purpose of this study is to validate an instrument for measuring cognitive load in asynchronous online discussions. Design/methodology/approach – This study presents the validation of the NASA-TLX instrument for measuring cognitive load in asynchronous online discussions in an introductory physics course. Findings – The instrument demonstrated reliability for a model with four subscales for all five discrete tasks. This study is foundational for future work that aims at testing the efficacy of interventions and reducing extraneous cognitive load in asynchronous online discussions. Research limitations/implications – Nonresponse error due to the unincentivized, voluntary nature of the survey introduces a sample-related limitation. Practical implications – This study provides a strong foundation for future research focused on testing the effects of interventions aimed at reducing extraneous cognitive load in asynchronous online discussions. Originality/value – This is a novel application of the NASA-TLX instrument for measuring cognitive load in asynchronous online discussions.
Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning
Emerald Publishing Limited
Scholarly Commons Citation
Faulconer, E. K., Wood, B., & Bolch, C. (2022). Cognitive Load in Asynchronous Discussions of an Online Undergraduate Stem Course. Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, (). https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIT-02-2022-0010