Wilbur Lang Schramm (August 5, 1907 – December 27, 1987), was a scholar and "authority on mass communications".
He founded the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1935 and served as its first director until 1941. Schramm was hugely influential in establishing communications as a field of study in the United States, and the establishing of departments of communication studies across U.S. universities.
Wilbur Schramm is considered the founder of the field of Communication Studies. He was the first individual to identify himself as a communication scholar; he created the first academic degree-granting programs with communication in their name; and he trained the first generation of communication scholars.
Schramm's mass communication program in the Iowa School of Journalism was a pilot project for the doctoral program and for the communication research institute he founded in 1947 at Urbana. At Illinois, Wilbur Schramm set in motion the patterns of scholar work in communication studies that continue to this day.
Information is of no use unless and until it is carefully put into words and conveyed to others. Encoding plays a very important role because it initiates the process of communication by converting the thought into content. When the information reaches the recipient their prime responsibility is to understand what the speaker intends to convey. Unless and until the second party is able to understand or decode the information what the sender wants to communicate, the message is actually of no use. Thus encoding and decoding are two most important factors of an effective communication without which information can never flow between two individuals.
Schramm’s model also revolves around the above principle. According to the Schramm’s model, coding and decoding are the two essential processes of an effective communication.
According to Schramm’s model, whenever the information reaches the recipient, it becomes their responsibility to give the feedback and let them know if they have downloaded the message in exactly the same manner the speaker wanted. If they are not clear with anything or have any doubts, it must be cleared with the speaker. Thus when the speaker conveys any message to the listener, the listener, decodes the message and once again passes the message to the speaker after understanding it and completing the full circle
To conclude according to this model of communication when a sender passes on the information to the receiver, the receiver must interpret it in the desired form the sender wants and give him the feedback or respond accordingly. Any communication where the sender does not get the feedback, the communication is not complete and thus ineffective.
Advantages of Schramm's Model of Communication
•Circular communication gives opportunity to both parties to give their opinion.
•As it is dynamic and ever changing model, it is helpful in general practice.
•Sender and receiver interchanges and both are equally active.
•Semantic noise included as a concept helps in understanding problems that can occur during interpretation of message.
•Feedback makes it easier to know if the message is interpreted by the receiver as intended or not.
•Concept of interpretation makes the communication effective.
•Field of experience (psychological effect) helps to understand the communication process in many other ways than the traditional ones..
•Concept of context makes the environmental factor be included in interpretation of message and brings change in the message value.
Disadvantages of Schramm's Model of Communication
•This model can not deal with multiple levels of communication and complex communication processes.
•There can only be two sources communicating, many sources complicates the process and the model can not be implemented.
•Message sent and received might be interpreted differently than intended.