Building a Theoretical Background for Distance Education: Towards Meta-Communicative Conversations

Building a Theoretical Background for Distance Education: Towards Meta-Communicative Conversations

Gulsun Kurubacak (Anadolu University, Turkey) and T. Volkan Yuzer (Anadolu University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-071-2.ch002
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This chapter focuses on how to build a dynamic theoretical background of distance education, as a source of meta-communication, and how it affects the use of online learning for reflective meaning making to construct a knowledge society. Based on the main purpose of this study, the virtual world can provide online learners with an interactive milieu for problem solving, critical thinking, and personalized/group discussion, multimedia presentation of global resources, connectivity, and visualization of social aspects of discussion and communication. In this context, distance education can respond to concerns and issues to create digital self-representations through communication theories and learning theories together. Furthermore, discussing the main features of the cross-cultural implications of reflective conversations can construct a very powerful paradigm shift to establish public interests encompassing the reflections of every aspect of social networking with the enthusiasms, persuasions as well as judgments.
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“I just became one with my browser software.” Bill Griffith

Meta-communicativeconversations in online learning affect the use of new media to build digital citizenships and focus on about how to utilize the theoretical background of distance education, which expresses the national and regional as well as global cultural dimensions. Reflective online communications can be built according to the analysis of the multicultural ideas across subordinates of a digital society. Furthermore, the authors hope that the underlying assumptions and theoretical constructs through the use of meta-communicative approach can help digital citizens understand management in an online community, and have knowledge and empathy with not only the whole the sight of communication sciences theories but also the prospect of learning theories. In spite of calls for enhanced reflective conversations among individuals, digital cultures and diverse backgrounds, there is still disagreement between online people and groups. Besides, they are hardly exposed to collective dilemmas, global troubles and local problems which demand mutual understanding for building a theoretical background of distance education. Based on this background, designing reflective communication activities in the online world through learning and communication theories helps digital citizens understand and appreciate diversities between different digital groups.

The use of meta-communicativeconversations empowers activist communications, which concentrate on authentic experiences in critical dialogues. On the other hand, basic socio-cultural assumptions and prejudices of reflective online communications can easily generate democratic-egalitarian inequalities. In distance education, therefore, online people should develop a transformative meta-communicativeapproach as well as social justice-oriented, critical and creative meta-communicative conversations. These conversations can go beyond power elites’ mandates. As mentioned by Burge (2000), there is a need for investigating clearly how to design powerful collaborations among online people and build dynamic and democratic digital societies in distance education. Furthermore, dealing with how to negotiate the implications and usability of flexible online contents is very important for online people to realize and found on multicultural, common and interactive reflective online communications.

Meta-communicativeconversations provide online persons with diverse perspectives and individual cultural differences to give attentions to diversity and liberation. Therefore, these people can understand how to cope with their role tasks, give vigilant considerations to diverse online community, and recognize their important roles and responsibilities to integrate reflective online communications in their actions. The chapter, consequently, explores how to construct meta-communicativeconversations and reflective online communications through learning and communication theories as theoretical background of distance education.

Theoretical background of distance education can build, organize and implement not only the integration of new communication technologies but also leadership practices. Besides, theoretical background of distance education helps digital people characterize their responsibilities across the fields of communication sciences, lifelong learning and education.

Distance education should consider digital citizens as global online users come together to act and decide on issues of mutual interest using shared rules, norms, and structures. The working definition for this chapter is that meta-communicativeconversations and reflective online communications are interactive processes to engage two or more learning and communication theories together to achieve program outcomes online learners should accomplish independently in a digital group. Since learning and communication theories unexpectedly help distance education experts work in an executive framework as well as facilitate and utilize critical factors, which can exist in meta-communicativeconversations and reflective online communications. Those are investigated through the study of theoretical background of distance education, which is operationally, procedurally and culturally defined for this paper as an open and integrated process that fosters dialogical partnerships and encourages egalitarian leaderships, and also spread out digital connections beyond characteristic boundaries to achieve innovative outcomes.

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