"One of the first designs of the information theory is the model of communication by Shannon and Weaver. Claude Shannon, an engineer at Bell Telephone Laboratories, worked with Warren Weaver on the classic book ‘The mathematical theory of communication’. In this work Shannon and Weaver sought to identify the quickest and most efficient way to get a message from one point to another. Their goal was to discover how communication messages could be converted into electronic signals most efficiently, and how those signals could be transmitted with a minimum of error. In studying this, Shannon and Weaver developed a mechanical and mathematical model of communication, known as the 'Shannon and Weaver model of communication'. ...
Shannon and Weaver broadly defined communication as 'all of the procedures by which one mind may affect another'. Their communication model consisted of an information source: the source’s message, a transmitter, a signal, and a receiver: the receiver’s message, and a destination. Eventually, the standard communication model featured the source or encoder, who encodes a message by translating an idea into a code in terms of bits. A code is a language or other set of symbols or signs that can be used to transmit a thought through one or more channels to elicit a response in a receiver or decoder. Shannon and Weaver also included the factor noise into the model. The study conducted by Shannon and Weaver was motivated by the desire to increase the efficiency and accuracy or fidelity of transmission and reception. Efficiency refers to the bits of information per second that can be sent and received. Accuracy is the extent to which signals of information can be understood. In this sense, accuracy refers more to clear reception than to the meaning of message. This engineering model asks quite different questions than do other approaches to human communication research."
(Communication Studies, University of Twente)
Shannon, C.E., & Weaver, W. (1949). The mathematical theory of communication. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Hawes, L.C. (1975). Pragmatics of analoguing: Theory and model construction in communication. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Fig.1 Mathematical (information) model of communication.
"The underlying logic of contemporary on-line learning and teaching environments has been informed by a systems approach to design. Despite the considerable effort devoted to their evolution and the focus of this effort on flexible learning, on-line learning and teaching systems appear to be limited to the task of transmitting information. In her essay on the evolution of ICT-based learning environments, Rosa Maria Bottino describes this orientation as, firstly one that sits in opposition to constructivist theories, and secondly one that fails to sufficiently accommodate social interaction and practice contexts within the learning and teaching environments. Bottino goes on to critique the information transmission model of ICT-based learning and teaching systems, and suggests that approaches that privilege learners as active participants should be pursued:
'One of the major forces which has driven change has been the assumption that meanings are lost if learning is simply seen as the transmission of information. Learning is progressively considered as being based on an active exploration and personal construction, rather than on a transmissive model' (Bottino 2004).
In the current milieu of on-line learning and teaching environments, ICT architects appear to be caught in a bind between a requirement to provide generalised system features and a will to embrace contemporary educational strategies. In the light of a systems approach to design, a compromise appears to have been made that privileges administrative robustness and security over (student) agency and engagement. Baltasar Fernandez-Manjon and Pilar Sancho have further described aspects of this problem as one where 'the requirements of a commercial learning environment are too diverse to be provided by a single monolithic system' (Fernandez-Manjon and Sancho 2002). The result is that the ability for students to collaborate and maintain autonomy within such centralised systems has been limited to superficial sharing of data over networks within closed publishing contexts. Without a serious interrogation of the underlying imperatives governing a systems approach to ICT design, learning and teaching within these environments is destined to remain locked in the administrative mode."
(Simon Perkins, 2005)
2). Perkins, Simon C. (2005) "Towards a socio-constructivist approach to learning and teaching within OLT environments". In OLT 2005 Conference, September 2005.