Message Design and Comprehension: The Unwitting Assault on Student Understanding in the College Classroom

By Bruce Hammond.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

There is a lack of the comprehensive understanding concerning the collective impact of the elements of message design in college classrooms. The current, existing schema provide information about the influence of individual elements of design on message meaning but there is no inclusive, exhaustive compendium to describe their collective impact on each other or on student understanding. There is no doubt that the combination of design elements found in visual messages in college classrooms impact comprehension and assault the senses, though the question remains, in what way? While there are signposts to guide researchers in this area, the trails ultimately lead to discipline restricted investigative dead-ends. What is needed is a more complete understanding of the impact of all of the elements of message design and the extent to which they alter, compliment, distort, or amend meaning. This paper provides a framework for dissecting the impact of design elements as they relate to visual messages in college classrooms and the understanding of the intended messages.

Keywords: Message Design and Receiver Comprehension, Impact of Message Design on Student Understanding

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp.349-354. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.131MB).

Dr. Bruce Hammond

Chair, Division of Communication and Administrative Studies, Saint Leo University, Saint Leo, Florida, USA

I am a Professor of Communication who is very much interested in construction and presentation of visual messages in college classrooms. My research in this area has concentrated on the impact of electronic technology on student understanding and the lack of quantitative evidence to support its use in college classrooms. In addition and most recently, I am focusing my attention on visual message design and the extent to which the layering of the elements of design change, add, eliminate, or otherwise impact messages in the minds of the students receiving them.


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