Designing for e-learning: Using behavioral sciences to impact cognitive load and information retention, use, and transfer through visual design.

Concurrent Session 9

Brief Abstract

The presentation will discuss the impact of harnessing the empirical research in the behavioral sciences, neuroscience, and cognition to better create an intuitive and successful digital education experience for the user. It will also go over the best practices for aesthetic design.


Seth Porter joined Princeton University Library in the summer of 2018 as Head of the Stokes Library. Seth holds a Master of Arts in Public Affairs from University of Alabama, a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Wyoming, and a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. He is currently working on a Ph.D. at the University of Georgia. His scholarly interests include teaching and learning, program evaluation, and project management.

Extended Abstract

The design of digital learning objects can have a marked impact on the usability and information retention of a learning experience whether this is the LMS, DLO, website, or tutorial. A learning experience is not simply content, it is also the implementation, the experience, and the emotion surrounding the experience. Education theorists have innately understood this, but neuroscience and cognitive psychology has made this association clear.  

Using design principles founded in the behavioral sciences, will positively impact the learning experience and user experience; specifically by minimizing extraneous cognitive load and maximizing the emotional connection to the content and the pedagogy.  This is not a replacement for content, training, or information access and retrieval, but it is an addition to the portfolio of any educator who works in the digital world.

The presentation will cover relevant empirical data and literature in behavioral sciences,  neuroscience, product design, web design, HCI, instructional design, and E-Learning. Furthermore,  the presenter will cover the best practices for implementing these principles when designing for digital, and will also give the participants a chance to try their hand at designing for digital by designing their own digital learning object with art supplies!