The Impact of the Learner’s Meta-ability Changes on Interpersonal Relations with Teachers under COVID-19: A Lens of Computer-mediated Communication

Cho, S-J
Lee, DD
Item type
Journal Article
Degree name
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the higher education institutions of South Korea have switched to a full-scale distance-learning paradigm. This study aimed to investigate the impact of changes in the learner's meta-ability on interpersonal relations with teachers as well as to examine a causal relationship between the two variables, along with a theoretical lens of computer-mediated communication (CMC). Relying on media richness theory and social information process theory about CMC, the research first mapped out 16 pre-determined variables from the related literature in a proposed conceptual model combining three measurable elements of meta-abilities required for higher education learners and the learner-teacher relationship. In response to the changeover to online education, this empirical work looked into nonverbal messages from 117 students and surveyed 207 students attending a Korean general university after collecting the data in December 2020 and June 2021 over the two academic terms. Empirical results from the survey respondents showed that the changes in meta-cognitive ability and meta-affective ability affected interpersonal relations with teachers; however, changes in meta-social ability left no influences on the learner-teacher relationship. The factor in their school year worked as a moderator, particularly affecting the causal relationship in variables between changes with meta-cognition as well as meta-affection and interpersonal relations. These findings would be noteworthy for university educators and policymakers to understand the impact of the learner's meta-ability changes on interpersonal relations with teachers via CMC in the long-term pandemic context. This study proposes the original CMC-specific theoretical model, and it will eventually contribute to higher education academia and to the field of education informatics whose research interests include rising issues of a distance-learning scenario under COVID-19.

Computer-mediated Communication; Meta-ability; Interpersonal Relations; Distance Learning in Higher Education; Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Asia-pacific Journal of Convergent Research Interchange (APJCRI), ISSN: 2508-9080 (Print); 2671-5325 (Online), FuCoS, 7(12), 145-157. doi: 10.47116/apjcri.2021.12.14
Rights statement
ⓒ 2021 FuCoS. Articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited. In all that we do, we work to ensure the widest possible access to the articles that we publish, to enhance the reputation of the Author, the journal, its editorial board, and the value that we add as publisher in both printed and online form. The transfer of copyright is standard practice in journal publishing. It also enable us to defend and enforce Authors’ rights against plagiarism, copyright infringement, unauthorized use and, most important for Authors’ professional reputation, breach of Authors’ moral rights.