Verbal and Nonverbal communication in computer mediated settings
11 (3): "Part I of the Special Issue on Analysing Educational Dialogue Interaction "
Abstract. The paper discusses the verbal and nonverbal communication during a video-
recorded meeting between two physically separate teams as part of a 9 month multi-site
construction project. In the extract analysed here, the team which was video-recorded contained
three members and the project coordinator, whereas the remote team contained a single
individual. Communication between the two teams was by means of telephone and shared
computer meeting system. The video-recorded team used nonverbal communication on the
dimensions of mimickry, embarrassment, emphasis, recognition, commitment, agreement,
understanding, promise, orientation, and humour when communicating within the team,
dimensions which were of necessity absent in communication with remote partners. The video-
recorded team and the remote team differed markedly along four dimensions of visibility. The
given-versus-new dimension influences the team ability to respond to changing circumstances.
The ideal-versus-real represents the degree to which partners focus on general or alternatively
particular aspects of the communicative situation. The centre-versus-periphery refers to the
degree to which communication contains meanings associated with hierarchy and authority or
alternatively with pluralism and empowerment. The social-versus-task is focused on the purpose
of communication which may be predominantly aimed at solving a problem or alternatively
aimed at creating social cohesion and team spirit. Compared to the lengthy and
communicatively rich contributions within the video-recorded team, which emphasised the
given, ideal, centre, and social dimensions of communication, the communications between the
two teams, that were mediated by technology, emphasised the new, real, periphery and task
dimensions of communication.