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- While not a
definition, learning is influenced by internal and external factors
and components. The communication passes through a host of filters
and receptors that help associate it with prior experience and knowledge.
- Students learn
from any medium provided the content maintains their attention and
the medium is competently used and adapted to learner needs.
- Learning happens
everywhere, at all times (both intended and unintended) and is influenced
by multiple factors, leading to a breadth of possibilities.
research addresses 3 main perspectives: 1) Technical 2) Psychological
(the individual interactants), 3) Social-Cultural (media’s role in
- The very linear,
Shannon-Weaver model (1949) serves as the basis for media comparison
research where the technology is the primary variable.
- Very behavioral—emphasis
on transmission—ensuring that the intent of the source matched the
desired outcomes of the receiver as closely as possible—the intended
message was received with minimal noise.
- This perspective’s
strong engineering slant is apparent in its language—signal to noise
ratio, channels, redundancy, entropy, static, fidelity, source, message.
- The focus is
on the filtering done by individual senders and receivers, and not
the characteristics of the technology or the signal itself.
- Hinting of social
constructivism, communication occurs when both sender and receiver
arrive at meaning and a balanced state. When the balance is upset,
communication is used to restore it.
communicate with people and attend to things that are consistent with
their beliefs and value structures.
research and agenda-setting research describe the influence of media
on aggression, how we perceive the world and on what we think and
- Media attributes
research was not looking for the “best” medium, but rather what symbol
systems different media used whether certain attributes facilitated
particular cognitive activities.
- Social communication
is the means by which individuals create and negotiate their shared
meanings for symbols, events etc.
is a unifying force in society
- Boundry properties
make up groups
- Learners must
be active processors, and should have their learning attention activated
especially when using media socially conditioned to connote entertainment.
(centralized production and distribution)
peer to peer (decentralized production and distribution)
- channel and
(numerous forms of media interacting)
- Noise (signal
to noise ratio)
- Strong notions
of intended learning-antithetical to postmodernism
- Related to
critical theory—there is often an intended message and point of
view, and learners should be actively critical interactants.
- Builds on
cognitivism’s symbol manipulation and information processing.
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- Not as much
a learning theory as it is a theory of instruction.
- Probably more
relevant than we think because everything we experience is mediated
by our senses—do we “hear” ourselves when we read silently? When
we think, do we see images (in our mind’s eye)?
- Most learning
is facilitated by multiple media--with our aural and visual senses
playing arguably the most significant role in what most people can
- This is a very
metaphorically-minded group. Is this accidental?
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Relevance to Instructional
Systems Design (ISD)
- Media selection
appears to allow for a good deal of learning to ride its coattails.
- New knowledge
must be linked to experiences largely held in common by communicators.
- Because certain
media can be so persuasive, care should be taken to make learners
aware of point of view (POV).
- Media is increasingly
less centralized, is being generated and distributed by individuals
and smaller groups, and
- Learners expect
media environments to be responsive to their needs, and be highly
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What I Don’t Know
yet / Questions
- I am interested
in better understanding the nature and activities of active (critical)
receivers and interactants vs. passive receivers/viewers.
- What theories
directly address teaching learners how to really (meaningfully) see,
hear, taste, touch, feel and experience their environments and the
messages that bombard them both in and out of school? Critical theory
seems to get the closest (albeit agenda-laden!)
- What is the
relationship of media to arousal, attention, motivation and generative