Nonverbal communication plays a significant role in the establishment and maintenance of interpersonal relationships (Argyle, 1986). Yet in university papers delivered in an online mode, students meet each other and establish relationships in online discussions which are typically viewed as lacking in non-verbal communication channels. This paper reports on strategies used by students in a successful online masters paper, analysed in terms of Brown and Levinson’s politeness theory (1987). We suggest that the positive politeness strategies employed by participants had a role to play in the success of the paper since they helped create a congenial space in which participants felt encouraged and supported to give opinions, ask questions and share doubts and disagreements. We further show that in the absence of face-to-face, nonverbal channels, student participants made extensive and significant use of emoticons, frequently as kinesic signals adjacent to and related to verbal politeness strategies. This latter finding highlights the importance of nonverbal elements in exchanges (including cross-cultural exchanges) characterized by verbal politeness strategies.
|Keywords:||Politeness, Congeniality, Asynchronous Online Discussion, Elearning, Bulletin Board, Rhetorical Space, Emoticons|
Chairperson, School of Education, University of Waikato, New Zealand
Lecturer, School of Education, University of Waikato, New Zealand
There are currently no reviews of this product.Write a Review