Communication is the process by which people exchange information or express their thoughts and feelings. Communication is defined as the transmission of information from a source to a receiver. Communication involves five basic elements. These are the sender, channel, message, receiver, and feedback.
This is also referred to as the source or who or where the message is coming from. Communication skill of the sender is his/her ability to encode or convert the content or message into appropriate modes or signals. This includes the ability to write, speak and reason.
This is the means through which the message encoded by the sender is sent to the receiver. It is also referred to as Signal. This signal or channel changes the message into a form that can be heard, seen, touched, tasted or smelt by the receiver. The popular channel is the media through sound waves (radio) etc.
Message simply refers to the main information that the sender or source has for the receiver. Message in communication is described in terms of code, content, elements, treatment, and structure. It may be words, letters, or symbols used for presenting or recording information.
This is the one who receives the message sent by the source or sender. Communication skill of the receiver is his/her ability to decode or interpret the message or signal delivered by the source into cognitive schemata (knowledge). Receivers should develop decoding skills of reading, listening and understanding the structured message or signals delivered by the sender or source.
This refers to the receiver’s response to the message sent by the sender. Feedback helps the sender to ascertain whether the message sent was successfully understood by the receiver(s).
Let’s use this scenario to illustrate the five elements of communication. Prof. Ablade Glover wants a Sales Girl for his Art Gallery. He put up an advert in the media stating the requirements. He receives some applications; shortlisted a few, interviewed them and employed two of the applicants.
Sender – Prof. Ablade Glover
Channel – The Media
Message – Vacancy for a Sales Girl
Receiver – The public
Feedback – The Response/Applications received
Communication Technology refers to the tools, materials, and processes that people use to enhance their abilities to communicate. These include books, radio, computer etc. On the other hand, communication system is the sum of all the tools, materials and processes through which a sender sends a message and a receiver returns feedback. There are several types of communication systems.
Communication basically utilizes two of our senses. These are the sense of sight (eye) and the sense of hearing (ears). There are four main categories of communication systems. These are visual communication system, audio communication system, audiovisual communication system and the computer based communication system.
i. Visual Communication systems
It is based on the sense of sight (eye). Thoughts and ideas are created in visual forms, e.g. text and images such as billboards, magazines, posters, collage, photograph, newspaper, etc.
ii. Audio Communication systems
It is based on the sense of hearing (ears). The message is sent through sound waves to receivers. Examples are radios, telephones, mobile phones, etc.
iii. Audiovisual Communication systems
It combines visual and audio messages and communicates them to receivers. Audiovisual messages are received by watching and listening. Examples include television, motion pictures, DVD, EVD, etc.
iv. Computer-based Communication systems
It uses computer assisted software programs and various social communication network systems to communicate information or messages to receivers. Examples include Face book, Twitter, Skype, computer-based interactive video etc.