Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal (Print ISSN: 1087-9595; Online ISSN: 1528-2686)

Research Article: 2021 Vol: 27 Issue: 1

Personal Communication and its Impact On Digital Learning-A Literature Review

Manuel Pereira, Escola Superior de Ciencias Empresariais

António Cardoso, University Fernando Pessoa

Frederico D´Orey, Portucalense University

Álvaro Cairrão, Escola Superior de Ciencias Empresariais

Jorge Figueiredo, Lusíada University

Abstract

Communication is a dynamic process, in constant mutation and evolution, non-linear, intrinsic to man, because it is the way to externalize, share, behaviors, attitudes, feelings, ideas, opinions, and thus obtain feed-back from the recipients, and thus, redirect communication towards mutual understanding, which is the main objective of communication. From the 90s we entered the era of individualization of the media, where each person can participate in the construction of information and where each person can be a communicative whole. However, the new form of communication is supported by a technological platform in an interactive way, encouraging the participation and interaction of each other, as well as the more effective use of participation with the community. Electronic and digital communication, in addition to being an increasingly excellent way to communicate, in terms of processing speed, ease of use and economic costs, since it only takes two computers to be connected to the Internet to communicate. The aim of this work is a theoretical and conceptual reflection on the role of personal communication as an element that interacts with the communicational whole in learning dynamics.

Keywords

Personal Communication, Communicational Interactivity, Learning Dynamics.

Introduction

Communication is a dynamic process, in constant mutation and evolution, non-linear, intrinsic to man, because it is the way to externalize, share, behaviour, feelings, ideas, and thus obtain feedback from recipients, and thus, redirecting communication towards mutual understanding, which is the main objective of communication. The communicative act is innate to humans, because our presentation, the image, the hair, the way of looking, the way of feeling, of being, breathing, is to communicate. Although communication is effective when the feed-back is correctly perceived, as what is transmitted is synonymous with what was actually transmitted. The fundamental aspect of the communicative process lies in the fact that the actors in the communication understand each other. For this to happen, it is necessary to be a good observer, and listen to the others properly, discover what their real needs, desires and aspirations are, establish an assertive language, interpret their messages, understand the context and circumstances of that same communication and gain confidence, always be attentive to the information received.

The act of communicating is launched to man, as it incorporates the way we present ourselves. Our image: the hair, the way of looking, the way of feeling and being and even our breathing, are communicational acts.

Communication can only be considered effective when there is feedback, which means that the message sent initially was correctly perceived by the recipient.

The fundamental aspect of the communicative process lies in the fact that. For this to happen, it is necessary to be a good observer and listen to the others properly, discover that their real needs, desires and aspirations are, establish an assertive language, interpret their messages, understand the context and circumstances of that same communication and gain confidence, and always be attentive to the information received.

The definition of communication as “The transmission of information, ideas, emotion, skills, etc., through the use of symbols - words, images, numbers, graphics, etc.” advanced by Littlejohn, (1988) in the work Theoretical Foundations of Human Communication, and adding that these emissions are “The act or process of transmission that is usually designated as communication”, it is a notion that we report our study as assertive. Through this definition we can verify the need to establish a relationship with someone, to transmit something through words, sounds, gestures, and, when carrying out any of these actions, we are certainly communicating.

In this essay, we will try to analyze the role of personal communication in the digital learning dynamics, based on a set of reference authors in this area and, on which, we make a set of considerations in organizational learning.

Evolution of Communication Formats (Brief Historical Review)

In 1990s, with the privatization of television channels in Portugal as we can see in the following words (Sousa & Santos, 2003). “In 1990, the Parliament approved the Television Law which provided for the existence of private operators and, the following year, the tender was opened. In the midst of a huge controversy over the frequency assignment process, Cavaco Silva decided to assign - in 1992 - two national television frequencies: one to Sociedade Independente de Comunicação (SIC), led by Pinto Balsemão and another to Independent Television (TVI), a Christian-inspired channel, then associated with the Catholic Church.” This privatization and the development of new forms of specific financing for the media sector through advertising and sponsorship, we are witnessing an increasing specialization of knowledge to satisfy needs, and above all an increasing quality of services to be provided.

Television, as an instrument of collective hypnosis, as a photographic flash of society, insofar as it is able to encompass and represent a social whole and according to Kerckhove's (1997). “First of all, to the body and not to the mind the video screen has such a direct impact on my nervous system and emotions, and so little effect on the mind”.

Interactive television where we can access a variety of information, a wide range of entertainment programs, and above all, a high definition in terms of image.

In terms of televised discourse, we move from the official to the informal, from the formal to the less solemn, from the most pedagogical to the most natural.

We can see that from the 1960s to the 70s until today it has been verified that the society in general has gone from a mass culture, where the same message was “consumed” by the greatest number of people, to a culture of the ephemeral, speed, immediate consumption, satisfaction of the moment. In this perspective, we are witnessing, today, a growing control over the reality, a personalization and individualization of the facts, of the interfaces, for example, the construction of interfaces, as indicated by Negroponte, (1996) "talking, pointing, and looking should work together as part of a multimodal interface, less based on exchanging messages in both directions".

In terms of technology, the personal computer according to (Negroponte, 1996) “The growth of personal computers is happening so fast that the future open-architecture television is the PC, period”. “A book has a high contrast presentation, it is light, it is easy to browse and it is not very expensive. But getting it to you includes transport and storage. Thus and continuing the thought ". Digital books are never exhausted." A selection of audiences and market segments or “target audiences” where it is increasingly important to satisfy individual and personal needs.

We are seeing, more and more, an individualized use of electronic means, that is, the possibility of each person in particular having their own television program, where they can build their newspaper, be the director of their own film, their favorite music, having advertising or not, and if you wish to be able to build a panoply of advertising spots aimed at satisfying your interests, your documentary, your television interface.

In communicational terms, we can observe that the sender and receiver increasingly assume the command of their own communication, that is, the receiver takes a position of the visionary, in other words, the receiver becomes an actor and enters the scene, interacting with various authors on this “stage”.

The television system, driven by economic interests, is taking a way too superficial position in reality, without profound themes, and revealing only parts of the social collective, naturally transposing only part of that reality.

The means of communication are based on the characteristic of total fashion, as well as, in clothing, advertising in Lipovetsky's interpretation in 1983 “As advertising, fashion says nothing, it is an empty structure, so it is a mistake to see it as a modern form of myth. The imperative of fashion is not to narrate or make you dream, but to change, for the sake of change and fashion exists only through this process of incessant disqualification of forms”.

In the political, economic spectrum, in changing mentalities, (ideologically) in the communication realm. The media are fundamentally characterized in the innovation of the media, in capturing the ephemeral, in continuous seduction seeking to win over audiences, that is, the media work in accordance with market laws, constantly looking for the satisfaction of its “consumer” audience.” (Supply and demand). The first objective is to maximize profits.

Communication from a Personal Perspective

This individualization of communication, like any new paradigm, carries not only positive aspects, but also new communication problems and challenges. According to (Dezanove, 1997). “Surely, the most important effect of Earth photography is to expand our perception beyond the image of the body and to broaden our sense of identity. In fact, from the first moment we saw this photograph, we took possession of the Earth and a new power to invest in it. It is an extension of my vision. Everything in it is "mine" as much as I am "hers".

Thus, we are witnessing today a structural change in terms of communication, as the communicative process is increasingly conceived according to each person in particular, with their particularities, satisfying their desires, their aspirations, and their deeper needs. Hence, the television of the future will be yet another “individual dive” on themes, materials, games, in which only its players handle and control.

Social media today build a set of sensations, emotions, collective feelings, in which people just accept without questioning; create collective imagery about the reality. Thus, even with communication technologies, an increased effort is necessary, as it is not enough to separate the accessory from the essential, it is necessary to be creative and innovative on the individual platform to perceive the world and thus be more active and less reactive in the face of reality.

In the perspective of Dezanove, (1997) “With the advent of the Internet, we have the first medium that is oral and written, private and public, individual and collective at the same time. The connection between the public mind and the private mind is made through open and connected networks on the planet.”

The personal computer came to individualize communication, in that it allowed the possibility of using written, visual and auditory information, to discover and build our own styles of understanding the world and communication.

As positive points, at the individual level we can point out:

1. Greater communicative speed (Example: Internet, email)

2. Bidirectional communication (Example: Sender and receiver establish communication almost in real time).

3. Greater knowledge specialization (Example: each person studies more about less)

4. Possibly less positive points associated:

5. Individualization of communication (Example: loss of common references that may cause social conflicts)

6. Communicative mechanization (computer as a partner and not as a communication tool).

One of the main problems that may intensify in the future is the regulation of communication technologies, such as: the defense of copyright, the violation of privacy, the tampering of computer and software systems, accountability and control interactions.

We are currently witnessing a set of technological characteristics such as ubiquity, spontaneity, bidirectionality, universality and globalization of information that brings new challenges and strategic orientations to all communicating “links”, whether individuals or organizations. “In what respects the enormous size of information, in the man a double feeling originates: on the one hand a sense of dominance and on the opposite side a sensation of tremendous smallness.

New information and communication technologies are becoming a means of interaction with the world around us, through which it is possible participate, change, act in a specific situation and thus making a quick and efficient contribution.

With these means it is possible to establish communication across the globe world, requiring only a computer and one or more users, as well as a modem.

Regarding the quality and control of information and communications, we can verify that there are contents that present credibility through sites certified by recognized entities and validated in a manner consistent with the current requirements for Internet use, however; on the other hand, we have many Internet address sites. That does not have credibility so that we can believe the information presented.

The study stated that one in five people uses the Internet to obtain information instead of acquiring the respective means of communication written in paper format. Thus, we can verify that currently, the Internet can already be considered as an instrument to obtain information with expressiveness and with the predictability that in the future it will be more used.

Communication and Interactivity

However, the new forms of communication are supported by a technological base capable of interactive and fast communication, encouraging participation and interaction of amongst each other, as well as the more effective use of participation with the community. “During the past 2 years, ICA has been involved productively with IAMCR in co-hosting boutique conferences devoted to advertising various aspects of the digital divide, traditionally defined as “a gap between those who have access to technology and those who do not”.

Along the same lines of thought, Bryant (2004) state’s that: “this has been a very positive and progressive endeavor. Issues of equity, social justice, and the likes are embedded in the digital division and should burn holes in our conscience until we produce some of the best scholarship and action research we have to offer.

In this sense, we can see that not all human beings have access to new means of communication, because for this to happen it is necessary to have the material and technical means. What really happens is that inequality between peoples and nations is being built in this way. However, a society will be increasingly active and interactive according to its intervention and interaction with the collective. We can systematize in the understanding. Technological change is a factor that radically changes the economic base of countries. Therefore, technology has the ability to transform the social, political, cultural and economic reality of contemporary societies, and it has a global scale but is the same everywhere in the world.

Technology and science are a continuous and continuous reality, capable of changing attitudes and behaviours in a systematic and time-consuming way, which happens over time, revolutionizing mentalities, introducing creativity and implementing standards and procedures for creativity and innovation capable of continually improving the common experience. According to (Mc Chesney, 1993). “This commitment to democratic communication and to journalism also provides critical communication scholars with an entrée to political activism that is unique among left academics. We are poised to work with activist groups and the public at large to help them decode the media critically, use the existing media systems to be best effect, and produce their own communications.

Within the various means of communication, there are different ways of communicating capable of contributing to the participation of citizens in the activities and actions of the community, contributing to the construction of lasting personal relationships with different actors of the society. Thus, in Bryant & Miron's perspective, in press, in (Jennings, 2004). “The primary goal of communication in Taoism and Buddhism was knowledge of the self and of the essence of the world, rather than informing and influencing others or manipulating the external word. As a consequence, communication took a “transcendental” form geared toward the eternal reality assumed to underlie all temporary events, including one’s individual existence. Such a form of communication was radically different from the transactional European type of communication.

A communicating essential objective of communication is to share in order to understand others and to be understood. In addition to the simple transmission and reception of messages, it can be used to inform, influence others and manipulate the outside world. In these terms, through efficient communication, we can contribute to changing ideas, attitudes, which can produce certain behaviors.

However, communicating efficiently also means creating realities, influencing others through the transmission of messages that meet human needs. The secret of efficient communication lies in the fact that “social actors” are individuals or organizations capable of understanding each other and generating useful synergies for individuals and the community. Thus, as we can verify with (Robert, 1983). “European tradition of the study of mass communication is an emphasis on the society, rather than the individuals in that society, as the unit of analysis. This emphasis conforms to the tradition of the social sciences, each of which is defined by the level at which it seeks explanation: anthropology studies cultures, sociology studies groups, and psychology studies individuals, and so on”…In socialist countries, but it would strengthen the arguments of those who try to explain the behavior of individuals in capitalist societies on the basis of the economic structure if they could demonstrate that things were different in other systems.”

If on the one hand, we have a European tradition that from the second half of the century. XX at the level of studies in mass communication has had its focus on studies of social sciences; on the other hand, we have a Marxist aspect based on the idea that everything is based on the economic structure.

Methodology

As a methodology adopted, we sought to systematize a literature review (Nicolaisen, 2010; Rowe, 2014) that reflected the ideas, thoughts and practical implications of the evolution of communication, from the 1990s to the present, seeking to analyze, describe and understand the role of personal and technological communication and its impact on learning dynamics and their relevance in today's society. It involves a systematic search from scientific databases (Scopus; WoS), sorting, overview and categorizing articles, and final, writing a summary from each selected article (Knutas et al., 2015). The literature review also sought to report key moments experienced, reported at the time, approaches, means of communication, technologies and current practices, thus seeking to reflect and understand the evolution of this theme.

Electronic and Digital Communication Learners

Electronic and digital communication, in addition to being an increasingly excellent way to communicate, due to the fact that it is efficient in terms of processing speed, ease of use and economic costs, since it only takes two computers, tablets, smartphones, mobile phones to be connected to the Internet to communicate as you see fit. In Tornero's perspective in 2007, digital information capable of representing, in an increasingly faster and more defined way, the totality of the world (phenomenological or not) that composes the planetary reality.

According to the author, the telematic and computer technologies allow to overcome geological distances between communications. They allow you to obtain information quickly and easily, allow you to interact with other people and the world, allow you to share, act and create reality for yourself and for all the people who share that information.

For Negroponte (1996) “The persona of a machine becomes fun, calming, usable, friendly and possesses a less “mechanical” spirit. Keeping a new personal computer will be more like training a dog. We will be able to purchase personality modules that include the behaviour and lifestyle of fictional characters.” According to the author, the computer becomes a fun, friendly and more personalized work tool, better suited to the tastes, desires and needs of its users. In this sense, computers become an integral part of the construction of reality, through virtual reality. As we can see in Corrêa's explanation in 2008, “If we return to the precursor authors of the theme, like Alvin Tofler, Nicholas Negroponte and even Bill Gates already in the mid-1990s, we can see that new media was separated from the physical, real world.

In this text, we can see that in the 90s the world of communication was separated from the physical world, that is, communication took place in traditional media, such as newspapers, magazines, radio, television, event organization, billboards, public relations, among others and the digital experiences happened in a fictitious and still little operationalized way, something distant, being part of a fictionalized world. As Corrêa (2008) affirms, “Slaveries understands by hyper textually the ability to connect different digital texts to each other. It defines multimedia as the ability granted by digital support to combine at least two of the following three elements in the same message: text, image and sound”.

According to this author, the communicational forms of cyberspace are multifaceted that have the faculty to build meaning with different digital texts; the multimediality that simultaneously projects text, image and sound and interactivity allowing the exchange, sharing and construction of reality itself simultaneously with its instantaneous appearance anywhere in the planet Figure 1.

Figure 1 Electronic and Digital Communication Adapted from (Corrêa, 2008)

The most relevant aspects of electronic and digital communication are the ability to be everywhere, anywhere in the world; used by anyone in a universal way and without any limitation, at any time of the day or night; it being possible to interact, participate, communicate bidirectionally, a fundamental factor for efficient communication and with the possibility of including animations, sounds and multimedia that provides greater interactivity and connectivity contributing to a more efficient understanding and communicational efficiency. In the opinion of the authors (Vieites & Veloso, 2008).

Currently, there is a great debate on the Internet about the need to guarantee the privacy of its users, with two positions: the first, in favour of an intervention by the governments (defended mainly by the countries of the European Union, which already have a framework very restricted in this matter), and the second, which advocates self-regulation by companies and organizations that operate on the Internet (US posture, which advocates the development of an ethical code that must be respected by companies) ”.

Today, according to the author, we are witnessing a set of concerns and questions about the need for regulation, legislation or standardization and the best ways to protect and preserve, for example, copyright, trademark rights, privacy protection, among other aspects related to the protection of personal or organizational data.

Another relevant aspect is the relationship between digital media and reality and on this, (Beneyto, 2002) stated, “The real loss of a real space, inevitably follow the way of creating imaginary spaces that sustain them. As the real space goes down, there is a need for virtual successors.

The real and virtual communication spaces, as the author said, are concepts that cannot be dissociated, being complementary and inseparable as they spread reciprocally, as the real space is depleted there is the need to build virtual spaces.

Silva, (2017) says that “There are many examples of the use of three-dimensional virtual worlds in education, training, distance learning and other teaching and learning contexts Cruz et al. (2015), with the use of these worlds in education constantly increasing in recent years (Fominykh et al., 2012)”. In this way, virtual reality is increasingly present in the various activities of personal and collective interaction, in terms of individual learning, training and obtaining new knowledge. In the words of Duran (2020), interaction through virtual communities is no longer an exception or a choice to become the rule that started to guide the processes of interaction and collaborative learning online. In this sense, all digital dynamics contribute to a collaborative, interactive and dynamic learning, where the keywords are: interaction, sharing, connectivity, interactivity, co-creation, seeking to obtain and provide experiences, being simultaneously an actor and an intervener in the construction individual and collective reality.

Conclusion

Communication is an action of sharing, of sharing, of reducing uncertainties, of externalizing, sharing, ideas, feelings, attitudes, opinions, and in this way obtaining information as a return (feedback). However, the most important aspect is mutual understanding, since it allows a reciprocal relationship of understanding.

From the 90s we entered the era of individualization of the media, where each person can participate in the construction of information and be a communicative whole.

However, communicating efficiently also means building reality, influencing others through the transmission of messages that meet human needs. The secret of an efficient communication lies in the fact that “social actors” as individuals or organizations that are able to understand each other and generate useful synergies for individuals and the community.

Social media today build a set of sensations, emotions, collective feelings, in which people just accept without questioning; create collective imagery about the reality. Thus, even with communication technologies, an increased effort is necessary, as it is not enough to separate the accessory from the essential, it is necessary to be creative and innovative on the individual platform to perceive the world and thus be more active and less reactive in the face of reality.

Electronic and digital communication, in addition to being an increasingly effective way to communicate, due to the fact of its efficiency in terms of processing speed, ease of use and bow economic cost, since it takes two computers to be connected to the Internet to communicate way you find most convenient.

As practical implications of the study we can indicate, a reflection and analysis to the evolution of the dynamics of personal communication, as well as, the impact of technology in the continuous individual learning.

Some limitations include not presenting an empirical study, including a quantitative and qualitative analysis, on this theme.

For future research we propose a practical study, seeking to understand in operational terms, the impact of technological changes on individual and community learning.

In summary, communication and its means of communication, in their individual, collective, real and virtual dynamics, is a very interesting but complex topic, so there are some ideas and considerations for the future research.

References

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Corrêa, E.S. (2008). Reflections for an epistemology of digital communication. In Proceedings of the 5th Congress of the Portuguese Association of Communication Sciences, Braga, 6-8.

Cruz, A., Paredes, H., Fonseca, B., Martins, P., & Morgado, L. (2015). Collaboration in 3D Virtual Worlds: designing a protocol for case study research. In Workshop Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Intelligent Environments, 19, 361-372.

Duran, D. (2020). Coronavirus viralizes online education. Journal of the University of São Paulo – USP. Retrieved on https://jornal.usp.br/artigos/coronavirus-viraliza-educacao-online/.

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Silva, G. (2017). The influence of non-verbal communication on collaboration in 3D virtual worlds: case study in the formation of aeronautical maintenance practices. Masters dissertation. http://hdl.handle.net/10400.2/6405.

Sousa, H., & Santos, L.A. (2003). RTP and public service, a path of insurmountable dependence and contradiction» in Pinto, Manuel et.al. television and citizenship, contributions to the public service debate, Braga, Department of Communication Sciences, University of Minho.

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Vieites, Á.G., & Espiñeira, M.V. (2008). Marketing on the internet and interactive digital media. Porto: (Edition). Economic life.

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