COMM 101 - Fundamentals of Communication

Dr. Lee McGaan  

  Office:  WH 308  (ph. 309-457-2155);  email
  Home:  418 North Sunny Lane (ph. 309-734-5431, cell 309-333-5447)

Fall 2016 Office Hours:   MWF:  9:30 - 10am, 11am - Noon & 1 -2pm TTh:  2-3pm & by apt.  |  copyright (c) by Lee McGaan, 2006-2016

  Communication Terms and Concepts 

  1. Definition:   "Communication is the process of sharing meaning through continuous flow of symbolic messages." (Froemling 5)

  2. Communicator (Sender/receiver) - the participants in communication.  Typically the roles reverse regularly.

  3. Message - a single uninterrupted utterance. Verbal or nonverbal

  4. Code - a system suitable for creating/carrying messages through a specific medium

    • encode (put into code) and

    • decode (take out of code)

  5. Channels (verbal, nonverbal, etc.) - the specific mechanism (“pipeline”) used to transmit the message

  6. Medium (face-to-face, television, web, phone, etc.) - form or technology of transmission — determines kind of code used.

  7. Noise - interference with message — external (physical), internal (mental) or semantic (misunderstanding/reaction

  8. Environment (part of context) - that which surrounds and provides a basis for the meaning of a message:

    • Physical  (surroundings)

    • Temporal (point in time)

    • Relational (the existing relationship between communicators - friends, strangers, etc.)

    • Cultural  (language and behavior community the communicator(s) come from)

  9. Feedback - checks effects of messages

    1. positive feedback - "keep doing what you’re doing"

    2. negative feedback - change what you’re doing.

  10. Levels (contexts) of Communication

    1. Intrapersonal

    2. Interpersonal

    3. Public Communication

    4. Mass Communication (non-interactive)

    5. Computer Mediated Communication (interactive)

Communication Universals

  1. You cannot not communicate

  2. All Communication has content and relationship dimensions

    • Content - Literal meaning, information

    • Relationship - defines the relationship between sender and receiver.  Features of relationship that get defined in message exchanges include:

[ Liking, Responsiveness (intensity), Control, Trust ]

  1. Communication is a series of puncuated events

  2. Communication is irreversible and unrepeatable.

  3. Communication is culture-specific.

"How Americans Communicate" -- A Roper Poll

Discussion Questions on Terms and Concepts:

  • Be able to describe a communication event you have experienced that illustrates each of the five "Communication Universals."  Explain how.

  • What makes someone and effective Communicator?  How will being an effective communicator be valuable in your life as you see it?

  • Think of at least three examples of "codes," one each in three different media.

  • Come up with examples of how variations in each of the four types of "environment" can affect and alter meaning (e.g. How could the same words mean something different in different environments?)

Works Cited

Froemling, Kristin, et al.Communication: The Handbook.  Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 2011. Print

Last updated 1/8/2011                             Agendas