30 May 2019

UNDERSTANDING INFORMATION OVERLOAD

There has been a constant growth in information technology across the world. The World Wide Web (WWW) and the Internet have changed the way in which people work, and what work is done. The rapid development of information technology, especially in the field of communication has made it more feasible for people to work from home. Telework is the term that describes a shift from the traditional office-based work model to one where an employee is working away from a fixed location and has remote access to the physical office. The increasing number of information sources coupled with the development of the internet and communication technologies has resulted in growing amounts of data and information that users need to process. The modern corporate citizen has to deal with withmore information than he/she can process. This is commonly known as information overload. Advances in communication technologies have facilitated telework but have also worsened the problem of information overload. This study was undertaken to investigate how information overload is impacting on family life under a telework environment. There is an abundance of academic literature on telework and information overload available. However, there has been minimal research that focused on telework and information overload conjointly.

Causes of Information Overload
Recent technology has facilitated the exponential rate at which information is generated, and has also allowed us access to much of it. However, there are other reasons for experiencing information overload. We will organize the causes using the five categories of our analytic model. And although we deconstruct them into five types, it is important to remember that information overload is usually the result of a combination of overlapping factors and not a single one.

People: One of the definitions of information overload states that it occurs when the quantity of information to be processed is more than the individual can process in the time available for processing (Jackson 2001). The point at which information overload occurs is not fixed. When and how capacity is reached (see figure 1) is influenced by the education, training, experience and motivation as well as the psychological makeup of the individual.

Technology is sometimes a blessing and a curse at the same time. So we have access to all this knowledge but where are the best sources? How do I keep it all straight? My approach is simple. Use your community of learners to find the best sources of information. Your Personal Learning Network should consist of experts in all areas and they can be a wealth of information when looking for, well information! And look beyond traditional sources. Blogs, social bookmarking sites, even social communities can be sources of great information. Once you’ve gathered the best of the best then you need a way to organize. Using online notebooking tools or even docs that have the ability, tag, search, organize by a thread and, importantly, a share can work.

There is a need to realize there is a great deal of information out there. And that means there are sources currently unknown to us that can be beneficial. We have to consider a wider variety of sources. But with that comes the responsibility to ensure we are exercising our best digital mind when searching and sorting. Strong digital literacy skills are important today to ensure we are dealing with only the best, most accurate information. For e-learning course design it is important to allow students to consider multiple sources of information when learning and sharing. Traditional sources like encyclopedias and vetted articles are great but the social web is exposing us to much more information both good and bad. It is important to consider those sources when teaching and learning.

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