Online ed and non-verbal communications

I attended a workshop today to do with performance appraisals at my workplace. The facilitator quoted some research that suggested 7% of person to person conversation is what is said while the rest is distributed across inflection and non-verbals. This being the case I’m wondering what effect this has on education. For example if such a small proportion of a conversation is what’s said then surely the online students are missing out on quite a lot of information that would normally be received outside of “what is said”. Interestingly I found some prior research on the subject that looks at the value of emoticons in an online setting.