Cognitive aging and computer-based instructional design: Where do we go from here?

P.W.M. van Gerven*, H.K. Tabbers, F. Paas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this article, themost relevant literature on cognitive aging and instructional design is merged to formulate recommendations for designing computer-based training material aimed at elderly learners. The core message is that researchers and instructional designers do not need to develop special computerized instruction for older adults. Rather, existing principles of general instructional and multimedia design can be evaluated and used to accommodate the needs of elderly learners. Particular attention is given to John Sweller's Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) and Richard Mayer's Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML). It is argued that these instructional theories bear important benefits for older learners because they support an efficient use of available cognitive resources. New research directions are suggested to test the implications of these theories for learning in old age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-157
JournalEducational Psychology Review
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


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