Learners need to develop familiarity with the structures and conventions of digital media, sensitivity to the different modes at work within digital artefacts and confident use of the operational frameworks within which they exist.

Components of Decoding

Navigation Conventions Operations
Understanding of navigational mechanisms (scrolling, active windows, menus, buttons, etc.) and notions of movement in the digital landscape, both conceptual (e.g. metaphors, avatars) and practical (e.g. mouse, swiping, VR). To be able to locate oneself spatially (such as when following links) and operationally (e.g. having several programs or sites running simultaneously). Understanding of the practices and norms of, for example:
  • ICT usage: including safety and security, presentational and accessible production;
  • Participation in online communities: including communication protocols, ethics, privacy, sharing and attribution.
Grasp of common functional procedures (such as saving, printing and organising files; upload and download; starting up and shutting down). Confidence in engaging with new tools or applications.
  Stylistics Modalities  
  Refers to the design and presentational elements of a digital text (e.g. colours used, typefaces and layout, illustration styles, transitions between pages, slides or scenes). It is important to be able to consider and separate these and their impact on the messages within the text. Different modes of digital texts (e.g. video, immersive game, SMS, twitter streams) have different characteristics and conventions. Understanding these helps in decoding them in much the same way as a knowledge of idiom and register is important in using language.