Main Article Content
This study describes the application of cognitive learning theory in the development of a multimedia courseware to enrich the clinical experience of nursing students in a distance learning environment. The objectives of the study include: (1) describing the nature and organization of tasks needed by students to demonstrate the performance of selected competencies in an adult health nursing specialty course; and (2) identifying strategies and approaches in addressing the intrinsic, extraneous and germane cognitive load in the development of the multimedia material. Content experts, instructional designers, and multimedia specialists were involved in key informant interview, focus group discussion and roundtable discussion to develop the multimedia courseware guided by the cognitive load theory. Students were likewise consulted by soliciting their comments on the content, learning activities and design elements of the courseware. Cognitive load theory was shown to help guide in the development of a multimedia courseware involving complex learning; such as in the clinical practicum of nursing students. By addressing the intrinsic, extraneous and germane cognitive load in developing a multimedia courseware, course developers help students: (1) manage tasks more effectively, (2) reduce the time spent on unnecessary steps in understanding concepts; and (3) focus on learning and demonstrating the competencies needed by the course. This framework forces the content experts, instructional designer, and multimedia specialist to work together to achieve a well-balanced and interesting course that will address directly the needs of the students and at the same time achieve the objectives of the course.