A holistic empathic design through cognitive load theory: response to Tracey and Hutchinson

Yeol Huh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reflects upon the work by Tracey and Hutchinson, Empathic design: Imagining the cognitive and emotional learner experience. Educational Technology Research and Development, 67(5), 1259–1272. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-019-09683-2, 2019, “Empathic design: imagining the cognitive and emotional learner experience”. They examined a notion of empathic design in the instructional designer’s practice of redesigning a course to promote interaction and collaboration among physicians, radiobiologists, and radiation physicists. Albeit the empathic design is important in designing any instruction including the ones in digital learning environments, instructional designers need to consider more aspects related to learner’s emotional experiences. Cognitive load theory can guide instructional designers towards identifying learner’s potential emotional experiences based on intrinsic, extrinsic, and germane cognitive load. Future suggestions and needs to consider other types of affective domain are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-80
Number of pages4
JournalEducational Technology Research and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Association for Educational Communications and Technology.


  • Cognitive load theory
  • Empathic design
  • Instructional design


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