Information Overload Exercise

As part of a module I teach we explore information overload (see theory paper) and to bring that to life I’ve set this practical exercise.

Jackson – Information Overload Theory

Q. Before you try and find the following information from the web…think about how the information overload theory can be applied:

  • What’s the quality of information novel and/or complex?
  • What’s your capability of searching for these types of things
  • Can you complete the task within 15 minutes
  • Personal factors – on top of your game today?
  • Task – have you done this before – do you know which search engines are best to use.
  • Quality of information good to make an informed decision?
  • How much information is out there – too much to look through in the time available?
  • What methods are the searching engines using to help you?

Q. What is the name of the below and what is the range of costs?




So time is up…how did you do? Did you know what they are called and how much they might cost?


  • There are many different search engines out there – it is likely that just one will not be able to find all the answers you need. How many did you use?
  • How much time did you waste looking for these items?
  • In the workplace time is money!
  • Could there be a better way?
  • Could you improve your skills for searching?
  • Could the systems be improved to help you?
  • Would it have been easier to ask someone, rather than use the internet?
  • Would you know the right person to ask?