ECT 300 EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY: What impact do open and closed channels have on communication?



2b iii). Analyze the impact open and closed channels have on communication.

2.11 Open and closed channels of communication

Nonverbal communication can be used to either encourage or discourage a conversation. In a class you might find some student nodding to accept the answer given by one of their colleagues, they may smile to show pleasure or agreement. These are indications of encouragement and aspects of an open communication channel. On the other hand, when students start glancing at their watches, the crossing of arms and legs are signs that the channel of communication is closed and the end of the session is being sought.

Clothing and physical adornments are all part of the open and closed channels of communication. For instance, a woman puts on a ring to symbolize that she is either engaged or married in which case she is a closed channel.

Posture can also communicate, for instance, a well-dressed lady waiting at a particular spot is an indication of a closed channel compared to another well-dressed lady walking up and down a street. The message in the latter case is an indication of an open channel. There is no verbal communication but a lot is communicated nonverbally.

In a classroom situation, the pupils can express their disapproval of you as a teacher by simply putting their heads on their desks and pretending to be asleep as the teacher walks in.


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