What is specific about e-communicatie (or CMC = computer-mediated communication) is that this communication is often written and asynchronousA form of communication characterized by the fact that you are not present online at the same time as your students (although certain tools also allow for oral or synchronousA form of communication characterized by the fact that you are online at the same time as your students feedback- see tools in the section ‘e-coaching’). In text-based communication you lose all non-verbal signals: visual and auditory information like gestures, eye contact, mimics, nuances through intonation, pitch of the voice, …
This way no emotions are getting across and sometimes it is difficult to estimate how your students feel. Therefore, an extra skill is required from you, as a teacher, to align yourself with the perspective and the mindset of your students, from a distance.
To ensure that you can compensate the absence of non-verbal communication, you can enrich the e-communication with language-supportive technical tools. Symbols, such as emoticons and language tools such as ‘sound words’ (onomatopoeia, words that imitate a sounds, such as ha ha, pfff, oef, aha,…)