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ERIC Number: ED480098
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Aug
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Reading between the Lines: Metacommunicative Aspects of Online Education.
Hatcher, Sherry L.
Whereas in a traditional university classroom, important features of interpersonal relationships are most readily communicated by body language or tone of voice, in electronically-mediated teaching environments, absent such real time cues, even subtle metacommunications may take on added importance and power. Although a growing number of studies have examined explicit online communication, there is sparse literature relating to online metacommunication and its potential effect on the learning process. In the online environment, metacommunications may be conveyed by a correspondents choice of words, response time, choice of font size, use of computer icons, and, at a less conscious level, a variety of parapraxes. To date, measures used to analyze electronically medicated communications have been largely quantitative, such as tracking duration of communications and number of messages transmitted. In this paper the processes involved in using content analysis to identify and understand metacommunications are explored. Several hundred e-mail correspondences and a number of online graduate seminars were examined to exemplify the identification and analysis of metacommunicative processes. It is recommended that teachers and students reflect upon their metacommunications, so as to understand some of the subtle processes that can serve to maximize the quality of education in electronically mediated environments. (Contains 13 references.) (Author)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A