How to avoid online learning overload

With a flood of internet-based content available about any topic under the sun and a growing host of online or e-learning solutions, it’s hard not to fall victim to online learning overload (also known as cognitive overload).

Here are some of the other ways you can avoid learning overload:

1. One task at a time

When I felt overwhelmed, I went back to the basics. Luckily the course was very well structured and each module had a clear take-away for the week. I went back to the summary of the main points I needed to know and organised my notes around each of these topics. I tackled one topic at a time, working my way through that week’s lectures and keeping things as simple and systematic as possible.

2. Keep focused:

The content was extremely interesting which made me want to go off on tangents to investigate particular subjects further. I quickly realised my Wikipedia rabbit holes were cutting into valuable study time, which only exacerbated my stress. The course cut extraneous information for a reason so I changed tactics and tried to stick to the information being covered – until my study hours were over, that is.

3. Tap into your support

It’s easy to feel isolated when you’re overwhelmed and exhausted. I started to withdraw from my various support networks, which made me feel increasingly anxious. The Learning Journey team contacted me and got me to open up about my cognitive overload. They immediately started to provide guidance and support and offered to facilitate a meeting with my lecturer to find ways to make my deadlines feel more manageable. As soon as I felt less alone, I felt mentally and emotionally equipped to carry on with the course, and my performance immediately improved.

4. Embrace digital

Happily, the course’s online learning platform was really easy to use and accessible on my iPad – a device I’m familiar with. I made the most of this accessibility by taking every opportunity I could to listen to online lectures. Being able to listen while feeling relaxed in the car on the way to work or lying on the couch helped allay cognitive overload.

If you feel online learning overload creeping in then my best advice is to remember you’re not alone.
Avoid #TMI by seeking support from the DigitalCampus team.