General Model of Communication

Shanbold textnon & Weaver General Model of Communication

A linear model demonstrating and defining the steps of communication.

Information Source: the starting place and the supplier of the message. Weaver describes the information source as a, “source which is producing a message by successively selecting discrete symbols”
Transmitter: responsible for transmitting the message to its intended recipient via a signal and it can vary greatly depending upon the chosen message and the symbols in which are sent.
Noise Source: Can distort a message and can be internal or external. This means that noise can include hunger inside a person, or loud sounds around a person.
Receiver: responsible for decoding the signal and returning it to a message that the intended destination will be able to interpret.
Destination: the intended recipient of the message

Example of Using the General Model of Communication within Instructional Design

When using instructional design, the instructor acts as the information source. The transmitter is the type of media the instructor has chosen to deliver the message, or the instruction. The noise source could include technical difficulties and distractions the students may be facing in their environment.

The receiver is another form of technology which the instructor has chosen for the students to receive the message. For example, the transmitter may be a power point presentation, and the receiver would be the computer or application the students use to view the presentation. Finally, the destination would be the students for whom the message was intended.

ProblemsThis model is linear, meaning that there is no phase for feedback. What this means for instructional design is that it does not include a form of evaluation.

ReferencesAdler, R. B. and Elmhorst, J.M. (2008). Communicating at Work. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Craig, B. (2010). Information Theory. Theory <for> Communication. Retreived from infotheory/sld014.htm
Fournier, S. M. (1996). A Brief History and Theory of Speaking. A Taste of Rhetoric. Retrieved from
Smith, P.L. & Ragan, T.J. (2005), Instructional Design, 3rd Edition, p. 24. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Weaver, W. (1949). The Mathematical Theory of Communication. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press. Retrieved from
by:Erin O’Neill