Solutions to cognitive (over)load in game-based learning using learning experience design for K-12 education : a review of the literature

Xu, Peishan
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Learners especially in K-12 education often encounter learning difficulties in the context of game-based learning. One explanation accounting for such learning difficulties in game-based environments is that cognitive load is not properly managed and overload is imposed on learners’ working memory. Learning Experience Design (LX Design), as an ideal substitute compared to instructional design, has been growing to meet the requirements of game-based learning in the 21st century. Based on the development of game-based learning, various factors (e.g., content and functionality) should be weighed to facilitate an optimal learning experience. This report reviews the literature on the impact of cognitive (over)load on game-based learning based on Cognitive Load Theory (CLT). The report applies one specific User Experience Design (UX Design) model, Garrett’s Elements (Garrett, 2011) to explain how LX Design can provide solutions to learning difficulties caused by cognitive (over)load. The purpose of this report is to conduct a review of literature including empirical studies and theoretical articles from 2007 to present. The findings showed that meaningful learning experience designs for game-based learning, in which three types of cognitive load (i.e., intrinsic, extraneous and germane cognitive load) play an important role, should integrate game design with instructional design principles.