Framing Perception With Media

Introduction

As I wrote in HTB (2015), different media facilitate different modes of representation, and a medium brings with it different attributes to consider in assessing rhetoric relative to the available modes (Sorapure, 2005). This point also impacts a given medium’s ability to affect meaningmaking and perception relative to those modes. A video, for example, facilitates more animation than a slide can within a slide show; however, more digital space is needed to access and view a video than to view a slide show. Further, different slide show tools have different capabilities.

The tools available to both composer and audience become part of the multimodal rhetorical situation, and this impacts the model of cognition as well. Much as an audience’s biological attributes affect their ability to learn or understand the world, the technology used to design the message affects which modes of representation and stimuli are included and how they are included. If I have access to only pen and paper to convey a message, that limits the design of the message considerably more than if I have access to a word processor like Word and a graphics tool like Photoshop to compose the message. Access to video production tools gives me even more tools to facilitate a persuasive message. The medium or media used to facilitate cognition is included in the model’s principles as a framing attribute. I address this attribute of the model in this chapter by offering suggestions to enable the tool’s capabilities to become part of the model’s dynamic. I also include in-person or face-to-face interaction among communicants, because Social Presence Theory is included in any discussion of technology and communication. Assessment theory helps facilitate this consideration.

 
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