Strategies to Avoid Information Overload

Strategies to Avoid Information Overload

Strategies to Avoid Information Overload

Information overload (Toffler, 1970) has been defined as "facing work without spatial or temporal boundaries" (Seidler et al., 2018, p. A581).  It is a challenge reported by students (Kohan et al., 2017), researchers (Pinero, 2018), and healthcare practitioners (Rand et al., 2018).  Interventions include improving technical support, segmentation between work and family life, email management (Seidler et al., 2018) and developing "new models of science evaluation and filtering" (Pinero, 2018, p. 2).

Students may avoid information overload by strengthening "filtering" (Pinero, 2018, p. 2) skills, thereby facilitating identification of content relevant to the project at hand.  The University of Phoenix and School of Advanced Studies provide a robust support infrastructure to promote effective filtering, such as:

Research Hub:

  • Review dissertation support content, such as Migliore's treatise on "Scope Creep"
  • Explore content-specific Research Centers to identify colleagues who share their interest
  • Utilize content-specific Special Interest Groups to promote research, such as the "Research Methodology Special Interest Group"

SAS Central:

  • Review information on the Dissertation Process
  • Retrieve up-to-date guidance on dissertation format
  • View videos on IRB (Walk-through Video and Live Demonstration)

University Library

  • Use "peer-reviewed" search criterion to retrieve resources appropriate for coursework
  • Use "Request a Specific Document" to obtain material not available in the library collection
  • Use "Ask a Librarian" to receive timely and specific guidance

In conclusion, students may avoid information overload by using appropriate filters to expeditiously identify relevant content.  Would you agree?  I welcome ideas from others.  Your thoughts count!

Kohan, N., Arabshahi, K. S., Mojtahedzadeh, R., Abbaszadeh, A., Rakhshani, T., & Emami, A. (2017). Self-directed learning barriers in a virtual environment: A qualitative study. Journal of Advances in Medical Education & Professionalism, 5(3), 116-123. Retrieved from

Migliore, L. (2017, June 12). Preventing scope creep in your research. Research Hub. Retrieved from

Pinero, D. P. (2018). Scientific information overload in vision: What is behind? Journal of Optometry, 11, p. 1-2.

Rand, V., Coleman, C., Park, R., Karar, A., & Khairat, S. (2018). Towards understanding the impact of EHR-related information overload on provider cognition. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 251, 277-280.

Seidler, A., Steputat, A., Drössler, S., et al. (2018, April). 297 - Determinants and consequences of information overload - a systematic review.  Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 75(2), A581.

Toffler, A. (1970). Future shock. New York, NY: Random House. 

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