Cover for ETR&DI am very pleased to announce that a colleague (and former student of mine) Dr. Jongpil Cheon at Texas Tech University and I will have a new paper published in an upcoming issue of Educational Technology Research & Development journal.  The article is part of Jongpil’s dissertation work while he was with me at the University of Memphis, pursuing his doctoral in instructional design and technology.

His very innovative work considers how we might design interfaces for web-based instruction and online learning that reflect the learning content, as well as are usable, without contributing to extraneous cognitive load.  This work also includes some ideas that I have held about creating interfaces that are immersive for learners. I began this thinking with Dr. Janette Hill at the University of Georgia while working on my PhD.  You can read the abstract from our manuscript below.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a metaphorical interface on germane cognitive load in Web-based instruction. Based on cognitive load theory, germane cognitive load is a cognitive investment for schema construction and automation. A new instrument developed in a previous study was used to measure students’ mental activities of schema construction and automation supported by structural cues in a metaphorical interface environment. Eighty participants were randomly assigned to one of two types of instructional units with the same instructional content and different interface types (i.e., non-metaphorical interface and metaphorical interface). The results indicated that germane cognitive load positively affected learning performance while there was no relationship between germane cognitive load and students’ prior knowledge.  A metaphorical interface enhanced learners’ germane cognitive load and learning performance, and both germane cognitive load and prior knowledge similarly contributed to learning performance. The findings provide implications for the advancement of cognitive load theory and the practice of instructional development.

About Michael M Grant

Dr. Michael M. Grant is a passionate professor, researcher, and consultant. He works with faculty members, schools and universities, and districts to integrate technology meaningfully and improve teaching and learning. When 140 characters just won't work, then he blogs here at He has a beautiful wife and three equally beautiful daughters, who will change the world.

One Thought on “Upcoming journal article: The Effects of Metaphorical Interface on Germane Cognitive Load in Web-based Instruction

  1. Suha Tamim on January 27, 2012 at 6:01 am said:

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to read it.

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