Measuring cognitive load in the presence of educational video: Towards a multimodal methodology




Cognitive Load, Educational Video, Multimodal Measurement, Subtitling


The use of video has become well established in education, from traditional courses to blended and online courses. It has grown both in its diversity of applications as well as its content. Such educational video however is not fully accessible to all students, particularly those who require additional visual support or students studying in a foreign language. Subtitles (also known as captions) represent a unique solution to these language and accessibility barriers, however, the impact of subtitles on cognitive load in such a rich and complex multimodal environment has yet to be determined. Cognitive load is a complex construct and its measurement by means of single indirect and unidimensional methods is a severe methodological limitation. Building upon previous work from several disciplines, this paper moves to establish a multimodal methodology for the measurement of cognitive load in the presence of educational video. We show how this methodology, with refinement, can allow us to determine the effectiveness of subtitles as a learning support in educational contexts. This methodology will also make it possible to analyse the impact of other multimedia learning technology on cognitive load.


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Author Biographies

Jan-Louis Kruger, Macquarie University

Jan-Louis Kruger is Head of Department of the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He is also extraordinary professor in the School of Languages on the Vaal Triangle Campus of North-West University in South Africa. He holds a PhD in English on the translation of narrative point of view. He has been involved in the teaching of and research into audiovisual translation since the late nineties and has completed projects on subtitler training, subtitling and multilingualism, subtitling in the classroom, and subtitling and immersion. He has also done work on AD, which ties in with his interest in narrative theory. His main research interests are the reception and processing of audiovisual translation products including investigations on cognitive load and psychological immersion combining eye-tracking, subjective measures and EEG. He is particularly interested in the role of AVT in narrative perspective, with a secondary interest in educational uses of AVT. He is a co-editor for Perspectives, Studies in Translatology.

Stephen Doherty, University of New South Wales

Stephen Doherty, BA (Hons.), HDip, PhD, MBPsS, is a lecturer and program convenor in the School of Humanities & Languages, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. Using eye-tracking, psychometrics, and EEG methodologies, he researches language and cognition, namely: translation process studies, translation technologies, subtitling, psycholinguistics, and multimodal cognitive processing.




How to Cite

Kruger, J.-L., & Doherty, S. (2016). Measuring cognitive load in the presence of educational video: Towards a multimodal methodology. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 32(6).