In text based real time online learning and virtual classrooms the use of non verbal part of communication is not much implemented due to lack of immediacy behaviors.Yet looking into various aspects of online learning non verbal communication can be taken into considerations in a different way.
The 3 main parts of non verbal communication which played important part in actual classrooms namely kinesics , proxemics and paralanguage. Lets look into how these elements can be implemented or change roles in online learning.
The first two part kinesics and proxemics become negligible in text based learning though it can be achieved through focusing on the content – writing style, timing , frequency , font , length, the chronology of content , easily relatable and connective coverage of content. Always accompany lectures with 2d visuals like pictures , diagrams , maps , design drawn attractively with components to engage student.
The last part of non verbal element paralanguage though plays an important role in maintaining motivation level and engagement of students.Paralanguage includes
- Volume – loud or soft , audible to all students attending.
- Speed of voice – controlling the pace of speech especially dealing with younger kids to allow them to listen and grasp new words or topics.
- Tone of voice – adding a tone such a positive or negative to give feeling to the speech.
- Pronunciation – the way in which words are spoken play an important role , for young learners and language learning or new topics requires the educator to be able to pronounce out the words .
- Articulation – Clarity of speech and voice is very much needed to help learners keep connected to what is being said.
- Punctuation- Taking proper pauses and stops . Using symbols and spacing while communication.
In online learning the teacher moreover play a role of modest educator whereas opposed to expert status on subject. So that a relation is maintained with the learner.Also creating a social presence to overcome feelings of isolation, learners need to become socially connected with their peers and instructors. Students attending online often feel socially disconnected, and missing teacher immediacy and interpersonal relationships with peers . Apart from all this a continuous feedback mechanism needs to be maintained taking cues from listeners their response time , responses and silence which could be lack of communication.