Date of Award

Fall 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Peter Veronesi


Using Cognitive Load Theory as a tool to help teachers differentiate in a Chemistry classroom can benefit both teacher and student. Using this theory, teachers can evaluate their lessons and activities and gauge how challenging they will be for their students, which invites teachers to adapt their methods based on their students’ skills. Students’ capabilities can be measured using the idea of cognitive efficiency. If they complete a task quickly and with a low amount of effort, versus a peer who completes the same task over a long time, applying a great deal of effort with little result, the first student is said to have high cognitive efficiency. Teachers who are aware of the range of cognitive efficiencies in their classroom are better equipped to adapt their lessons and materials to the best benefit of the student. Students who are aware of their measurement using this scale are more intentional learners – they are aware of where they struggle and can work to improve it.