Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning, Vol 13, No 1 (2009)

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Reflections on e-learning from a communication perspective.

Gary Mersham


This article uses a dialogical model of communication to reflect on communication in e-learning. It is argued that teaching and learning is a singular, dialogical communicative process leading to a shared negotiation of meaning congruent with the collaborative-constructivist perspective. However, misunderstanding and miscommunication are common and less detectable in an online environment, raising questions about the limitations of communication in the context of e-learning.
The author examines the importance of communication contexts in e-learning, probing issues of interpersonal and group contexts in the matrix of possible interactions as well as those of distance, place, and proximity. The author also speculates on the limits of encoding and decoding and exchange of meaning in the e-learning transactional process, and the affordances and disaffordances of mediated communication.

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Journal of Online, Flexible and Distance Learning - the journal of the New Zealand Association for Open, Flexible and Distance Learning (DEANZ).
ISSN (Print until 2010): 1179-7665 ISSN (Online): 1179-7673