NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION IN THE FRAME OF E-LEARNING: AN INTERNATIONAL COMPARISON

Z. Nedelko1, C.E. Cirnu (ENE)2

1Faculty of Economics and Business (SLOVENIA)
2Focsani Regional Distance Learning Centre, Distance Learning Department; Spiru Haret University Bucharest (ROMANIA)
E-learning has become an adequate and recently very important way for transferring knowledge from educational institutions to learners, in comparison to traditional (i.e. face-to-face) education. In that frame a great proportion of nowadays undergraduate education is provided through the internet with support of modern information and communication technology. In nowadays educational practice three main types (and/or formats) of e-learning are: (1) web-supported e-learning; (2) blended e-learning; and (3) fully online e-learning. Main difference among selected types of e-learning is the level of face-to-face interaction; from merely face-to-face interaction in web supported e-learning to none face-to-face interaction in fully online e-learning. In the context of social interaction of members in e-learning process we put our focus on the role and importance of non-verbal communication in different types of e-learning. But on the other hand is important to emphasize, that e-learning and traditional education differs significantly. Among several important differences (e.g. materials used, assessment process) the communication process among participants in e-learning is changed. Therefore often perceived obstacles in e-learning process are related to lack of face-to-face communication and inability of participants to perceive non-verbal communication of others. Non-verbal communication refers to a communication transmitted through actions and behaviors rather than thorough words. According to presented starting points we examined the participant’s perceptions about the importance of non-verbal communication issues. Therefore the paper represents an insight into the problematic of perceiving a non-verbal communication in different types of e-learning. Therefore we have done international research among Romanian and Slovenian undergraduate students. Romanian students are involved into fully online e-learning meanwhile Slovenian students are involved in web-supported e-learning. Important findings from research are presented and discussed in paper.