Social Cognitive Theory of Mass Communications // FMP

“Communication technologies and global interconnectedness provide people with ready direct access to information worldwide independent of time and place and unfettered by institutional and moneyed gatekeepers.  The public is less dependent on a mediated filter-down system of persuasion and enlightenment.  These vastly expanded opportunities for self-directedness underscore the growing primacy of agentic initiative in human adaptation and change in the electronic era.  Ready access to communication technologies will not necessarily enlist active participation unless people believe they can achieve desired results by this means.  Perceived personal and collective efficacy partly determines the extent to which people use this resource and the purposes to which they put it.” – Albert Bandura, Stanford University.

“The media play an indispensable role in the proper functioning of a democracy. Without mass media, openness and accountability are very tough to reach in contemporary democracies. The media can inform the public of how effectively the current government or candidates have performed in the past and help to them to account. Nevertheless, mass media can also hinder political transparency as well as help it. Politicians and political operatives can simulate the political virtues of transparency through rhetorical and media manipulation. There are three major societal functions that mass media perform to the political decisions raised by the political scientist Harold Lasswell: surveillance of the world to report ongoing events, interpretation of the meaning of events, and socialization of individuals into their cultural settings. The mass media regularly present politically crucial information on huge audience and it also represents the reaction from the audience rapidly through the mass media. The government or the political decision makers have the chance to have a better understanding of the real reaction from the public of those decisions they have made.”

 

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Flux Video Pitch

Almost as good as the lady who reads the travel announcements on Radio 2.

 

Zarna – Hi! We’re Flux. As students of Cardiff Met, it’s important that our environment is somewhere to interact, somewhere to feel relaxed, and something that helps us to engage with the world around us.

Aaron – For us, it was about more than planting new trees and being eco-friendly. The environment involves our wellbeing, our general health, and our sense of belonging.

Rhys – We would love to show you what we’ve been working on. Please watch and enjoy our video,

(video pitch)

Gavin – We hope you enjoyed our video! As previously mentioned, it is key to create a real sense of community through better relationships across the different schools.

Charlotte – Flux means ‘a state of change’. So it was only obvious that we created a dynamic and vibrant visual identity. This concept then branches out to the physical space as we bring to life different activities, and house a range of purposes.

Rhys – Flux will facilitate events, meetings, and socialisation. We’ve thought of some scenarios that would work best, such as meet-ups during freshers, fundraising events, pop-up stalls, tutorials, or Cardiff Met SU society events.

Aaron – By tackling the problem of unused space around the campus, and providing a multipurpose environment that reaches across the whole campus, this will result in a better campus life for the students of Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Gavin – Please feel free to ask any questions, and come visit our space after the presentation.

ERRRRRRYBODY – Thanks!

Flux – Brand?

Zarna and I have been working on creating a simple gif logo that we think really demonstrates the purpose of the space.  It ties together the whole dynamism, multipurpose thing really well.  These were some similar logos we had seen, and some designs that seemed to focus on simple changes to suit changes in purpose/event/time/date etc.

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-00-11-45screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-00-11-54

We wanted something that really demonstrated the word flux itself.  I drew some really organic shapes that chop and change, but they’re lucid enough that it doesn’t tie them to any one thing in particular.  Through simple changes in colour and shape we think it really shows what we want flux to be.  A social space that facilitates change.

final-flux-gifI think it works well because of its simplicity.  It does what it says it’s going to do, and shows simply that the space can suit a range of different purposes, maintaining a vibrant and dynamic appearance which is something we really wanted to achieve.  After all, it is for students, so we wanted it to be appropriate whilst also sitting well within the Cardiff Metropolitan University branding.

Stakeholder Research

I think from a lot of initial confusion we’ve really started bringing our ideas together a bit now.  There’s still no real sense of what our ‘outcome’ will be, but I think we have a much stronger idea of what it is we’re targeting.  I think we’ve worked harder on identifying a real problem to be solved to hopefully give us the best possible option when considering the outcomes for this project.  Luckily for the team we seem to be working really well together – I know sometimes that group work can bring out the best and worst in people, and I can really struggle if I feel like people aren’t pulling their weight as it makes me lose interest too… But fortunately this isn’t the case!

We decided that we really needed to speak to real students, our stakeholders in this project, about how the environment affects them and how they feel they impact their environment.  For me it’s very much about creating some understanding that this ‘environment’ buzzword really is a two way street.  As a team we’d spoken a lot about how the corporate aspects of the University, it is a business after all, can feel very out of touch with the student (and staff) population.  There is a huge disconnect so we really want to work on how to fix this.  Ultimately we seem to have decided quite strongly that the initiatives undertaken by the corporate University are well out of reach, and government initiatives that have to be in place regardless of student input are things that we have little influence on.  For us, we’ve decided on a central premise – create better student engagement with the environment by making the environment more engaging.  This sounds quite simple, but it’s more an issue of how best to implement this on a campus with very little ‘free’ space, and to create something that cuts through so much of the paraphernalia that comes via emails/posters/information around the campus.  There’s that statistic about how much information the average person is exposed to in one day, so to simply add to this chaos seems pointless.

We created a questionnaire that asked some pretty basic questions.  Things like:-

  • Do you like the campus environment?
  • What do you think the University does well?
  • What do you think the University does badly?
  • What would you like to see more of around campus?
  • Do you socialise on campus (between lectures etc.)?
  • Do you stay on campus to study?
  • Do you feel there are enough places for students to relax on campus?

Coming from the relative luxury of the art block, I’ve come to realise that we’re quite spoiled.  We have our studios, areas to make tea and coffee, the Heartspace, and just generally an atmosphere of belonging and something that really feels shaped by the students that are in it.  As an outsider to the rest of the campus, a lot of the other areas around Llandaf seem clinical and not very student-friendly.  For a University with something in the region of 10,000 students it seems important that they feel like they’ve got somewhere to eat their lunch.

One of the most important things we learned from our research is that the majority of the student population believe that seating is a huge issue.  For some people they simply said “There is literally nowhere to sit and eat your lunch.”  This for me feels like another example of the disconnect between the corporate and its customers – the students just need some more seating, and it’s not given to them.

This issue of seating is one we’re looking to take forward.  The idea of spaces for students, shaped by the students that use them.  The campus revolves around the thousands of students (and of course staff) that use it, so for us the thing that’s currently top of the list is simply providing somewhere that students can go and eat their lunch.