Drawing objects and concepts, such as cats, trees, love, democracy, and family, is probably the last activity students expect to do in a communication course. Although this sounds like an introductory art activity, creating visual representations provides a nuanced understanding of the encoding and decoding processes. Encoding and decoding are the most hidden and often the most unfamiliar and complex fundamental components of communication for students to comprehend. By engaging in this activity, students translate their decoding process into drawings, which serve as personal artifacts representative of their encoding and decoding. Students come to better conceptualize this cognitive process with these concrete examples and a directed discussion. This activity is applicable across the full spectrum of communication courses.



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