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Metacommunication

  • By: Rena M. Palloff & Keith Pratt
  • In: Encyclopedia of Distributed Learning
  • Edited by: Anna Distefano, Kjell Erik Rudestam & Robert J. Silverman
  • Subject:Online Learning & Distance Ed

Metacommunication is a term used to refer to anything that a person takes into account as an aid in interpreting what another person is saying, the nature of a given situation, how to comprehend what is happening, and so on. Metacommunication is generally considered to be a message that is not expressed in words but that accompanies a message that is expressed in words. It is, therefore, any clue or evidence that a person uses in understanding something or someone. It is communication about communication. Communication carries a message, or meaningful content, as well as a command or cue about how to interpret the message. Face-to-face communication allows the receiver of the message to ask questions about the cues being received in order to clarify ...

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