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Instructional Technology Approach in Communication for Education

Instructional Technology Approach in

Communication for Education


    Communication is a process by which a message through a selected way is transferred from a source to receiver with intent to affect the receiver behavior. In this point of view Communcati0on is a purpuseful action alike with the education. Therefore, any instructional situation could be define in terms of Communication. On the other hand, teaching/learning process occurs in a communication context between instructor and learner. The field of education is exerted by instructional message to be transferred betwenn this two important elemnts.
The present articles attempt to explain the Instruction technology approach in term of communication between learner and instructors.

‘The word Communication comes from the Latin communicare meaning to share. (Hills, 1986:1)”. According to Adair (1974:13)”it comes from the same Latin root as ‘Common’, namely the word communice, whose own roots are shrouded in mystery. The first part of it present no difficulty, for ‘com’ is known to be an English version of cum (with). The second part munis descend either from the early Latin onios (one).”  Communication can be defined as the process by which an idea through a selected way is transferred from a source to receiver with intent to affect the receiver behavior. The field of education is exerted by instructional message to be transferred. It must be considered that communication for education aimed to modify the receiver behavior. Therefore, education is a process by which an idea (selected massage) through a selected way (selected Media) is transferred from a source to receiver with intends to modify receiver behavior. Obviously both are purposeful activities with a main peculiarity in aims and objectives. Mahadevon (2005: 283) noted that:” For the success of communication in education, effective strategy may be adopted. Mechanical promotion of communication without vision and holistic perspective cannot succeed.”

Whereas this paper is going to investigate the use of mediated communication in education and training, it is necessary to discuss about the types of communication, and in particular about personal communication because of this form of communication is the most fundamental. Hence, it was started to establish some basic principal of interpersonal communication following by classification of the different kinds of communication before move to mediated communication.

 In the preface to the second edition of The Conditions of Learning, Gagné commented further on this shift to the information-processing model of cognition.therefore it can conclude that

 Robert Gagné instructional design theories is recognized as information-processing model of cognition.

According to Gagné, “This model posits a number of internal processes that are subject to the influence of a variety of external events. The arrangement of external events to activate and support the internal processes of learning constitutes what is called instruction” (Gagné, 1974).

 In term of where communication  happens or how many people are involved at a time, it classifies to I) Intrapersonal Communication, II) Interpersonal Communication III) Group Communication, IV) Mass Communication. In another category by Stone, Singletary& Richmond (2003:5) four areas of communication are categorize to: Interpersonal, Group, Organizational and Mass Communication. For the reason that Intrapersonal Communication have significance role in learning and educational situation in further the first category will be discussed.

  1. Intrapersonal Communicationreferred to what goes on inside people as they think, feel, value, react, imagine, dream, etc. “It describes one person talking to him or herself. It is the thought process. All of us think things through before we speak or act”. (Hiebert, Ungurati and Bohn,1988:2). Myers and Myers (1992) has emphasized that Intrapersonal communication studies play an important role in to provide instructional materials and noted that; “A dimension known as ‘intrapersonal’ has been the subject of psychological and cognitive studies which attempt to learn how people respond to symbols and how they make decisions or store and retrieve data in their brains.” (Myers, E.G. & Myers, M. T., 1992: 6).

  2. Interpersonal Communication includes transaction between people may involve a few individuals (two or three person) with each other. According to the definition “Interpersonal Communication is an ever-present, continuous, predictable, multilevel, dynamic sharing of meaning for the purpose of meaning our lives more effectively.” (Myers, E.G. & Myers, M. T., 1992: 15). Although this type of communication has not clear distinguish with others but it focus on face to face interaction like instructional situation.

  3. Group Communication is defined in term of numbers of people that participate in communication process at a time. Myers and Myers (1992) stated that field called group dynamics represents an interesting and special case of communication. It involves theories of group discussion, leadership, management, and decision making. In compare with two others level of communication not only number of participant increases, but also the level of involvement often changes. Hiebert, Ungurati and Bohn (1988:2) highlighted that “group communication has been institutionalized in the world of work as organizational communication; the memo replace the personal letter, and the conference call supersedes the trip to a meeting-work becomes a series of communication events.”

  4. Mass Communication referred to social groups through application of new technologies and mass media.

 The process of mass communication as what they set out to do, have been increasingly subject to systematic study on the basis of the following propositions:

  • The media are a growing and changing industry; they also comprise an institution in themselves developing their own rules and norms which link the institution to society. In turn, the media institution is regulated by society.

  • The mass media are a power resource a means of control, management and innovation in the society, which can be a substitute for force or other resources.

  • They provide a location (or arena) where, increasingly, the affairs of public life are played out both nationally and internationally.

  • They are often the location of the developments in culture, both in the sense of art and symbolic forms, but also in manners, style of life and norms.

  • They have become dominant source of definitions and images of social reality for individuals, but also collectivity for groups and societies, the express values and normative judgments inextricably mixed with news and entertainment.

 The study of mass communication is located within a large field of enquiry concern with human communication which is sometimes identified as communication studies.

There are alternative ways of dividing up this large whole, but one way is according to level of social organization at which communication take place. From this perspective mass communication can be viewed as the apex of a pyramidal distribution of a pyramidal as illustrated below:

 Level of communication process

 Society wide……………….. (e.g. Mass Communication)

 Institutional/ organization….. (e.g. Political System or Business Firm)

Intergroup or Association… (e.g. Local community,organizational communication)

Intragroup …………………. (e.g. Family)

Intrapersonal ……………….. (e.g. Couple)

Interpersonal ………………… (e.g. Processing Information)

 It is necessary to discuss about what baseline requirement for communication of any kind. To answer the question what is required to communicate to another, Anderson and Meyer (1988) denote: ” In very simple terms three things are required: (a) a base of common experiences about which to communicate; (b) some system to reference that base; and (c) a relationship that enable the mutual accomplishment of meaning.

Communication cannot be accomplished in a single act. Our writing of those words communicates nothing until they are read by you. This simple little notion tells us a lot about the concept of communication. It tells us that the communication event is depending on all members involved. In instructional situation effective communication play a central role and learning can be considered as a result of communication process between trainer and learner as well as education can be defied based on communication process. This concept like education is not random and learning can not occur by accident. In the other hand, to be successful in both processes, determining of goals and planning is essential. Communication truly does not have an opposite.

Learners usually learn in two phases and in two way of different Communication levels. According to the levels of communication (the above levels) the two ways are include Interpersonal Communication and Intrapersonal Communication. In the first phases, learning starts when they are initially exposed to the material presented by the trainer in the classroom. This continues with self-study and review at a later time.

                      Intrapersonal Communication Interpersonal Communication

Explanation and expose


Self-study and review of the  material



 It is too important to pay more attention to how to prepare a text to review and stablish the learning from text materials. That`s the reseon why this part of the present article is discuss about the print and text material in classroom teaching/learning process. A typical classroom experience involves multiple, simultaneous activities or streams of information. These may include, but are not limited to, verbal and visual presentations, board notes, electronic exercises, overhead presentations, hyper-linked multimedia reference sources, as well as student questions, discussion, and notes. When a stream of material is reviewed in a post-classroom setting, the context given in the classroom is important for full understanding. Consider student notes, or instructor notes given to an absent student. Without the context of the instructor’s verbal presentation, the notes lack the context to give full meaning. Similarly, verbal instruction without facial expression and body language is difficult to correctly interpret. In sum, the first phase on learning is more highlighted in traditional instruction situation in compare with open and flexible systems. In fact, instructional telecommunication and distance courses are mostly based on self study. Hence, in this type of design role of learner and trainee is more imperative and in particular media and mediated communication play a critical role.

Print and Text

Print and text have most common usage more than the other media and technologies. Since this study aimed to design and produce an instructional text, the medium and how to apply it is more highlighted than other media. Indeed, other types of media are using this medium in different format. Written massages as a communication tool has a long back history and till now take a various forms. There is no medium more ubiquitous than print, and no mode more familiar than text in its many forms. “Print was part of the first teaching machine—the book—and books was the first mass-produced commodity “(McLuhan, 1964, p. 174). “Print has been the dominant medium to date in distance education” (Scriven, 1993, p. 73), and “distance students have traditionally spent most of their time studying alone, often using print materials only.” (Bates, 1995, p. 52). The question is whether this situation is likely to continue. The answer requires consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of text and print. The chief strengths of print and text have traditionally included:

 Cost—Bates (1995, p. 4) reports that print is one of the lowest cost one-way technologies.

Flexibility and robustness—print scores highest on these features (Koumi, 1994).

Portability and ease of production—with desktop publishing hardware and software, printing has become enormously simpler and its quality much higher (Bates, 1988). In addition, costs can be reduced with local production.

stability (Kozma, 1991)—organization and sequencing are positively affected, since text-only printed and online materials can be reorganized and resequenced with relative ease by cut-and-paste operations, using word-processors and HTML editors.

Convenience, familiarity, and economy—instruction and feedback are facilitated by the medium’s familiarity, as, for adept learners and the highly literate, are higher-order thinking and concept formation (Pittman, 1987).

In contrary print technology has some weacknesses. The major disadvantages of print are related to some of its advantages, and include those listed below (Newby et al., 2000).

Print is static, and may fail to gain adequate involvement from low-functioning readers. Attention, perception and recall, and active learner participation may thus be lower for less able learners.

Print is relatively non-interactive, or at least non-responsive, and may lead to passive, rote learning.

Print often requires substantial literacy levels.Print is accessible (to the literate), and comparatively low in cost; furthermore, online text is easy to produce, translates well across various platforms and operating systems, and in some of its forms, may be manipulated by the user if desired. However, print may be seen by some as the “slightly seedy poor relation” (Pittman, 1987) of other instructional media. Text’s lack of appeal is exacerbated by the alternatives to reading which are increasingly appearing, and which use multimedia (especially audio and graphics) and improvements in voice recognition and reproduction technologies to make reading less critical for users. As a result, non-print multimedia-based technologies could come to be regarded as cost-effective, especially in cultures or industries where high levels of literacy cannot be assumed, or where the costs of reading inefficiencies are high. Developments such as instant text messaging and e-paper could reverse this trend, giving print and print-based materials new life, at least until e-paper-based multimedia evolve to make text less important once more (Mann, 2001).

In sum, as it is mentioned earlier proper technology defined in term of more simply and flexibility to use. As a matter of high technology, a proper technology must keep in pace with its users. Inflexible media actually create barriers to learning; in particularly for adult learners. In this point of view great advantage of printed text is due to more flexibility to use. Hence, a simple, well design and structured text could be seen as a powerful effective technology in education and training. It could be anticipated that those students with a well designed notes and better text are more better learners Another advantage is printed text requires minimum requirements except reading and writing.

Whereas oral language is a “presentational” medium, text is truly a “representational” one. That is to say, text can be viewed as a re-presentation of spoken language in a new format—a format that overcomes transience, the major liability of spoken language. Due to the above advantages, students in a typical traditional classroom make oral teacher’s presentation to a printed one. Text reduces the memory demands of spoken language by providing us with a lasting record. This advance has served humanity by scaffolding cultural memory across time, enabling us to maintain historical records without continuous oral repetition. Text also permits us to reach amass audience dispersed in both time and space.

The act of creating text also helps us in a variety of ways. Once written, notes can be revisited at any time (provided they are not lost) and even passed on to another. We can create text to support memory, attention, or even comprehension. Text also helps us stay on course during our work. Think of the checklists we make to track our progress through a series of tasks.

The permanence of text supports fidelity not possible with speech. Not only can text maintain an accurate record of past events, it can also help us communicate information more exactly in the present. We can prepare a communication on paper, then read and revise the text to make sure we include all the necessary information. The exact record text provides lets us first convey complex concepts, such as philosophical arguments or historical interpretations, which in turn can be reread, reexamined, and reconsidered.



1 Comment»

  Extenze wrote @

Hello Guru, what entice you to post an article. This article was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Thursday.

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