Overwhelmed? Problems of Multiple Information

Have you tried to find a particular information using search engine available on the Internet and it ends at getting tons of answers within seconds? Indeed, ICT can be very helpful, but it also can be overwhelming. With the vast development of ICT and information contained in it, finding information on almost about anything can be very quick and easy within seconds. However, provided with rich multiple perspectives which grow so fast on the Internet, students may find it difficult to effectively elaborate all relevant information for their purpose.

This situation is also described by Rhynard (2002) and Bradshaw, et al. (2002). Rhynard (2002) mentions several weaknesses of using Internet search. First, the students often get so much information that they lose sight of the research objective. Second, information given is so broad that students have trouble shifting through it to decide what is useful. Third, determining whether the Internet source contains true or reliable information is another problem. Students tend to believe that everything on the Internet is true. Fourth, students have limited time in the computer lab and may not have access to technology in the home to continue this research. Fifth is accessing appropriate sites. Although schools have filters, students can still contact some inappropriate sites. In addition, Bradshaw, et al. (2002) stated that there are three major problems associated with learning on the Internet; they are navigational disorientation, information overload, and distraction. As we know, zillions of information available on the Internet on a particular issue and this may create overload of information. It then usually creates disorientation where students may lose the focus of the materials search and become tired. Many times, web pages are unorganized because of nonlinear hypertext environment they have.

These may create disconnection between students’ cognitive demands and learning of new knowledge (MacGregor & Lou, 2005 in Ikpeze and Boyd, 2007). In expressing ideas, for instance, given tons of information from the Internet can be somehow excessive for the students and may disorient them. It is a matter of effectively selecting and organizing materials read. But how? Sometimes, students learning English (especially those in ESL/EFL context) find it difficult to state ideas and opinion in public, either in spoken or written means. Watson & Biggs (1996) describe this situation as students’ reluctance to paraphrase, especially if the original words are better in English compared to their imperfect English.

How to investigate this? How to overcome this?

I just try to raise awareness here. Hopefully, it will work and be beneficial to many of of the readers. I try to share my thoughts on this at later post 🙂 Anyway, if you have thoughts and opinions on this matters, it is warmly welcome to share here… 🙂

Further Reading

Bradshaw, A. C., Bishop, J. L., Gens, L. S., Miller, S.L., & Rogers, M. A. (2002). The relationships of the World Wide Web to thinking skills. Educational Media International, 39, 275-284.

Ikpeze, C. H., & Byod, F. B. (2007). Web-based inquiry learning: Facilitating thoughtful literacy with WebQuests. The Reading Teacher, 60, 644-654.

Rhynard, M. (2002). The WebQuest as an instructional strategy. Paper presented at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Watkins, D. A., & Biggs, J. B. (1996). The Chinese learner in retrospect. In D. A. Watkins & J. B. Biggs (Eds.), The Chinese learner: Cultural, psychological and contextual influences (pp. 269-285). Hong Kong/Melbourne: Comparative Education Research Centre/Australian Council for Educational Research.

P.S. Image Source

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