Minimizing Cognitive Load in Representing Processes in a Business Process Diagram: Capturing the Process and Making Inferences About It

A. Faye Borthick, Gary P. Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the context of a kaiten-sushi restaurant, this guided learning experience minimizes learners’ cognitive load as they construct a business process diagram (BPD) from the transcript of a conversation. The guidance provides a construction strategy, directs the construction, and illustrates the diagram. Instructors can vary the guidance to match learners’ zones-of-proximal development (ZPD) or, when used with skilled learners, omit the guidance entirely. The guidance reduces the cognitive load of this experience, which is intended to enable learners to build mental schemas for developing BPDs in subsequent business situations. The guided experience is suitable for courses in which learners work with business processes, including accounting information systems (AIS), auditing, business analytics, and information systems (IS). Working through the experience requires students to think critically about the business process and implications of changes in the business process. The Teaching Notes include questions for assessing student proficiency in making inferences about the business process after they construct the BPD.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalIssues in Accounting Education
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • business process diagram
  • business process modeling
  • cognitive load theory
  • critical thinking
  • inferences
  • kaiten-sushi


  • Computer Sciences
  • Business Administration, Management, and Operations

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