M edia use in communication, is a means of extending our senses. (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2014). The rightful choice of media, the effective use of these choices, and continuous improvement research, all ensure significant results in practice. According to the cognitive theory of multimedia learning (CMTL), human response to multimedia is to build meaningful connections between words and pictures, as they learn more deeply than with words or pictures alone. (Mayer, 2009).
[dropcap]Comparing three media (Email, Voicemail, and Video message), one discovers a trend of improving message quality or delivery. Email presents the message in clear script, but must be read to be understood. The assumption that the reader can interpret written words into a clear and audible tone, it is assumed that the listener is conversant with the language being used. A video message is a form of face-to-face communication and is usually more understandable than an email or voicemail. Apart from an audible comprehension, a video message is reinforced with visual cues, and makes more meaningful communication. In effect a video message is a series of moving pictures supported by audible words and sounds.
None of these are perfect communication tools, but video gets closer to the mark, since it is rendered in 3D and in color. However, each of the tools of communication considered in this blog post should be seen as effective for a purpose. Purpose is what determines choice, for the end justifies the means.
How was meaning derived from each message medium?
- The email had to be re-read to make sure that I understood the message.
- The voicemail had to be re-played to make sure that I understood the message
- The video message was played once and I understood that I needed to respond to the sender’s request completely.
The implication of this consideration, is that we have a field of choices in communication. Based on the urgency or timing of a communication need, one has one of three choices or possible combinations of any two or all three to choose from. So, in communicating with members of a project team, one would choose the medium or combination of media, based on:
- Need for clarity vs cost
- Time available vs sense of urgency
- Sequence of priorities (Timeline).
This information is not for Project Managers only, but also useful for project team members to know and use, as the team executes the assigned project.
Mayer, R.E. (2009). Multimedia learning (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2014). Teaching and learning at a distance. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Pub. Continue reading “Communicating Effectively”