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Cognitive load illustrates the load related to the executive control of working memory. Theories contend that during complex learning activities the amount of information and interactions that must be processed simultaneously can either under-load, or overload the finite amount of working memory one possesses.

Cognitive load theory has been designed to provide guidelines intended to assist in the presentation of information in a manner that encourages learner activities that optimize intellectual performance

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_load

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