A back-channel (also reverse channel or return channel) is typically a low-speed, or less-than-optimal, transmission channel in the opposite direction to the main channel.
A back channel in the language of
diplomacyis an unofficial channel of communicationbetween states or other political entities, used to supplement official channels, often for the purposes of discussing highly sensitive policy issues. "See also" Track II diplomacy.
linguistics, back-channeling is the practice of giving positive comments, such as "uh-huh" or "yes" to the other speaker, to encourage further talk or to confirm that one is listening. In Chinese and particularly Japanese, back-channeling is very common, to the extent that non-native speakers may perceive it to be excessive or distracting. In American Sign Language, back-channeling is a major part of communication.Fact|date=February 2008
business, back-channeling is an organizational practice that involves bypassing recognized or official communication processes, usually by sharing information anonymously up the reporting structure at least two levels, in order to create vulnerability at the level(s) skipped. It is a means by which lower-level members can manipulate perceived power differentials with a superior through a more senior accommodating manager in the organization.Fact|date=February 2008
medicine, back-channeling is much the same as in the business application which involves "inappropriate organizational practice" as it comprises the disparate exchange of data on a patient in utilizing their medical records.Fact|date=February 2008 The Veterans Administrationmay do less back-channeling than other medical systems because they openly admit to "flagging" problem patients in their computer system, and they strive to give disclosureand apologies for medical mistakes.Fact|date=February 2008 On the whole, any back-channeling efforts in medicine are usually done as the result of risk managementpractices.Fact|date=February 2008
In public speaking
public speaking, back-channeling is the practice of electronically passing notes among some or all of the audience/students during the lecture. When sanctioned, this practice is particularly useful for speakers who are attempting to dynamically modify their presentations based on immediate feedback from the audience. When unsanctioned, this practice is often very distracting for the presenter. Meebo and Twitter are common back channeling devices, although any chat room style device works well.Fact|date=June 2008
* [http://www.cs.utep.edu/nigel/bc/ (Linguistics) Back-Channel Facts website]
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Look at other dictionaries:
back channel — UK US adjective [before noun] ► using a different or unofficial method of communication: »There have been reports about informal back channel peace talks between the two governments. »back channel negotiations/communication back channel noun [C]… … Financial and business terms
back-channel — UK US adjective [before noun] ► using a different or unofficial method of communication: »There have been reports about informal back channel peace talks between the two governments. »back channel negotiations/communication back channel noun [C]… … Financial and business terms
back channel — n. an unofficial, often secret, means of communication * * * … Universalium
back channel — n. an unofficial, often secret, means of communication … English World dictionary
Back channel — Moscow frequently used intelligence officers and journalists working with the intelligence services as a back channel of communication with other governments. An alternative channel of communications allowed Moscow to speak candidly with… … Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence
back-channel — adjective via a back channel the failure of back channel negotiations • Pertains to noun: ↑back channel * * * adjective see back channel … Useful english dictionary
back channel — noun an alternative to the regular channels of communication that is used when agreements must be made secretly (especially in diplomacy or government) they negotiated via a back channel • Hypernyms: ↑channel, ↑communication channel, ↑line … Useful english dictionary
back channel — noun a) The smaller of two channels in a river that diverge to form an island b) An unofficial communications channel used to make informal or subversive negotiations See Also: backchannel, back channel … Wiktionary
back channel — noun Date: 1975 a secret, unofficial, or irregular means of communication • back channel adjective … New Collegiate Dictionary
back-channel — adjective see back channel … New Collegiate Dictionary