Information overload: How much is too much?

BY JOHN REED

SC Staff Writer

The concept of information overload is relatively new and owes it roots to the increasing evolution of information technology.

This kind of one-click access should allow students to research more thoroughly, write smarter, and generally be more productive.

But, is that really the case?

Are we, as students, using our access to the wealth of information at our fingertips in a constructive fashion?

East Stroudsburg University has taken steps to combat this issue by utilizing Warrior Notes, which was created in September, 2013.

As most ESU students can attest, school email accounts were inundated with information in regards to campus events, deadlines, and important facts.

By getting a plethora of informational-based emails, students could not possibly process and use all the material given to them.

Warrior Notes was developed to be used as the official communication of the University.

The key aspect was to condense the information students are exposed to and allow them to freely navigate, via hyperlink, to the information that they found important.

“Administrators are aware of what students are keyed into and I believe we have done a good job of meeting these needs,” said Dr. Brenda Friday, Director of University Relations.

Dr. Friday has been instrumental in the creation of Warrior Notes and is a believer of a “less is more” approach in regards to the amount of emails sent by the university.

This tactic has allowed students the chance to read incoming mail instead of deleting them wholesale.

Student Senate President, Justin Amann, is a big believer in the university’s new approach in communicating with its students.

When asked about Warrior Notes he said, “I like them regardless. Less is more, but a bigger issue is student apathy.”

An apathetic student body can be an issue for any university campus, but ESU administrators are attempting to engage students on many levels, though not all students are interested in being engaged.

The university is trying to disseminate information in many formats to allow ease of use for its students.

The ESU app, established in August, 2013, now has four thousand registered students, which allow them to get their information on the go instead of via their email account.

Student response was fairly positive when discussing ESU’s approach to information overload via Warrior Notes.

Graduating senior, Maggie Dumas, believed the old format, “made it too hard to discern what is important and what is not, but the new setup is a noticeable difference.”

As the university expands its ability to communicate with its students electronically, we must also stay cognizant of the fact that there is a danger of becoming dependent on receiving information in this manner.

Up to this point, ESU has done wonders in revamping its communication abilities and things look bright for the future as students and administrators work together to understand viable ways to correspond and impart pertinent information.

Email John at:

jreed18@live.esu.edu

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