Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
COMM 227
Course Title:
Nonverbal Communication
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces the nonverbal aspect of communication as related to verbal communication. Emphasizes the theories and types of nonverbal behavior including influential factors such as; voice, body movement, eye behavior, touch, space, time, smell, and physical and social environments. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion, students should be able to:

  1. Use an increased understanding of nonverbal communication theory in order to recognize perceptions and judgments based on communicative behaviors of self and others
  2. Manage nonverbal techniques in order to improve communication competence
  3. Continue to use an awareness of communicative behaviors in an effective manner in order to interpret and incorporate nonverbal messages as they are filtered through such aspects as culture, perception, and context.

October 2009

Outcome Assessment Strategies

The forms of assessment will be determined by the individual instructor.
Assessment strategies may include:

  • Qualitative examinations
  • Quantitative examinations
  • Essays
  • Journals
  • Research papers
  • In-class participation
  • Portfolios Projects
  • Oral presentations
  • Group work
  • Service Learning

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  •  Perception
  •  Functions of nonverbal behaviors
  • Typologies: kinesics, chronemics, haptics, objectics, vocalics, proxemics, olfactics, appearance, environment
  •  Power and Status
  • Relational messages
  • Cultural aspects
  • Contextual aspects
  • Image Management
  • Gendered Nonverbal Communication

Competencies and Skills:
Students will:

  • Be able to describe nonverbal patterns that people enact.
  • Be able to identify a range of potential interpretations of nonverbal behaviors.
  • Be able to demonstrate understanding of the role culture plays in the molding and interpretation of nonverbal messages.
  • Be able to identify a range of effective nonverbal behaviors to manage their impressions.
  • Be able to choose nonverbal behaviors appropriate to differing situations.

A textbook is required. Suggested texts. Alternative texts need Dept. or SAC chair approval.

Nonverbal Communication in Human Interaction. Mark Knapp & Judith A. Hall.

Nonverbal Communication in Everyday Life, 3rd ed., Martin S. Remland

The Nonverbal Self: Communication For A Lifetime, Diana K. Ivy & Shawn T Wahl

Nonverbal Communication, Burgoon/Guerrero/Floyd; Allyn & Bacon