I have just published a paper about The Importance of Metacommunication in Supervision Processes in Higher Education. In this paper I separate between three distinct types of metacommunication: What, how and when do you metacommunicate.
The "What-dimension" describes what kind of metacommunicative content you are talking about. This can both be the conversational content, the conversational relationship or the use of conversational time. The "How-dimension" suggests that one will relate to other people in a specific way when metacommunicating. An important distinction is made between monological and dialogical metacommunication, where the last type refers to an episode where both parties are metacommunicating. The "When-dimension" suggests that a metacommunicative utterance will always take place at a specific time.
In the context of supervision in higher education, I recommend that there should be more focus on metacommunication as part of a transparent communication style and metacommunication about the collaboration period in supervision.