Nonverbal Communication

Kendall-Hunt has put up a website for my The Nonverbal Communication Book. (www.KendallHunt.com/devito).  The website has links to the Preface, the TOC, and a sample chapter--(click "Samples"). I chose the chapter on temporal communication--Time Messages. This sample chapter is open access and so students as well as instructors can use it. It's a really very different nonverbal communication textbook and that's why I wanted the chapter made available online. If anyone does use it in class or just looks at the chapter--as student or instructor, I'd sure appreciate hearing any reactions, negative as well as positive.


The Poor Professor



Here is a portrait of the poor professor—and by implication, the good professor--as seen by students, at least as noted on some 100+ professors as rated by students on RateMyProfessor. My method was simple: I examined the comments on some 100+ professors at random. I simply plugged in a school—some colleges and some universities, some public institutions and some private or religious--and selected names, some male and some female—at random. Nothing terribly scientific but reasonably fair, it seems. I then grouped the comments into general categories, though, as you’ll see, there is considerable over-lapping.

The portrait of the professor who is not well liked that emerges is amazingly clear. Students regularly note similar traits and behaviors that they consider “poor teaching.” Here are ten characteristics that seem to be identified over and over again. These also suggest—to my mind at least--that students’ expectations for professors are realistic, reasonable, and achievable.

These ten items seem to identify—at least in part—the professor who students do not like and to whom they give poor ratings. These are not necessarily the same items that we’d discover if this were a list of “ineffective” professors. For example, one of the things that students resent is the professor who gives directions that are vague and ambiguous; students dislike the professor who doesn’t make directions explicit. But, it can be argued that in some situations ambiguous directions might be preferred because they encourage creativity more than would explicit instruction. So, being liked and being effective are not the same. Yet, they don’t seem totally different either.