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NON-VERBAL FEEDBACK FROM LECTURERS TO STUDENTS DURING SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE COMMUNICATION COURSE: WHAT CAN WE LEARN?

N.A.S. Ismail , S.M. Bujang, M.N. Awang Besar

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (MALAYSIA)
Non-verbal communication (NVC) often being overlooked especially during an online verbal feedback session. The present study aims to observe the components of online social presence in giving feedback in the Personal and Professional Advancement course. Hundred first-year medical students and ten lecturers were involved in this study. Students were divided into ten small groups facilitated by a lecturer. A communication skills activity was conducted through an online learning platform and at the end of the session, the lecturers gave verbal feedback, and NVC was recorded and observed. This includes body position, facial expression, voice tone, gestures, gaze, and paralanguage. All ten lecturers shared similarities in large hands movement with additional filler words. The least non-verbal cues observed include touching the body and extreme paralanguage such as gasp or sigh. The voice tone set by all lecturers was cheerful to create a comfortable learning environment. All lecturers looked directly at the camera while intermittently looked right or left to recall some points while giving feedback. All findings indicate lecturers have utilised the most noteworthy NVC when giving online feedback. The data can be a reference to other lecturers to emphasize NVC during synchronous online verbal feedback. Further studies are needed to determine the similarities or discrepancies of the student interpretations toward the NVC can be explored in the future.