June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
New Engineering Educators
22.1576.1 - 22.1576.11
Understanding Your Students’ Nonverbal Communication: A Primer for the New Engineering EducatorAs educators we often look for confirmation that our students are grasping the concepts underdiscussion. This is often referred to metaphorically as a light bulb in or over a student’s head.Yet, by nature, not all individuals are animated in a way that allows educators to identify theirnonverbal communication.Many of us have received formal or informal training in the nonverbal communication that we,as instructors, intentionally or unintentionally exhibit in the classroom. However, rarely doesthat training include discussion of how to interpret the nonverbal communication of our students.In an environment where educators are consistently attempting to better understand and bettercommunicate with our students, it would be critical that we develop the skills necessary toidentify and interpret student nonverbal communication.This document reviews and summarizes the literature specific to interpretation of the nonverbalcues that students exhibit in the classroom. The authors were motivated to execute this study asa means of improving their own nonverbal sensitivity and nonverbal interpretation acumen. Theresearch question around which this study was developed was: “What is the content of theavailable literature specific to identifying and interpreting student nonverbal communication in aclassroom setting?” Building from the research question, the method of investigation utilized inthis study included a fairly comprehensive investigation of the published literature (includingtexts, journals, and magazines) through the application of various databases and discussions withacademicians associated with the field of communication. Literature was reviewed in the generalrealm of communication, specific nonverbal communication publications, classroom instruction,body language, and where possible, the intersection of these individual topics.This document includes a general overview of nonverbal communication, presentation of anassociated taxonomy, and discussion of cultural and gender-based influences. A detaileddiscussion of common classroom nonverbal dynamics and challenges common to theidentification and interpretation of those conditions are also identified.While the information contained with this document will be particularly useful to individualsnew to teaching, all engineering educators are likely to find this information beneficial to theirclassroom interactions.
Barry, B. E., & Bodenhamer, M. J., & O'Brien, J. J. (2011, June), Understanding Your Students' Nonverbal Communication: A Primer for the New Engineering Educator Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18906
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