ERIC Number: ED048755
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Apr
Reference Count: 0
An Information Theory Approach to Communications and Learning.
Hsia, Hower J.
Any human communication has intrinsic objectives, to reach maximum communication efficiency and dependability. Because of "equivocation" and "noise," these absolute maximums are unobtainable; only relative maximums are possible. Based on Shannon's information theory principles, various information terms and different forms of "redundancy" are discussed to expound the optimal ratio between input and redundancy which is prerequisite to reaching the relative maximums of efficiency and dependability. The merits and deficiencies of information theory in communication and learning research are examined. The conclusion is that information theory, because of its simplicity and universality, may be one of the best instruments for the development of a general, systematic communication-and-learning theory. Redundancy, in its many forms, is seen as the best device to reduce equivocation and the effects of noise. Information theory differentiates error and equivocation (i.e., error by projection and error by omission) which are of different origins and natures and which may be capable of explaining many communication and learning phenomena such as the relative efficiency of different media. (Author/JK)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Research and Development Center for Cognitive Learning.