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CCOG for COMM 227 archive revision 202004

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Effective Term:
Fall 2020
Course Number:
COMM 227
Course Title:
Nonverbal Communication
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces nonverbal communication and its impact on the interpretation of messages and creation of meaning. Emphasizes the functions and socio-cultural, as well as bio-evolutionary, influence of nonverbal behaviors. Examines nonverbal codes such as voice, body movement, eye behavior, touch, space, time, smell, and physical and social environments. Explains how people of diverse backgrounds use nonverbal communication to express identity and create relational messages of intimacy and affection, as well as power, dominance and social influence in various contexts. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to: 

  1. Identify nonverbal communication functions and codes.

  2. Describe how nonverbal communication behaviors shape perceptions and judgments of self and people of diverse backgrounds.

  3. Practice nonverbal behaviors to improve communication competence in a variety of relationships and contexts.

  4. Analyze nonverbal communication behaviors through the lenses of culture, gender and power to understand how meaning is created.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

Communication is essential to being human. Communication courses inherently provide a foundation for understanding human interaction. While all humans use some form of communication to navigate the societies in which we live, each culture has its own set of ethical and social communicative norms. This course examines these norms by teaching students how to organize and make meaning of their own and others’ experiences, and meet personal communication goals.

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