Learning Portfolio 3

The authors mentioned a design technique of “chunking” information to reduce cognitive load. Define and describe the chunking technique in relation to design and visual communication.


Chunking is a memory technique that can assist the remembering of information and provides memory aids to help complete difficult tasks. It also assists in computing what would be mentally ‘memory-intensive’ tasks with ease. It helps with both cognitive and kinematic loads by reducing steps and movements within in a task, which in turn decreases the energy exerted. A Harvard psychologist George A. Miller defined the concept of chunking in 1956. Miller believed that the memory could only hold 5 to 9 chunks of information at a time however experts debate this. (Wroten, 2014) Chunking makes use of our short-term memory by “organizing and grouping various pieces of information together.” (Pappas, 2013) This in-turn allows the brain to process the information faster and easier as the information itself has been broken up into smaller more efficient chunks of information. It allows for the mind to take something complex, like a telephone number with 10 digits plus and remember it by breaking into three small sections. By doing so the number becomes much easier to learn and recall. Chunking can be used to combat even bigger groups of information that have no pattern and still be broken into a memory-prompting device. The chunks become more ‘logical’ in the receivers mind thus making it easier to recall. Anything can be chunked from small things like a birthday to paragraphs of information, “Essentially, chunking helps in the learning process by braking long strips of information into bit (sic) size chunks that are easier to remember” (The peak performance center)

Retrieved from:

Wroten, C. (2014). 4 Benefits (and Tips) for Content Chunking Retrieved from http://trivantis.com/uncategorized/4-benefits-and-tips-for-content-chunking/

Pappas, C. (2014). Cognitive Load Theory And Instructional Design. Instructional Design. Retrieved from http://elearningindustry.com/cognitive-load-theory-and-instructional-design

The Peak Performance Center. Chunking information. Retrieved from http://thepeakperformancecenter.com/educational-learning/thinking/chunking/chunking-as-a-learning-strategy/


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