Thursday, August 6, 2009

Information Overload??

After returning to the office this morning from three days of vacation I found 63 blog posts on my reader, 50+ emails, voice mails to answer and three new books to read. Just one hour away from my computer resulted in 19 new emails to read. It makes me stop and think about all the information that is being shared out there through emails, blogs, newspapers and other channels of communication. How do we keep up with it all? Are we going to reach a point where our brains are going to be "full"? It then led me to think about how different people handle multiple channels of information and the volumes of information that can come flying at you all at once. Some of us handle it better....why? Is it due to the generational differences as some articles might suggest? Is it due to the fast pace we all lead and how we adapt to that pace? Then I began to wonder about the eLearning programs I produce. How can I prevent information overload in those courses? I was working with a colleague last week on a presentation and what I viewed as a "given" regarding course navigation was not a "given" to them. In this case I need to provide additional information to ensure understanding amongst different levels of users but balance that with the desire not to overload or over explain concepts that others may consider "givens". So how to strike that balance.....that's a good question. It's also a moving target as more of the presentations are published and become part of our training culture more of the navigational and other format issues will become "givens" for the participants. For now to strike that important balance and avoid the overload I have to develop a method for explaining to those that need additional assistance but ensure that the method is able to be skipped for those that don't need the additional assistance. I'll let you know what I figure out for that balance. If you've got any thoughts I'd love to hear them.

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