Research in Action 6: Cognitive Load Theory with Ouhao Chen


This Research in Action series of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast is kindly supported by Oxford Revise GCSE Maths.

This visual and accessible revision series reinforces learning far beyond any other revision product on the market. With clear learning steps provided for guidance and further support – making it perfect for consolidating understanding, wherever your students are learning. Included are many student requested features such as GCSE grades on a page; which allows you to set work at specific levels to test knowledge and also allows students to progress in micro-steps before moving on to the next topic.

You can now save 50% on Oxford Revise GCSE Maths today! With the revision guide and workbook at just £2.50 each. Simply visit our website at: or speak to your educational consultant.

Reach for the skies, with Oxford Revise.


Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast, with me Craig Barton.

This is an episode from the Research in Action mini series, where I interview a researcher from the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University about their chosen area of interest, and the implications for maths teaching and learning.

On today’s episode I was lucky enough to speak to Ouhao Chen.

Ouhao started his degree in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics in China, then shifted his attention to design instructions to teach and learn mathematics from the perspective of Cognitive Load Theory. He conducts his research by using Randomised Control Trial (RCTs) in the real classroom settings. Before joining Centre of Mathematical Cognition, Loughborough University, Ouhao was working as a Lecturer and Research Scientist in National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, after completion of his post-doctoral training in Southern Cross University, Australia.

In this conversation we spoke about one of the popular topics of conversation on this show over the years… Cognitive Load Theory. We discussed:

  • The key takeaways from Cognitive Load Theory
  • The role of productive failure
  • And just what does Sweller make of it all?

Ouhao’s Big 3
1. Cognitive Load Theory book 2011
2. Steve Garnett – CLT for teachers
3. Greg Ashman blog



My usual plugs:


Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsAnchorPodbeanStitcherPocketCasts

Leave a Reply