Interactive learning research: application of cognitive load theory to nursing education

Karen L. Hessler, Ann M. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The purpose of this research was to investigate the effectiveness of interactive self-paced computerized case study compared to traditional hand-written paper case study on the outcomes of student knowledge, attitude, and retention of the content delivered. Cognitive load theory (CLT) provided the theoretical framework for the study. A quasi-experimental pre-test post-test design with random group assignment was used to measure by self-report survey student cognitive load and interactivity level of the intervention. Student scores on quizzes in semester 1 and post-test follow-up quizzes in semester 3 were assessed for the intervention's effects on knowledge retention. While no significant statistical differences were found between groups, the students in the interactive case study group rated their case study as more fun and interactive. These students also scored consistently higher on the post-test quiz items in their third semester, showing the viability of using CLT to improve student retention of nursing curricula information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational journal of nursing education scholarship
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


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