Emily Berry, in eLearningLearning reported on a study that shows how people, when presented with more options end up being more discontent with their choice. Psychologically, it seems, when people are presented with more choice they are less likely to choose or be satisfied with their choice.
In teaching, especially online, instructors should be careful when presenting their learners with choices, filling students’ screens with too many features or links. It is better to choose simple, clear actions and instructions ahead of time, so that students do not lose time on figuring out the interface or browsing through many links. Reducing our students’ cognitive load by choosing the right resource for them will improve their learning.
She concludes: “In this fast-paced world, people want bite-sized learning, instantly accessible information which helps them in the ‘now’. Higher numbers and complexity of choices will only take us longer to make decisions and as decision time increases, the user experience suffers.”