You are here:

Learners' Perceived Information Overload in Online Learning via Computer-Mediated Communication

, ,

Research in Learning Technology Volume 19, Number 2, ISSN 2156-7069


Many studies report information overload as one of the main problems that students encounter in online learning via computer-mediated communication. This study aimed to explore the sources of online students' information overload and offer suggestions for increasing students' cognitive resources for learning. Participants were 12 graduate students from two online courses in the United States. Their learning experiences in both online discussions and on the course website were explored through semi-structured interviews. They also completed a background questionnaire that assessed three constructs that limit learner readiness and are likely to lead to online students' perceived information overload: inadequate prior knowledge, inadequate English proficiency, and lack of technical skills for participating in computer-mediated communications. The findings suggest that varied learner characteristics led some students to be more susceptible than others to information overload. Emerging data-driven risk factors were: lack of efficiency in reading from computer screens, visual and auditory learning preferences, and time constraints. Difficulties associated with students' perceptions of information overload are addressed and implications for course design are offered. (Contains 3 tables and 2 figures.)


Chen, C.Y., Pedersen, S. & Murphy, K.L. (2011). Learners' Perceived Information Overload in Online Learning via Computer-Mediated Communication. Research in Learning Technology, 19(2), 101-116. Retrieved November 17, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ERIC on July 1, 2013. [Original Record]

ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

Copyright for this record is held by the content creator. For more details see ERIC's copyright policy.


Cited By

View References & Citations Map

These links are based on references which have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake, please contact