The second fundamental assumption of Michael Mayer’s cognitive approach to learning content delivery is that of limited capacity. This refers to the amount of learning content able to be processed by the visual or the auditory channel at any one time.
Students witnessing a presentation are only able to retain a few images and sounds within their working memory at any one time. This concept of cognitive load is an area that has been extensively researched by psychologists. They have found that, while allowing for variability among individuals, memory span tests tend to demonstrate on average that a brain’s typical memory is enough for the processing of 5-7 separate sets of information at any one time.